Friday, December 5

Busy Busy Busy

Today's Water Tip:
Every one likes a nice hot bath right? Here's a tip for a Hand Made Gift.
Infused Bath Oil
Grape Seed Oil (or other suitable oil)
Dried herbs or flowers (lavender works great)
Skin safe essential oils (optional: for added aromatic and healing qualities.)
Find a pretty corked bottle at the thrift or craft store. Put dried herbs or dried flowers in the bottle. Fill with oil. Let sit for several day's. Sunlight will speed the process. Add drops of essential oil if desired. Use a small amount of infused oil in your bath water, enjoy....hmmm.

Hello Everyone, I have to say I've been busy lately and have not had much time to fit in my blogging. I am trying to get all of my work done because I leave on Tuesday to go back to Kentucky to see my boy Blaine. He is graduating from his Advanced Individual Training with the Army Cavalry Scout program. Whoo Hoo!!! I am so exited, except for the flight, flying is not my favorite thing to do.

Oh well we won't dwell on that. Speaking of dwelling I was tagged today by Sam at Dwell and Cultivate. I have been reading Sams blog for a few weeks now, and I have to say I find it inspiring. Through sharing his life experiences he reminds me of my faith and what is important in life. I hope you can check out his blog! So before we get down to business here's the rules to the game Sam has invited me to play.
1. Link the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share seven random or weird facts about yourself.
4. Tag seven others and include links to their blogs.
5. Let each of the other people know by commenting on their blogs.
Here goes...
1) I never thought I would be a meter reader, but I am now (hubby recruited me)
2) My 2 dogs are some of my very best freinds
3) I just earned my 1st water certification "Cross Connection Specialist" whoo hoooo!!
4) I enjoy old fashioned drives in the country
5) I just started a new business Trout Waters Gifts. Just click on the basket
6) I wish I could play the piano that sits in my living room
7) My kids and dogs are my heros
Now who will I tag? OK... Heather, Beth, Joe, Birdy Trish
Ok back to business...
I've been busy writing reports.
I am fortunate enough to have a job where I get to go on romantic /work get aways, with my sweety and get paid for it. Well we have to pay for the fun part...oh well anyway, we provide a service to State of Washington Dept of Health, Office of Drinking Water, where we do water system inspections, and reports to ensure water quality for small drinking water systems (ground water wells, spring sources, surface water, etc). Dept. of Health wants to be sure that public drinking water operators are knowledgeable in taking care of system's that bring the water to your tap. Harmful bacteria and other contaminants can live in water that is not properly maintained. If you have questions about the quality of your water you can find information on the DOH website. Public drinking water systems can be small community wells, systems serving businesses, schools, day cares, industries, etc.
Have A Waterful Day!! I welcome your comments

Thursday, November 27

Happy Thanksgiving

Today's Water Tip: Give Thanks
I want to give thanks to my kitchen faucet. Without your water I would not have been able to prepare the food for our feast with such ease. Your the best. Oh Yeah, Happy Thanksgiving to all of you too! :)

Lets give great thanks today for clean fresh water!

The wide spectrum of water uses, turn round and round, like a
water wheel. I welcome your comments

Monday, November 24

A Bucket of Hot Soapy Water

Today's Water Tip:
Get a bucket of hot soapy water and start scrubbing.
We don't always need fancy cleaners to do certain jobs. Good old dish soap, lemon, vinegar, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide (a great disinfectant) make some great cleaners. You may already have them in your kitchen , and its economical too!

Anyone For Some Hot Soapy Water?
Everywhere I look lately, I am seeing articles or people on TV talking about the state of our economy, one thought keeps occurring to me. What will it take for people to start thinking about the things that are truly important in the world? When will the people realize that you don't have to have everything now?

