Saturday, May 24, 2008


I’ve written on the subject of water before, and how one day the commodity of fresh, clean water may become a problem for the entire planet. Before I continue, I need to admit that I never buy bottled water. Instead I refill a reusable container from local safe water sources. I no longer drink from rivers and swamps like I used to.

Anyway, I had a meeting to attend in Tangent, Oregon last week on one of those hot days. I brought some water, but the meeting room was not air conditioned and I needed several refills from a water fountain.

I have to say that the water in Tangent is either too soft or the water I had was too softened. It could not quench a thirst. It wasn’t crisp nor refreshing even though it was cold. I couldn’t imagine bathing in water that soft. You’d never feel clean or like you got all the soap off.

I’ve been in places where the water tasted of sulfur that was more palatable than the water from Tangent. Sulfur hot springs are also excellent for soaking.

I feel fortunate to have always lived in places where the water was just prefect without major chemical treatment. I couldn’t imagine moving somewhere and not using tap water. I know some people in the area who have their own wells that get really funky as the summer sets in. Some even dry up in August and September.

I value our water. Living in a water district I’ve seen several times that we’ve been cut off. Once we had ten people staying with us when a land slide took out the water main for five days. Fortunately we got by on rain barrels and water from the pond. Other time we were cut off when vandals shot the water tower. We lost water nearly every day while they were widening a road. They cut us off for a day at a time when they have to spur into the line for a new development. Most recently our water district was plagued by leaks.

Regardless of all the delivery problems, I am thankful we are on district water. Things could be so bad if we weren’t.


Anonymous columbiacontrolfreak said...

My brother and his family live downstream from a town called Leadville Missouri. The authorities not only strongly warn against drinking the tap water they recommend children under the age of 3 not be bathed in it. Can you imagine trying to keep a kid clean for 3 years with bottled water?

What's really sad is that most of the local population is on the low side of rural poor so they can't afford bottled water much less the incredibly expensive and high maintainence filter system to make the water safe. My sister in law says a lot of the people just use kool-aid to cover the metallic taste and ignore the risk to their kids. When we were visiting my husband took one taste of the coffee in a restaurant and knew they had water problems.

8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is sad. Just recently I have become a tap water enthusiast. Not just because of the fresh water crisis that may happen in the future, but also because of this new plastic scare. I vow not to buy bottled water anymore. However, our house has a water problem and I’ve been told it's called hard water and that we need a water softening system. That wouldn't be a problem except I live in a very small back woods town and we don't have a local Culligan Man. Thankfully a fellow blogger suggested I visit a site called, which I did. I can now order a water softening system. I found a wonderful article at this website just in case anyone else is interested in this "no bottled water" up rise!!

11:44 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I hear there is a town in Texas that has a natural supply of lithium, and no one in that town has mental health issues.

6:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here in Oregon, Ashland has free water fountains in Lithia Park spouting Lithium spiked water 24/7. I prefer the taste of the geothermal mineral water found at St. Martins Hot Springs in Carson Washington. It comes out of the ground at about 115 degrees and has an ideal mineral content. Perfect for bathing and sipping.

9:16 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Wonder if we can get it pipped up here?

4:46 PM  
Blogger Jaggy said...

Wow, really? I'm told that mid-valley water is some of the most palatable in the world. I grew up on it. I must admit, though, that I've never really liked Albany's (5mi north of Tangent) tap water. Corvallis does a pretty good job. Lebanon and Salem taste the same (the best, but you can figure I'm biased for the first one).

The best tap water I've ever had was out of a filtered spigot in the cascades just below Green Peter Res. I'd been hiking ALL DAY with only a liter of water to drink. When we got back to camp, I was exhausted and dehydrated. I stuck my head under that spigot and filled myself up with sweet, pure, wonderfulness.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

I'm not surprised that "softened" water would not quench your thirst: it's full of salt. We managed to get our apartment manager to somehow unhook our apartment from the softening filter. What a relief!
Great blog.

11:32 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Thanks, Cathy. It's always nice to have a new voice in the comments.

5:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Astoria and am VERY CONCERNED about the quality of "our" water. I have tasted water on the Youngs River Bay area that is wonderful. I live a few blocks from City Hall where they test every day.
The results are dramatic. I challenge you to sample the water here and then write another glorious article on how "pure the water is and how lucky you are". Did you know that our water is treated 3 times with chemicals by the time it reaches Astoria? I am fed up and on the path to answers.

5:41 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

The water in Tangent if far worse, though I do agree there is a "taste" to the Astoria water. I get my water from Youngs River/Lewis and Clark and they flush it through sand and all sorts of purifiers. They test our water every year at my house.

Funny story, I was drinking some Astoria one day and the friend I was with said, "I wouldn't drink that crap." To which I replied,
"Dude, you smoke two packs a day and you drive a Harley and you are warning me not to drink the water?" Too funny.

1:36 PM  

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