Dealing with Apartment Water

Photo credit: Flickr.com - morning sun
Photo credit: Flickr.com – morning sun

There are lots of advantages to living in an apartment: you (usually) don’t have to pay to fix something that breaks. You can pick up and move whenever you feel like it, provided you aren’t bound by a lease. Apartments are typically cheaper to heat and cool. Apartment buildings usually have more security and safety measures than a standard house. Lots of them come with swimming pools. There is someone to hear you if you scream.

At the same time, there are some things that houses offer that apartments don’t. For example, there is more freedom to make changes in a house than there is in an apartment. Don’t like the color of your living room? Go ahead and paint! Home ownership allows you to build equity that isn’t available after even a lifetime of positive rental history.

Perhaps one of the most important areas in which houses and apartments differ is water. When you are a homeowner, you can install house-wide systems for filtering drinking water and softening water in hard water areas. In an apartment, you sometimes have to be a little more resourceful.

If you’re worried about the quality of your apartment’s water (perfectly understandable if you live in an older building with older pipes), here are a few things you can do:

Install a faucet water filter

These are really easy to find and install—no professional plumbing experience is required. A lot of apartment dwellers like the faucet filters because they don’t just filter the water you plan to drink. They also filter the water you’ll use for washing dishes (if you don’t have a dishwasher) and for cooking. Some of these faucet filters have a switch that you can flip to turn off the filter sometimes, which extends the life of the filter (and saves you money in the long run).

Filter Pitchers and Water Bottles

Almost everyone has one of those water pitchers with the built-in filter these days. This is a good option if you’re pretty sure the water that comes out of your faucet is fine for washing and cooking but you don’t like how it tastes or you’re only concerned about filtering out specific things. The same technology that was used for filtered pitchers has also been applied to individual sized refillable water bottles, though you’re more likely to find these at sporting and outdoor stores like REI than you are at Target or Rite Aid.

Bottled Water Service

If you really don’t trust the water in your building, a bottled water service will give you drinkable and cook-worthy water for a relatively cheap process. A good way to save water here is to buy your own water stand and then refill your own bottles at the grocery store. A lot of grocery stores offer a filtered water machine that will allow you to fill up to five gallons for a tiny fraction of what it would cost for you to simply use a service full time.

Don’t Forget Your Shower!

Installing your own filtered shower head is a great way to make sure that you’re showering in clean water while also giving yourself more control over your water pressure. Apartments—especially those in old buildings—are notorious for having terrible water pressure. Luckily, a simple shower head swap out is all that you need to do to improve matters. The great thing about this is that the shower heads are really easy to install and remove so you can swap your building’s shower head back in when you move.

The point is: you don’t simply have to deal with gross water if you live in an apartment in an old or even a run-down building. What have you done to improve water in your unit?

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