One of the many background checks we performed (school API scores, crime statistics, superfund clean-up sites, oil well contamination, pig and chicken farm proximity, etc.) while on our search for a new hometown forescore and seven years ago (minus whatever it takes to get to 3.5 years) was water quality.
Knowing that the small town we may have been choosing to settle in was predominantly agricultural centered, our fears of increased nitrate levels and farm based contaminates finding its way into the town's water supply were for the most part, unfounded.
Seems it's an issue in the town just south of us, but quarterly water checks (published in the local news rag) provide a calming sentiment to our heightened sense of quality of life checklist (assuming the water reports are true and accurate).
Upon kitchen renovation we installed a reverse osmosis water system faucet in our kitchen sink area for drinking water and felt we were good to go.
What we didn't check for (and honestly, why would we) was the actual water condition.
Condition you ask?
See, my small town is filled with hard men and women doing hard work.
Oil field workers, cable linemen, cattle industry, farm work, service, education, church, commercial - the list continues.
And all these folks are drinking, bathing, washing and scrubbing themselves in what has to be the hardest water known to man.
Within weeks of moving in and setting up our Bosch stainless steel lined dishwasher, hard water deposits starting showing up on our glasses (a light haze), inside the jets, and around the drain.
No commercially available brand of detergent or spot-free rinse agent could deal with the massive amounts of minerals that were flowing through our water pipes, so we brought in the big guns...a water softener.
"No one likes softened water...it feels like you can never get all the soap off,"was the biased thinking behind my initial vehemence against getting one. That and the pricey priced price tag.
Fast forward several weeks later and you have one very satisfied family, enjoying, bathing and basking in the slipperiest, softest water known to man. Not to mention this fella who was equally surprised at how quickly he developed an affinity for the slippery skinned feel of soft water showering while all the while marveling at how promptly the mineral deposits disappeared from the household drinking glasses, shower door and dishwasher jets.
Other than the occasional hefting of the salt bags down into the cellar to fill up the softener and hammering into the girls the difference between drinking water out of the "yucchy faucet" (tap) and the "yummy faucet" (RevOs filtered), all things water have been calm in our house and I've felt mentally secure in our H20 intake.
Until, that is, the other day while ponying up to the soda fountain lunch counter at our favorite small town's pharmacy.
Having just ordered a round of orangeades, we were all settling in to watch the Fountain Lady concoct our sweetened orange liquid wonders when PK utters out loud, "Daddy, she just poured water from the faucet into our drink...bleah!"
Oh no, our offspring are water snobs.