In this week's edition of First World Problems - we have hard water.
This isn't exactly a breaking development. We knew the house had hard water before we moved in. We didn't think it was going to be a big deal. Both my husband and I had grown up in houses with extra minerals in the water. We'd gotten accustomed to the taste and didn't consider the extra cleaning required to remove the residual scale to be a particular hardship.
We had to use more detergent and clean our shower more often. So what?
What we didn't anticipate, though, is how much of a pain in the keister hard water would be when it came time to grow some plants.
As a general rule, plants love minerals. However, too much of a good thing can encumbering, even deadly to plant growth. Case in point - the indoor vegetable garden we started a month ago is having a rough go at it. Leaf lettuce plants that are supposed to be hardy and robust are brown and kind of sad.
And as much as it pains me to admit it, I'm kind of getting tired of scrubbing out toilet bowls every few days and running our drinking glasses through the machine twice.
So in light of this, we're now investigating water purifiers.
I say investigating because we aren't exactly sold on a permanent water softener yet. Sure, the plants would be happy and our soap would lather like never before, but that convenience comes at a cost. Water purifiers cost money to purchase, more money to install and even more money to maintain.
We contacted our local home improvement store for a quote, and they estimate a softener would run us about $600. On top of that, we'd have to pay an installation fee of $500 including pre-plumbing, because neither my husband nor I feel comfortable performing major plumbing surgery on our house. Then, it would run us about $30 a month to keep the thing running with electricity and fresh salt.
Needless to say, it's quite the investment. So I figured before we plunge in, I should ask how you guys deal with your water. Do you have hard water? Does it affect the way you grow your plants? Would you invest in a water softener if it did?
Let me know.