Water is easy to overlook. But it’s the most important nutrient there is. And getting a pure source of water is harder than you’d think, especially if you want to stay “green” while doing so.

I have avoided straight drinking tap water for many years. When we moved to KY we discovered our house had a cistern, about which I was hesitant at first. Rainwater, rolling off the roof and into our pipes? But it worked fairly well, and with a three stage filtration system (big filter at the pump, smaller one under the kitchen sink, put that into a Britta), I was relatively comfortable with drinking that, especially since it started out as rain.

Two years ago though, our cistern cracked during a drought. Never having lived through a drought before, we didn’t know that one must actually water the foundation of a house to prevent it from cracking. Who knew? With the crack came water in the basement, not a big flood, but a seeping crawl that was nonetheless annoying.

So we had the cistern pumped out and fixed (five days to dry, oh my!) And went on our merry way. However the following spring, when we had beaucoup rain, the darned house shifted again and the cistern cracked yet again. That’s when I put my foot down, and we had a water line run down from the street (a not inconsiderable distance.) City water, yay!

Or, not so much. I am less than pleased with the city water we get. It smells very strongly of chlorine. I don’t like bathing in it, making tea with it (it also has a high mineral content), much less drinking it. So for the past while we’ve been buying distilled water at the store and bringing it home. Far from ideal, especially with the resultant empty plastic containers. Our area has no provision for recycling at all, so those all go in the landfill, which I hate.

So at this point I am researching Reverse Osmosis water filter systems. We used to have one when we lived in Duluth and I really liked it. They’re much cheaper than buying a distiller, and while there are downsides to each (RO systems need filters about every four months, distillers have to be cleaned each time), I think the RO system will work better for us.

But the bottom line for me is, I want and need the water we drink to be totally free of chemicals. This is an absolute for me. I know a lot of people are comfortable with drinking tap water, but I just am not, especially in light of recent studies such as this one: Tap water contaminant ‘castrates’ frogs found in an article released Monday from the National Academy of Sciences that discusses the presence of the herbicide Atrazine in common tap water across the US. Thanks, but no thanks to that! Happily, Home Depot sells a GE RO system for only a couple hundred dollars, and it shouldn’t cost too much to be installed. I’ll have to find somewhere else to store my plastic wrap and tinfoil, but I can live with that.