I figure other people out there must be on well water, right? Ours is technically safe to drink, but it has a very strong smell and high levels of iron. It really doesn't smell good, we always put bubbles or scented Epsom salts in the bath. Our landlord has said that he would put a filter in to help with this, but he's said a hell of a lot of things and not done even a single one. Basically there's no chance of him spending any money on improving the house. Our hot water heater barely works - it fills the tub up only to my two year old's belly button before it gets cold, and the landlord said he would get a new one a year ago. So... yup.
I'm not pregnant yet, but we are wanting to TTC soon and I definitely want a water birth. I had my first two at birth centers in Portland and would love to do that again, but we moved for my husband's job and now live in Sonoma County. There is one local birth center that I just didn't really click with. I have a midwife I would like to use for home birth but I wouldn't dream of giving birth not in water!
How have others dealt with bad well water when having a water birth at home? My only real idea was using essential oils to help mask the smell? I figured we could also boil large pots of water and put them in, which would help with both the smell and the heater problem, but I do tend to have very fast labors, so I don't know how much we could rely on that.
-What to do about stinky well water?
-What to do about very low functioning hot water heater?
Luckily we have some time to figure these things out, but any help is really appreciated :) Thanks, mamas!
p.s. I figure we may have to just buy a hot water heater ourselves... my last baby was over 10lbs and I relied on those Epsom salt baths in the last months! But if there are other ideas I'd love to hear them.
How handy is DH? As the water is “technically” safe, and problems are mainly with iron/odor, if the two of you were thinking of replacing the hot water heater yourselves, you could probably get basic supplies for a filtration system for similar cost, and it wouldn’t be much harder to install (if at all). If the water issue truly isn’t “that bad” you could probably get by with a filter like this – it’s still pretty thorough. It would just go on the water line as it came into the house and help with all water (and extending the life of the new water heater). The link is directly to the filter, toward mid-page on the right you’ll see the housing you would need to install it with. Overall, about a $100 to $150 job if done yourself, buying the specialty wrenches (which aren’t really terribly expensive – generally under $10) really can make the job easier.
Aw, thinks Mareseatoats. Not a whole lot of independent research involved, I work for a small independent bottled water company that also offer water filtration options locally and DH has been a licensed technician to install the larger systems in the past, so I'm somewhat familiar.
Look into your rights as a tenant, I think legally your landlord has to make certain repairs and keep certain things functional (heater, hot water, etc) and if not there is definite recourse you can take - putting your rent money into an Escrow account that he can't access until he makes the required repairs, for example. I'm not sure how that works legally exactly- - like you probably need written documentation that you have requested the hot water heater to be fixed and he has like 30 days to do it. Or if you make the repairs yourself you might be able to (legally) subtract that amount from your rent (with proper documentation and so forth). I'd look into the tenants rights in your states, there is probably a non-profit organization that specializes in it that can give you free advice and point you to other resources.
Obviously it really sucks to have to take it that far, and hopefully you won't need to once he realizes you'e serious and it would just be cheaper for him to make the necessary repairs. I'd start off by sending a written request by certified mail, that's sometimes all it takes to light a fire under their ass once they realize that you know what their legal obligations are. This might be somewhere to start, assuming you're in Oregon http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/states/oregon/renting/tenantrights