When thinking about the quality of our water, most of us consider possible health issues and taste. But have you ever thought about how much settling for substandard water costs you on a yearly, monthly, even daily basis?
These days, most people think nothing about buying their drinking water from a store or service. They do this because they fear the health problems that can be associated with tap water that has metals, salts, chemicals or bacteria in it. More often, people buy their drinking water because it just plain tastes better – probably because it doesn’t have the metals, salts, chemicals or bacteria. Twenty years ago no one would have dreamed of paying extra for water, it was right there on your utility bill for practically nothing. Now, if you go to a convenience store, you can expect to pay around $1.50 for a 20oz bottle. At that rate, your water would cost $9.60 per gallon! Even if you buy your water in bulk at a warehouse store, you can expect to pay around $7-8 for 24 16oz bottles, so about 3 gallons. If you have a family of 4 that drinks 2 bottles per day each, that’s over 2 cases in one week; if you buy 2 cases per week for a year, you will have spent $832 on drinking water alone. And you haven’t figured in water for cooking, or the possibility of drinking more than two bottles a day like during exercise or hot summer months.
Doing your laundry takes a lot of water. If you have a top-loading machine, you could be using up to 40 gallons of water per wash. Front-loading machines use far less, but it is still 10-24 gallons per load. If your water is hard or contains metals it could take more than one wash – or more than one rinse cycle – to get them clean, extra detergents to get the job done, and more bleach to keep the water from staining whites. Sure, a 50oz container of liquid detergent – that’s enough for 32 loads – is only $15 at your warehouse club, but if you’re using double the amount, are you really saving any money? You can add water softeners to the wash, but doesn’t that cost money too? Now, not only are you spending extra on the water, the detergent, and the softeners, but fabrics wear out faster and look dingy so you have to buy clothes and linens more often.
Anyone who has issues with their water quality can tell you that simple things like taking a shower can become very frustrating. It can also become expensive. Because soap does not lather as well in hard water, you tend to use more to try and get clean. Once you’ve increased the amount of soap, you have to stay under the water longer to rinse it off. The harshness of the water on your skin can mean more lotions and moisturizers to counteract that sticky, itchy feeling. Particularly sensitive skin can react badly with water that is high in chemicals and metals which can result in a trip to the doctor and costly remedies.
If you have water quality issues in your home, take the time to sit down and tally up your spending on all these extras; soap, detergents, softeners, lotions, clothes, bottled water, extra rinse cycles, (and we haven’t even touched on what can happen to your plumbing!) and weigh it against the price of a long-term solution like a home water treatment system. You may find that the investment is well worth your money.