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24 Aug. 2016

National Water Quality Month

WaterQualityIf you are a fan of high quality water, you’re going to appreciate the importance of National Water Quality Month celebrated in August. It is a month to remember the importance of good, clean water for all living things. National Water Quality Month is an ideal time to learn important ways you can help do your part in keeping water clean.

 

  • Lawn chemicals – Do not use pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides as they are not good for the environment. They absorb into the ground and can quickly diminish the quality of water. If you must use something try an eco-friendly option.
  • Lawn clippings – Do not blow your lawn clippings into the street as they eventually end up flowing into storms drains. Either compost your lawn clippings or simply keep them in your yard.
  • Save water – Everyone has heard the typically recommendations of turning the water off when you brush your teeth or take shorter shower to conserve water, but you can also try running your washing machine or dishwasher when it is full or install low flow toilets. Do not forget to also collect rain water to water your garden and grass.
  • Washing your car – If you feel the need to wash your car wash it at a car wash, the water is captured and recycled. Or wash your car, with eco-friendly cleaner, on your lawn to water it at the same time.
  • Conscientious about drain dump – Be mindful of what you are dumping down the drain or flushing down your toilet. Gas, pool chemicals, glue, pesticides, cleaners, paints and medications are all potentially hazardous.
  • Disposing your oil – According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), used oil from a single oil change can contaminate 1 million gallons of fresh water – the equivalent of a years supply of fresh water for 50 people. The EPA recommends taking used oil to a recycling center where it can be re-refined.
  • Clean up after your pets – You and your pets waste can get into the water and reduce the water quality. Do your part and dispose waste properly.

Remember whether on a boat, drinking bottled water, taking a shower or watering your garden; water plays a vital part in our lives and it is important to protect it. Almost anything can affect water quality, do your part in protecting our water and encourage others around you to do the same.

If you are concerned about the quality of water coming into your home, you may want to consider water filtration or bottled water delivery service. Contact us to discuss what type of water filtration unit might be best for you.

*Source: The Water Guy

05 Feb. 2016

In-Home Water Filtration Systems

In-home-water-filtrationWater is the single most important thing to sustain life here on earth. So when the quality of a community’s water system is poor, the impact can be catastrophic. Worldwide, close to 2.5 billion people don’t have access to adequate sanitation, close to three quarters of a billion people don’t have access to clean water, and six to eight million people die each year from the consequences of water-related diseases.

But that’s the rest of the world. That’s not right here in the United States, right? Think again. As recent news stories indicate, even water in well-established American communities isn’t always guaranteed to be safe.

Before water reaches your home, it goes through an intense water treatment process designed to remove the bad and leave the good. Chemicals such as chlorine or chloramine are added to neutralize bacteria, viruses, parasites and other contaminants that can be harmful to our health. It also goes through a filtration process that eliminates sediment and dirt.

But while our national water filtration system does remove many of the things that have been known to be harmful in the past, there is only so much a nationwide water filtration system can do. Not only that, but sometimes problems can occur farther down the line, beyond the point of filtration. This is why many homeowners are taking it upon themselves to go the next step in making sure their drinking water is as safe as it can be.

First, if you’re worried that there are contaminants like lead in your water, you can call your municipal water supplier and see if they test for free. If not, lead testing kits are available at most hardware stores for about $30. You can test the water yourself and find out the results in about ten minutes. If the tests come back indicating high levels of lead, experts recommend that you stop drinking it immediately and call your local water supplier.

Next, many are choosing to install in-home water filtration systems to remove water pollutants that have made it past, or back into the water supply. There are filters designed to remove everything from a bad taste to harmful pollutants such as lead, iron, mercury, hydrogen sulphide, and bacteria. The options are seemingly endless and it’s important to pick the one that most suits your home and water supply.

The best place to start is with a home water audit. This will give you a good idea of the makeup of your current water supply, highlighting the harmful pollutants that should be removed. Give us a call today, we’ll be happy to show you how you can make improvements to your current water supply, creating water that tastes better and is safer for you and your family.

20 Jan. 2016

Bathroom Safety Tips

home-safety-bathroomJanuary is National Bath Safety Month, and when 70% of home accidents occur in the bathroom, it’s definitely not a topic to be overlooked.

While the bathroom can be a dangerous place for anybody, seniors and children tend to be most susceptible to bathroom-related accidents. Fortunately, many of these accidents can be avoided through awareness and prevention methods.

Safety Tips for Seniors – The main focus of prevention for seniors should be bathroom falls. While they’re unfortunately common and often times catastrophic, they can be easily prevented if you take the right precautions:

  • Install non-slip strips or mats in the bottom of your bathtub
  • Have reachable safety handles for climbing in and out of the tub or shower, and by the toilet as well
  • For those that have a particularly hard time getting in and out of the shower and standing for long periods of time, transfer benches and shower chairs make this process both easier and safer
  • Keep a non-slip rug or mat on the floor at the entry/exit of the shower and tub
  • Make sure your bathroom floor stays clean, dry and free of spills
  • Keep a portable phone in your bathroom, but away from water, in case of emergencies

1421883064Safety Tips for Children – Accidents can happen in an instant. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children 4 and under always have a parent or caregiver present when they are near water. In addition to constant vigilance, the following tips are recommended for a safe bathing environment:

  • Prevent slips – young children don’t have the coordination or strength to hold steady if they loose their balance. Placing a slip-resistant plastic mat that suctions to the bottom of the tub/shower and a non-slip throw rug outside the tub/shower will help prevent falls.
  • Test the temperature – Children are more sensitive to extreme temperatures than adults, so make sure your home’s water heater is set to no hotter than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have control over the heater, you can buy an anti-scald device that attaches to the faucet. Lastly, always wait until the tub is finished filling before placing your child in the water since the temperature can unknowingly change.
  • Beware of sharp edges – Use a rubber cover for the faucet head and drape a towel over metal rails of shower doors when your child is in the bath. Make sure any glass shower doors are made of shatterproof glass. Lastly, avoid bath toys with hard edges or points that could be hazardous if your child falls onto them.
  • Constant Vigilance – We can’t repeat this one enough. Even if you think your toddler is fairly advanced in their swimming capabilities, assume they are not. Never leave the bathroom for anything, as the forgetfulness of “out of sight, out of mind” can lead to devastating consequences. If you do have to leave, grab a towel and take them with you. Again, accidents can happen in an instant.