I've been saying for a while now that the world feels out of control, it's spinning to fast, I want to get off and go back to a time when life was simpler. OK, that might have been a time when I was nurtured by my parents and lived within the walls of their warm home. But think about it. Kids went outside to play....because they wanted to. They rode bikes and ran through sprinklers. They weren't pinned up in their room playing some video game for hours on end, or oblivious to the world because they were busy texting the same friend for the 30th time that day. Chores were a normal everyday occurrence. Mud pies were actually made in back yards in mud pie kitchens!!

What happened?
Technology happened. Greed happened. Resentment happened for those who can't have it all. (You don't always fit in with the other kids who have all the gadgets when you can't have them). The problem is that the people can't seem to figure out how to balance it all. I hate to say it, but it's gonna have to hurt a little (or possibly a lot) for people to change their way of thinking. Our world needs to slow way down. We need to get back to the basics.

What if we could just get a big bucket of hot soapy water and started cleaning up the world. Imagine scrubbing and scrubbing and starting to see the real world through all the dirt. The kids on bikes. The backyard barbecues. The beautiful land, lakes, rivers, oceans......and no garbage floating in the water....and clean water to drink, for all....everywhere in the world!!!!!
Nice vision, huh?
To clean up the mess we've made of this economy and society, we need a virtual bucket of hot soapy water. We've got a lot of dirt to scrub up. So roll up your sleeves, get a brush and start scrubbing.

The Spokane River photo by Linsey Trout














The wide spectrum of water uses, turn round and round, like a
water wheel. I welcome your comments

Thursday, November 13

It's my well, why should I follow rules?

Today's Water Tip:
The ground around all water wells should be kept free of storage any contaminants. Do you use your pump house for a storage shed? Are gardening tools and chemicals stored in it? Gas for the lawn mower? All contaminants must be kept a distance of 100 feet in all directions from the location of your well. Fertilizers, poisons, farm animals, septic tanks, drain fields and surface water are all sources of contamination that could affect the quality of your drinking water.

It's my well, why should I follow rules?
Who's responsibility is it when it comes to the safety of your drinking water and natural resources? Many think it lies solely on the government agency which governs that natural resource. We seem to forget that property owners also have a responsibility when it comes to drinking water. How can the water sources be kept clean if property owners are not educating themselves and following the rules which are set in place. To much Nitrate in your water? Take a look around, do you have farm animals or crops within 100 feet of your well? Are fertilizers or chemicals used within that 100 foot radius. Are you drilling a new well in an area where fertilizers or farm animals once were present? Common sense goes a long way in the preservation of any natural resource, but the process of educating yourself can reveal many things you may not think of.

There have been a series of articles recently in my area addressing water quality and "hidden wells". Many of these wells are contaminated and pose a risk to the aquifers and other wells in the area. Blame is being placed on the governing agencies. Tell me this, who's fault is it that a well is hidden? Who's fault is it that a water source is not monitored for quality and treated accordingly. Anyone who has a drinking water source, which is not ran by a City or County, has the responsibility to ensure that the water is safe for consumption, and that it does not pose a health risk to other neighboring sources. Unlimited information is available to the public through Local or State agencies upon request, much of this info is posted on that agencies website. State of Washington Dept. of Health offers a wealth of information and publications on their Office of Drinking Water website. http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/dw/

Whether properties are served by a public drinking water source, a private or community well, using good practices can help preserve our drinking water sources for the future. Regulations only work if the rules are respected and followed. In the years that I have been working in the drinking water industry, I have seen many property owners who do not want to follow the rules. They say it is over kill and that they are just not going to comply. So what happens when someone becomes ill? Who's fault is it then?

The way I see it, the responsibility lies with everyone, the ones making the rules along with the ones who are to follow them. There are too many small water systems for the agencies to be aware of, they try, but it can be like searching for needles in haystacks tracking down all the sources. Water users must step up to the plate, saving a buck and avoiding responsibility is not worth someones health, or life. If you have a drinking water source, it's your responsibility to take care of it. Waiting for someone else to do it for you, or hoping no one will notice that the source exists could be a fatal error. If you don't want the responsibility, move to the city, there are rules, but you will have them spelled out for you.......that is if you take time to listen.

