I’m the type of person that can become totally obsessed with the weirdest things. Sometimes they stick, like my obsession with high end audio equipment, and other times the obsession is fleeting, like my obsession with sherry wine which lasted a solid season of Frasier and then disappeared.
The obsession I’m about to share could very well be the lamest though and it all started from working at Starbucks. I’m absolutely obsessed with clean drinking water. When I started with Starbucks back in 2005 I was amazed as the care they went through to purify their water. Most stores had a 5-stage filter system though one of my stores went all the way to 7 stages!In college I did my best imitation of this by filtering the water in my apartment through a Brita faucet filter into a Pur water filter jug. The water was delicious but boy was this tedious!
When I moved to San Diego I purchased a ZeroWater filter system (my water was pretty awful, 478 TDS) and for the first time I had the amazing taste of Starbucks water at home and without all the extra steps. Friends at first thought I was crazy to rant and rave over the ZeroWater but it didn’t take long for them to convert as well! See chart on the right for a comparison of ZeroWater vs Brita. It’s pretty remarkable.
I told you this obsession was lame…
The thing with obsessions is that they don’t really ever stop. That’s the point. So now that I own my house I thought to myself, “Why not install a real reverse osmosis system?” It would give me the great taste of ZeroWater with out the hassle of slow filtration and regular cost of expensive filters.
It looks a bit like a mobile meth lab but it’s actually just a series of water filters, a pressurized water storage tank and some necessary accessories. My partner in crime Cody helped me install this under my sink and while the task was incredibly daunting, a few YouTube videos and some patience had us up and running in under and hour; though it would be several more hours before we could use it as the tank needed to fill up with 5 gallons of purified water.
The difference between reverse osmosis (RO) and a gravity filter like those from ZeroWater, Brita or Pur is the level of filtration. RO requires a great deal of pressure to push the water through a series of three filters that increase in density until your purified water makes it to the .0001 micron filter, the RO filter. After that it normally goes through a standard carbon filter though some have additional filters or additives in the series. Gravity simply does not allow for enough pressure to force the water through these filters.
The end result is water that’s perfectly clear, ice that isn’t cloudy and tastier coffee, tea and, well, water! It’s a bit of an upfront investment but 100% worth it. I purchased mine from Amazon. I chose the iSpring RCC7 based on reviews and price but the Apec ROES-50 is equally as good and similarly priced.
One thing I found pretty interesting were the results of testing the water after installing the system. My tap water has a total dissolved solids (TDS) rating of around 550. TDS refers to any minerals, salts, metals, cations or anions dissolved in water and it’s important to know that not all dissolved solids are bad. Some are healthy minerals.
ZeroWater’s selling point is that water from their pitchers have a zero reading on a TDS meter. And it works. My 550 TDS water truly reads zero when processed through their filter. My RO system gets me down to around 5 TDS which is good enough for me!
So there you go. My obsession with clean water. And for those of you who think I drink a ton of wine… if only you knew how much water I drink! Just in the time it took to write this post I drank 64 ounces of RO water!
Most. Boring. Post. Ever. (Unless you’re a weirdo like me obsessed with water)