Putting the above precautions into place will help create a safe bathing environment for those most susceptible to the dangers that lie in the most used room of the house. National Bath Safety Month exists for a reason.

02 Dec. 2014

Can Your Water Heater Be Deadly?

ngasWinter is an important time to think about the safety of your gas appliances, specifically when it comes to their dangerous byproduct, carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a deadly, colorless, odorless, poisonous gas that is produced by the incomplete burning of fuels such as coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane, or natural gas. Any appliance, product or equipment that is powered by one of these fuels has the risk of malfunctioning and putting a person in danger.

It doesn’t matter how old the appliance is, how many hours of use its has had, or if it’s been operated correctly. Appliances can become faulty at any time, no matter what. What does matter is that you stay ahead of the potential danger by doing three things:

  1. Always install gas appliance correctly, and use professional contractors to ensure safety requirements are met.
  2. Perform regular inspections on all gas producing equipment.
  3. Have detection devices installed throughout your home.

Proper installation and annual water heater performance and safety inspections play a key role in carbon monoxide poisoning prevention. Our plumbers are trained to install as well as thoroughly inspect your water heater, looking for wear and tear, sediment buildup, corrosion, and gas leaks or potential hazards that could release carbon monoxide into your home. Annual inspections are recommended.

Our senses cannot pick up the presence of carbon monoxide in the air. It is often referred to as the “silent killer” because it is virtually undetectable without using detection technology. Which means, without the use of carbon monoxide detectors, the only way we can determine if it is present is to start showing symptoms of being poisoned.

They start out in a flu-like manner:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • dizziness

And quickly escalate as the poisoning increases:

  • Mental confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Death

Fortunately, the use of carbon monoxide detectors can easily avoid reaching this dangerous level. Be sure that your home has properly-functioning CO alarms centrally located outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms.

Most importantly: Remember, proper maintenance and early detection are the only way to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

20 Apr. 2010

Fire Hydrant Flushing

firehydrantflushingMany of you have probably noticed “Hydrant Flushing” signs being posted around your neighborhood recently. Each year, the Public Works Department opens fire hydrants throughout the city and allows the water to flow through the pipes. The hydrant-flushing program is very important to the maintenance of the city’s water system.

 

 

It serves the following purposes:

  • Flushes sediments from mainline pipes (which enhances water quality)
  • Verifies the proper operation of fire hydrants and valves
  • Helps find weaknesses in the water system
  • Checks for closed valves and weak flows in the water mains
  • Verifies ample flow for fire fighting

Public Works crews will post notices on barricades at intersections to inform residents of flushing in their neighborhoods.

Things to Know During Hydrant Flushing
  1. There may be a temporary drop in water pressure at this time.
  2. Water may be rusty or cloudy. Discolored water is not harmful and will clear up in a few hours.
  3. Fill a bottle with water and store it in the refrigerator to use for drinking or cooking.
  4. Flush your hot water tanks after the cold water clears.
  5. Do not wash white laundry during this period (wait until cold AND hot water are clear before laundering whites).
Hydrant Flushing Frequently Asked Questions

WHY IS HYDRANT FLUSHING NECESSARY?
Hydrant flushing enhances water quality by flushing sediment from the water mains, verifies the proper operation of hydrants and valves, and maintains firefighting capability.

WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN THE CITY CREWS ARE FLUSHING HYDRANTS IN MY AREA?
If you see a crew flushing a hydrant on your street, avoid running tap water and using the washing machine or the dishwasher until the flushing is completed. If you see hydrant-flushing crews working in the area, please drive carefully and treat them like any other road construction crew.

WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER HYDRANT FLUSHING?

  • If tap water is used during flushing, it could come out full of sediment that causes discoloration. If you encounter discolored water, shut the water off and wait several minutes. After waiting, check the clarity by running cold water for a few minutes allowing new water to work its way into your pipes. If the water is clear it’s OK to use. If not, wait a few more minutes and check again. In some cases, there may be slight discoloration for a few hours. This discoloration only affects the appearance of the water; it does not affect the taste or water quality.
  • Avoid washing laundry during scheduled flushing times. Wait until the water runs clear at the tap, then wash a load of dark clothes first. Hot water tanks can hold discolored water for some time after the cold water runs clear.
  • If pressure or volume seems low, check your faucet screens for trapped particles.

WHY DOES MY WATER LOOK FUNNY AFTER HYDRANT FLUSHING?
When a hydrant is opened, there will be temporary incidences of discolored water while fine sediment particles are flushed out. There is no health hazard associated with the discolored water. Allow a few hours for discoloration to dissipate. To verify water is clear, run your cold-water tap for a few minutes.

WHO DO I CALL FOR MORE INFORMATION?
For additional information you can contact your local water department or you can contact us with any questions.

Have any further questions or comments on fire hydrant flushing? Leave them below in the comments.

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