The Boardwalk in Louisville KY

(My Kentucky Trip) click to enlarge














The wide spectrum of water uses, turn round and round, like a
water wheel. I welcome your comments

Tuesday, October 28

Safe Traveling

Today's Water Tip:
You may want to drink bottled water when traveling, especially in areas where you are unsure if the drinking water source is a public source or a privately owned source. Dangerous bacteria can exist in drinking water that is not monitored properly. Better safe than sorry!

Be safe when you are traveling:
WOOO HOOO I just got back from Kentucky. It was a great trip, setting aside a few travel glitches, a night at the airport, and some really stressed out drivers in Louisville, I had a spectacular time. I went to visit my son Blaine for family weekend who just graduated from basic training with the Army @ Fort Knox, Kentucky. I will be returning in December.

Today's post is regarding traveling and drinking water. How can I know that the water supply is safe to drink? The fact is you can't. Chances are if you are staying in the city or a populated area, the water is up to par. Government standards require regular testing and reporting for public drinking water systems. If you are staying in a Bed and Breakfast or a motel with a remote location, you may want to drink bottled water just to be safe. Private wells are not monitored as closely as public systems, hopefully the property owner uses good practices in maintaining the system, but how can you be sure? There is a time and place for bottled water, I think traveling is one of those times.

The Belle of Louisville on the Ohio River
click to enlarge














The wide spectrum of water uses, turn round and round, like a
water wheel. I welcome your comments

Tuesday, October 21

What? Where did the mop water go?

Today's Water Tip:
If there were a water leak in the distribution lines of your public drinking water supply, negative pressure could cause the water in the main lines as well as in your house to travel backwards.
Any submerged hose or inlet where contaminated water, or toxic liquids are present, could draw that substance directly back into your drinking water. Yuck!

Water Can Climb
Did you know that water can be siphoned 33.9 feet high. It can go straight up a hill or a multi-story building within a water pipe. When a negative pressure forms inside a water pipe of a distribution system, water can travel in the wrong direction. Atmospheric pressure can support a column of water nearly 40 feet high. So why is this important? It's important because if a negative pressure forms in the pipe, and say your hose is outside submerged in a bucket of weed killer, cleaner, or even the swimming pool or hot tub that you are topping off, the liquid in that vessel can travel backwards into the public drinking water. Even if your neighbor is up the hill from you, that contaminated liquid could reach his water tap.

An air gap should always be maintained when filling any container from a hose. The rule of thumb is to keep your hose a distance of at least 2 times the diameter of the hose or pipe which is filling your vessel. A hose bib vacuum breaker (HBVB) at the outside hose bib also helps to stop the backwards flow, but these devices are only an extra protection to the air gap as they are not testable and can malfunction or wear out.

Utility sinks with hoses attached can also cause problems during a negative pressure incident. I have seen many of these hoses submerged in mop water, chemicals etc. usually for cleaning purposes. What happens when you take a break and come back to an empty bucket of mop water? Where did the water go?

The wide spectrum of water uses, turn round and round, like a water wheel. I welcome your comments.

* * * * * Fishin' on the Yakima video
s. video

Wednesday, October 15

What Is A Cross Connection?

Today's Water Tip:
Soak those aching bones in a warm bath with a little epsom salt and some skin safe essential oils or bath oil. The epsom salt draws out toxins, and the scented oil sooths your skin and soul.

Cross Connections

Well I hope you haven't forgotten about me by now, I have been on another roller coaster ride fueled by the busy water season. Every year starting in the spring we get bombarded by customers who need to meet requirements for what is called Cross Connection Control. It's good for business, but some people who have to pay for cross connection control, feel it's not so good for them.

