By Erica Whisson. Resident Naturopath, AlkaWay
Recently I bought my first home. Wow. Scary. But I did it.
Yes, you can be over 50 and get a first home buyers home loan without winning lotto, but that’s another story.
Anyway, as I was awaiting settlement, I had time to consider what water filter I would get, if any.
Part of the consideration is that I have to live there for at least six months in the next year; but then I will be renting it out. I was thinking, maybe it isn’t worth going to the expense of buying a filter when I won’t be there to use it.
On the very first day I got the keys I decided that absolutely YES.
It was going to be worth the expense.
After drinking filtered water for at least seven years (even taking lots with me when on holidays), I almost spat out the first mouthful of town water I had. It was horrible. I knew I'd be very dehydrated very often if I didn’t filter. As the old saying goes, get a filter or be a filter. Granted, it was the middle of a drought and dam water levels were low, making the water more full of nasties than usual but still, water should at least be palatable, shouldn't it?
So of course, I bought an UltraStream. Then it came to connecting it. I couldn’t remember anything about what sort of taps etc were in the unit, but as my new kitchen is a bit older I didn’t expect any real problems. Yep, wrong again. The kitchen had new taps and faucet. This meant that there was no way to get the aerator off the bottom of the tap to fit a diverter. I tried every tool I had and then borrowed a few more to try and it still wouldn’t budge.
What to do now?
I plan to put it under the sink when I get my kitchen renos done (it’s ghastly at present) for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it is a small kitchen and I don’t want it to take up valuable bench space. Secondly, I will be leaving it for my tenants and I know that you should never put hot water through an UltraStream (or any filter) and that you should never move the diverter when the water is running. Tenants, on the other hand, won’t know that or care. So, in order to minimise the potential for excess filter replacements it's going under the sink.
So.. I didn’t want to butcher the faucet in trying to fit it, and I really needed to attach it to a tap, somewhere, anywhere in the house.
My only real option was the laundry. The problem here is that laundry faucets don’t have a thread to attach an adaptor. Luckily, I had a jubilee fitting with me. So I put that on the end of the faucet. The trouble with that is that the faucet ends with a fairly dinky little angle and the jubilee fitting spat right off as soon as water pressure was added.
Then I took the faucet off and attached the jubilee clip to the thread at the wall, and the diverter to that. Granted it certainly isn’t going to win any design awards; but it is working. I have my fabulous filtered water, and dehydration has been averted.
Safety tip: If you do this don’t turn the water on too fast as you will get soaked.
Then we get to the shower. I figured that I could manage without a shower filter for a few months. Then I hopped in the shower and felt like I was being fumigated from the overpowering smell of the chlorine.
So, hang the expense, I got a shower filter.
Installing this was really straight forward in comparison to the UltraStream. The main tip I can give is that you attach it at the wall, not after the arm. (Unless you want the shower head to fall and hit you in the head of course, then don’t let me stop you!)
I find it a bit amazing how much I take for granted that my shower water doesn't resemble a gas chamber and that before investing in a shower filter I never really noticed the smell. I'm told that a normal shower exposes us to a huge amount of carcinogenic chlorine gas and that our open pores are like open doors. We absorb huge amounts!
Freely available clean water is something that we non tankwater folk take for granted. But I don’t have to put up with drinking or showering in a chemical concoction when for a small investment my water can taste and smell like water should.