My whole life, I’ve lived on Hamptons well water, and my whole life I have been suspicious of it. There would always be someone who would comment that well water was worse than “town water” and that you should be careful not to drink it. There was never a clear answer to me on why I had to care about this. It was always just a general rule in my world that you shouldn’t drink tap water.
For some reason, in my mind, this rule would only apply to my house. If I was at a restaurant and I wanted a glass of water that came in a glass with ice, I would happily drink it. But the home felt different. I needed to know for certain that the water was absolutely perfect if I was going to drink it.
About a year ago I bought a house in Southampton, and the fear remained with me. My wife and I started buying gigantic jugs of water from King Kullen as our drinking water and we bought a little shower head filter for our shower. A blue ring would form around our bathtub if the water from the bath was cleaned. “I’m not worried about it,” I said to my wife, “It’s just iron in the water, I’ve grown up with it, it’s nothing.”
We kept on with our bottled water and Poland Spring jug ritual until one week my wife decided that she would dye her hair blond, and within a month of showering at our house, her hair started to turn noticeably green. “CALL A DAMN WATER COMPANY,” she said.
I gave in.
After asking around I called a number of water companies all of whom are very reputable. I started with a company called HydroTech, who told me that a whole house system wasn’t in the cards at the moment because of supply chain issues. Then I tried Casola, who told me that my crawl space was too small for them to fit the filters that they have. I hopped on the phone with a company on the North Fork called Mermaid Water Solutions and eventually got on the phone with the owner, a guy named Greg Nisssen who is a water geek. On the North Fork, there are a lot of wells as well apparently. Greg’s knowledge and confidence in the issues in the Hamptons really put my mind at ease after just one conversation. “David, I know exactly what is going on and it is a very common problem with well water. All that is happening is the water is more acidic, the acidity of the water eats away a little at your copper pipes and that gets into the water. That’s what’s causing your wife’s hair to turn green.”
“Should I be concerned about it?”
“It’s not dangerous, but it can damage your appliances and shorten the life of your pipes. And of course, there is the wife’s hair turning green as you said.” “Get here immediately,” I said.
Greg stopped by and did a basic water test which was really assuring. “All indicators are showing that you have excellent well water. No nitrates or anything dangerous, but the acidity is low as suspected, we can fix it with a filter.”
“Please tell me you have one in stock that will fit in my crawl space.”
“Yes we have one, I’ll get you on the schedule.”
“Is there anything else I should do?”
“It never hurts to get a thorough water test. I can do it, but it’s a lot cheaper to do it through Suffolk County.”
Immediately I found myself on Suffolk County’s Department of Health’s website and I purchased through the online system, which is an absolute nightmare by the way in the way it is set up, to have a water test scheduled. After 30 minutes of navigating online and speaking with someone at the health department for advice on how to work the site, somehow I was able to give them my money so they would show up. I felt a little better. ACTION.
If you’re like me and water is one of the millions of things you worry about, you can take it off of your list and get your water tested and get a filter. It helps with peace of mind if anything else, but these days that’s something that’s worth it.