Cross connection control is the program which helps to eliminate the risk of contamination to our public drinking water supply. A common example are underground sprinkler systems serving yards and gardens. The sprinklers make life a lot easier for many, but if these sprinklers are fed by the public drinking water source, there is a risk. The risk seems very small to many, but in the case of a water line break, pump failure, or increased water usage (heavy irrigation or fire hydrant use for example), a negative pressure can occur within the water pipes, resulting in water in the lines reversing its flow. Water from the sprinkler lines can then be back siphoned into the drinking water. This water can contain dirt, debris, animal waste, chemical residue, and if the system is chemically injected, the risk grows higher. Water system operators will be requiring back flow prevention to be installed to control the risk, if they are not already doing so.

A higher risk is associated with industry, home business, campgrounds, piers, docks, medical facilities, etc. In any case where the domestic water supply is connected to a source of contamination, an approved air gap or a back flow prevention assembly is necessary. Certain equipment (such as boilers) can build up so much pressure it can actually push the water back in the reverse direction (back pressure). Contamination from that piece of equipment or anything it is connected to goes with it. Certain types of equipment may contain toxic liquids or hazardous waste that can be pushed back into the drinking water supply. We have many more harmful contaminants in our world now, than did our grandparents. We have to change with the times to ensure safety.

I don't know about you, but I just want a glass of water, nothing else. The safety measures taken are to guarantee that. No mater how small the risk, it is a risk to our health, plain and simple.

The wide spectrum of water uses, turn round and round, like a water wheel. I welcome your comments

Thursday, July 3

New Water Use Efficiency Rule

Well Hello There...
Its been a while, I've been down a road that I do not care to continue, and I am back now... AND feeling great. I did figure something out, "I can't do everything". I really am not Superwoman. Shocking I know, but true.

I have not posted about water in some time. Today I would like to talk about conservation. It's going to be huge in the future. This conservation thing is not just a silly idea, it is being implemented into our laws. The New Water Use Efficiency Rule is requiring many new procedures which will help protect our drinking water sources for our future generations. Lots of new reporting, installation of meters to measure the use and loss of water, and documented goal setting are just a few of the new rules that are going into effect. These rules will affect small community water systems and large municipalities alike.

Please send me your ideas:
I am looking for some new products and ideas which will help us to fulfill our responsibility for the future. Please send me your comment's regarding any ideas or products that you know of that promote the protection and conservation of drinking water.

More information is available regarding "The New Water Use Efficiency Rule" upon request.

The wide spectrum of water uses, turn round and round, like a
water wheel. I welcome your comments

Thursday, April 17

A New Adventure

Today's Water Tip:
Water is a wonderful piece of exercise equipment. If you have access to a pool or lake, you have a great opportunity to improve your health. Swimming and water walking are a wonderful way to get in shape. The resistance of the water, along with the fact that exercising in water takes stress off your joints can be a winning combo. Try it and have fun while you get fit!

A New Adventure

I got a new job! I started working this week at a local telecommunications company. I am having a great time. I am training to be a dispatcher, but I will also still be assisting Bill in our water company.

In a nutshell, things are gonna be busy, busy, busy. My blog is something I have enjoyed as a creative outlet and a way to send a message for the world to see. I plan to continue, but my posts may be less frequent for a while.

In the water world I have been thinking a lot about how water relates to our health. How much better our bodies function when we fuel it with sufficient hydration. Our skin and hair look better, our organs work better, and we seriously feel better when we drink lots of water. It is such a simple solution to avoid some very serious problems. My message to you today is to make yourself a priority. Treat your self right, eat a healthy diet, drink lots of water, and get some exercise several times a week, if not daily. The benefits far outweigh the time spent.

With my new job, I will definitely need my energy, I hope a healthy lifestyle will be one of the keys to my success.

The wide spectrum of water uses, turn round and round, like a
water wheel. I welcome your comments

Saturday, April 12

Safe Water Bottles

Todays Water Tip:
Check your plastic water bottles recycling number for safety. Not all plastics are safe. Only drink water from bottles which have a 1, 2, 4 or 5 printed on the bottle. This number is usually on the bottom in a small triangle. They can be hard to read, so get out your glasses if necessary. #1 bottles are best used for single usage. Do not use bottles printed with 3, 6, or 7.

Safe Water Bottles:

I watched a segment on water bottles last week. The report said that on the bottle, usually on the bottom there will be a recycling number. Numbers 3, 6, & 7 are unsafe plastics to drink from. An estrogen-like compound in plastic could be posing risks to the brain development of infants and children. BPA, a component of polycarbonate plastic, can leach from baby bottles, water bottles and other hard plastic containers.

Plastics Considered Safe (as far as we know):
  • #1 Polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE)
  • #2 High-density polyethylene (HDPE)
  • #4 Low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
  • #5 Polypropylene (PP)
Most bottled water companies are using bottles with a recycling #1. These bottles are recommended to be used for single time use only. If you want a reusable bottle, try one of the other safe rating numbers.

There are lots of reusable sports bottles out there to purchase, but again if you buy plastic, buy a quality bottle made with safe plastic. Stainless steel bottle's may be a better choice and there are also some coated aluminum bottles made for this purpose also. By purchasing one of these portable re-usable bottles, you are helping to save the environment from excess litter and contaminants. Remember, just because water is bottled, does not mean it is more pure than the water that comes from your tap. As long as you don't have Pharmawater issues in your area, and your water is sampled for water quality with good results, you are very safe drinking from your tap.

The wide spectrum of water uses, turn round and round, like a
water wheel. I welcome your comments

Wednesday, April 9

Wednesday

Today's Water Tip:
Use a sprayer on your outside garden hose to water the garden or wash your car, etc. It's amazing how much water it saves.

Wednesday
I like Wednesday’s, not as much as Friday’s of course, but I kinda feel like I’m on top of the hill, getting ready to coast down. I’m on my old 10 speed I had as a kid, Wednesday, Thursday, FRIDAY, WHOO HOO it’s the weekend, OK not yet, but soon!

When I do coast into the weekend I have some plans, and yes they involve water. I am going to wash my car, and give my spring bulbs their first drink of the year from the garden hose. That's it. Pretty boring huh! I may even pull a weed or two! Oh well, even if I don't have the most exciting weekend plans I am pleased that the weather is getting warm enough to get outside and enjoy my yard and the outdoors. I would like to remind you as you wash your car and water your bulbs this weekend (if you feel driven to do so as I do) that you don't need to flood the garden, the driveway or the grass to get these tasks done, use a sprayer on your hose that shuts on and off and only put the water where you need it. Every little bit of conservation helps. Really!

The wide spectrum of water uses, turn round and round, like a
water wheel. I welcome your comments

Tuesday, April 8

What Do You Want?

Today's Water Tip:
Clean your grout with a a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, a few drops of water and baking soda, make a paste, use an old toothbrush and scrub away. It will also work on wet counter tops, bathrooms or any place where tough stains exist. You don't have to buy expensive, harmful chemicals to clean your home. This is better for you and your environment.

What Do You Want?
What do any of us really want? Think about it. Some think it's wealth, some think it's fame, I think it's reality. The reality is we are looking at a world begging for nurturing, soothing, rebuilding. We can not strip it bare and expect anything more than.....bareness.

I want more, what do you want? It's time to decide, it's time to act, it's time to nurture. Give back to a world that's given it's all. The beauty, the fresh air, the cool water that you have enjoyed, that you have taken for granted to always be there for you, now needs you. Give back, take care of the world you love, so it will always be there.

The wide spectrum of water uses, turn round and round, like a
water wheel. I welcome your comments

Sunday, March 30

What....No Water?

Todays Water Tip:
Fill up a gallon of water and check the amount of time it takes it to fill up. Now think about that time frame. How many times a day do you just let water run while you are doing little chores? Start doing the math. How much just runs down the drain? How much water just seeps into the ground? This little bit of awareness could have big results if everyone would just think about it. Now take your gallon of water that you just filled up and give it to your pet or water a plant.

What....No Water?
I have been reading a lot about the water shortage looming over the world these day's. How we could begin to see by 2025 a different world. A world where water will be known as the precious resource that it always has been, although ignored and taken for granted in the past. Suddenly people will see what they should have been doing all along, with great regret. It is predicted that nearly 2/3 of the worlds population could be water stressed by 2025 if nothing is done. Protection and conservation is the answer. It's never too late to start.

You may think that this could only happen in other countries. I think Hurricane Katrina should make you reconsider. That was a devastating example of what can happen in a blink of an eye, and a glimpse of what has happened to many others around the world. On November 13th, 2005 the city of Harbin in China became a toxic ghost town when a lethal dose of highly-toxic benzene was released into the Songhua River after an explosion at the China National Petroleum Company plant, hundreds of miles upstream in the Jilin province. The town had absolutely no water. China was already water stressed, so this could not have happened in a worse place. 31,000 miles of rivers are now so polluted in China that the fish can't even live in them, let alone be consumed by humans.

70% of the earth is covered with water, but only 2% of that water is fresh water (suitable for drinking). Now, some of our nations surface water has been discovered to be contaminated with pharmaceuticals. "Pharmawater" as it is called is just one highly alarming message, believe me there will be more to come. We haven't even touched on the deteriorating infrastructures which need to be replaced. There is something like 800,000 miles of water pipe and 500,000 miles of sewer pipe in the U.S. with an average age of 43 years. The life span of these infrastructures is approximately 50 years. Major work and expense is looming if not already necessary.

Technology just doesn't seem to be keeping up with the rate that the human race and it's industries are contaminating our environment. We have a population of 6.5 billion people in the world, but yet we still have the same amount of water that has been here on earth since the beginning of time. It's time to take notice, it's time to do something.

Find out what you can do to make an active contribution to a better future. Conservation, protection, donations and investing are all options. You can make a difference.

The wide spectrum of water uses, turn round and round, like a
water wheel. I welcome your comments

Monday, March 24

There Are Rules For a Reason

Todays Water Tip:
Common household bleach makes a great econimical disinfectant. Mix 1-3 tablespoons of bleach into a gallon of water, depending on the the job. Use to wipe down counter tops, tables, bathrooms, changing tables, etc.

Rules
My phone is starting to ring. This is the beginning of our busy time of year. I was recruited from my full time job 3 years ago to work with my husband Bill who is a Certified Water Operator, Backflow Assembly Tester, Cross Connection Specialist, and Sanitary Surveyor (he also holds another full time job supervising the local county water dept.).

Through this venture, I have become passionate about the protection of water. I have now seen the other side of the coin. I have seen how easily water can be contaminated and what the utility workers have to go through in a water emergency. I now hand deliver public safety notices at night, counseling customer's about emergency's, risks and health issues. I trudge through back yards carrying dog biscuits in my pocket, just in case I meet an unfriendly face (with fangs).

Water does not just flow through your tap effortlessly, especially in a public drinking water system. That tap water is part of a fairly complicated system that has taken a lot of planning, construction, specialized equipment, government compliance, and ongoing maintenance. We are so lucky to have this resource. There are over 1 billion people in the world that do not have access to clean safe drinking water.

There are many rules put in place by the government concerning drinking water and are for good reasons. Gone are the day's where we can assume that our water is always safe. The more people sharing a water system, the higher the risk of contamination. You don't always know what your neighbor is doing. He may be dangling a hose in his garden pond or a bucket of chemicals. This water could be siphoned back into the drinking water if the water system were to lose pressure (a state approved backflow assembly would prevent this contamination).

Follow the rules set in place by Department of Health and your Water Purveyor. These rules keep us all safe.

The wide spectrum of water uses, turn round and round, like a
water wheel. I welcome your comments.

Wednesday, March 19

Water High

Today's Water Tip:
Re Use. It's amazing how much water runs down the drain while doing little chores. Try washing fruits and veggies in a dishpan and then watering your plants with the water left in the pan. It saves water and helps you remember to water the plants too. It's a double whammie!

Water High
Well here's another reason to take care of those drinking water wells out there. Pharmaceuticals are being found in large public surface drinking water systems around the U.S. Our nations surface water comes from rivers, lakes, reservoirs or streams. The water is treated before it is delivered to your tap. Some cities use surface water and others don't. Selah, the town were I live in is supplied by several wells around the area.

Evidently the current treatment method isn't removing all of these substances from the surface water drinking supply. The water is treated when it comes into the system from the river for purity, and then it is treated for purity again before it goes back into the river . I guess what's going back to the river isn't as pure as we thought. Tell me this, are all of our fish high in these rivers? What about the people? It's not like you can pick what you get.

This a good enough reason for me to believe that we need to conserve and protect this resource more than ever. Take care of those groundwater wells they are our purest form of water and we need them. Hopefully through technology this dilemma can be resolved. But you know what. It really makes you think.

The wide spectrum of water uses, turn round and round, like a
water wheel.
I welcome your comments

Saturday, March 15

Grand Canyon Sand Bars

Todays Water Tip:
Flush your lines. Water that sits in water lines can become stagnant and stale, especially if it's from a faucet that's not used very often. Before drinking water from a faucet that you suspect is not used very often, let it run for 2-3 minutes to bring new fresh water into the line. This may seem contradictory to my conservation theory, but our health is first and foremost important in this case. Using water for benefit is a lot different than needless waste.














My friend John on the Tieton River, WA. Sept. 2007 on our "Wild River Weekend". The annual water release from the Rimrock Dam makes for tons o fun!

Grand Canyon Sand Bars

I read a report today in our local newspaper stating that the Grand Canyon is sporting some new sand bars, due to the man made flood which occurred for 3 days last week. Some of the sandbars are as large as football fields and already have signs of wild life exploring the new stomping grounds. Beaver tracks and long horn sheep tracks have been identified.

The sediment buildup above the dam was at a 10 year high and the measure seems to have worked (to help restore the environment), but......as I mentioned in my last post, it is believed that these new sand bars will erode in approximately 18 months unless a flooding program is developed. Another flood is not scheduled until 2012. Annual to semi-annual flooding really seems to be the ticket to maintain the benefits. (There will be some very happy rafters too!)

If it's all about restoring the environment it would seem that a sensible program should be developed, otherwise, to me, it seems like a waste to find a solution that works, only to let it backslide and be faced with the same problem in just a couple of years. It's a viscous cycle if you ask me, one that good planning could fix. I think they need to pick a side. Either restore the environment and do it right, or simply utilize the benefits that the canyon has to offer as it is, like recreation, tourism, livelihood, and hydro power.

The wide spectrum of water uses, turn round and round, like a
water wheel. I welcome your comments.

Thursday, March 13

The Grand Canyon

Today's Water Tip:
You can use a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) for many of your cleaning duties around the house. The peroxide naturally disinfects and removes stains without toxic chemicals. I have used it for cleaning counter tops, floors, laundry stains on whites, etc. I have even heard of people soaking meat in the solution to kill bacteria on the surface prior to cooking. H2O2 also has many health benefits because of it's anti bacterial and anti fungal qualities.

The Grand Canyon
41,500 cubic feet of water per second (300,000 gallons per second) was released for 60 hours from the Glen Dam into the Grand Canyon in Arizona (USA) last week in an attempt to help restore the environment. (The dam's normal discharge is 15,000 cubic feet per second). This is enough water to fill the Empire State Building in 20 minutes. Wow!

Before the dam was built in 1963, the Colorado River was warmer and muddy, and the natural flooding created sandbars that are essential to native plant and fish species. Now the river is cool and clear, the sediment blocked by the dam.The sandbars have eroded horribly. The theory is that the rush of water and sediment will help replace the natural habitat of wildlife such as the endangered fish, the Hunchback Chub.

The attempt to re-create the high springtime flows that shaped the river before the dam was built in the 1960s, is the third artificial test flood in the past 12 years, but some say the experiment doesn't go far enough. There are people who believe that the flood goes against the latest scientific evidence, and for the experiment to be successful it needs to be repeated at least bi-annually if not annually, but there are questions about whether that is in the plan. There are also rumors that the test was pushed forward simply as a measure to maximize hydro power revenue.

White water rafters on the other hand stood on the bank watching the water rise, excited by the challenges of the rushing water. Gotta ride that water! (Tip: If you haven't tried white water rafting, your missing out! Wow, what a rush, literally!).

It will be months, or possibly years to determine if this massive experiment will get nature back on track. I my self am torn on the issue, I'm all for the environment, and if done correctly I think it could work. I just hope that our precious natural resource is being used wisely and with good planning by all. I do hope it's worth more than a spendy, yet awesome ride down the river! All I have to say is, like so many things in life, it's a bittersweet thing, savor what you can.

The wide spectrum of water uses, turn round and round, like a
water wheel.
I welcome your comments

Monday, March 10

It's Been To Long

Today's Water Tip:
Re-use your water bottles. Bottled water is a huge convenience, but......we're accumulating an awful lot of plastic waste, and that's not good. Refill your (safe plastic) water bottles as often as you can with tap water or filtered water from your fridge. One thing to keep in mind is that you need to wash the bottle between each use because bacteria will begin to grow quickly inside the bottle. There is some controversy over plastics and the safety of reusing them because of chemicals leaching into the water. If in doubt use a refillable water bottle that is made of a safe plastic or other material.

It's Been To Long

Yes, I've been a bad blogger lately. I've been re-uniting myself with some old crafting passions, so I've been designing and beading and crocheting instead of blogging. My idea is to bring some hand crafted items to my blog. I am working on a water themed jewelry line using a variety of mediums. Stay tuned for these items in the future.

I do want to mention today the Grand Canyon in Arizona. They have released huge amounts of water into the Colorado River to try to restore the environment. Both the environment and endangered species have suffered hugely since the Glen Canyon Dam was built in 1963. This water release is an attempt to restore the sandbars for a 277 mile stretch of the Grand Canyon National Park which have eroded over the years. The sand bars provide a habitat for wild life, plant life, camp areas for tourists and help to protect archaeological sites. Scientists are also hoping the high flows will create backwaters (areas of low velocity flow) which are used by young native fish. This is a very interesting but yet controversial subject. Not everyone is pleased. More info will follow in a future post.

The wide spectrum of water uses, turn round and round, like a
water wheel. I welcome your comments

Wednesday, February 27

Life Straws

Todays Water Tip: If ever in doubt "boil it"
If ever in doubt about a water source that you will be consuming from, the answer is simple, "boil it." It seems like a no brainer, but there are a lot of people who don't even think about it. If you have heard rumors, detect a bad taste, smell, or color that make you uncomfortable about the drinking water, boil it before you consume it. This will get rid of bacteria and microorganisms which could make you sick (certain contaminants can not be boiled away, like Nitrate which can have long term health effects if levels are high). Monthly water quality sampling is required in most states in this country, but you can never be completely sure of the source unless you actually read the reports yourself. Never drink or cook with stream, creek, river or lake water without boiling it first. Hotels and motels usually have microwaves which can be used to boil water, or you can simply use bottled water if it is available.

Life Straws
In my past life I was a beautician for 17 years.
I never really thought much about how dependent I was on water. God forbid that the water would be shut off while I was processing a perm or color. How happy would my client have been with fried hair? Not too tickled, I would suspect. There's not a lot that can be done in a situation like that (bottled water maybe, and lots of it), and ideally we would be warned in advance of such an event. That's the way it's supposed happen anyway.

My point is really more about our dependency on water. I know you may think I sound like a broken record, every week reminding you of things like this. I'm just hoping that along the way people will begin to think about how much water is wasted. And how much water is needed. What if we waste it all and have none? What if your on a private well and it runs dry. Now you have to cough up quite a bit of change to drill a new one, "if" the water is there, and "if" you have the money.

Do you ever see puddles in your yard. It's amazing how many people have leaks outside in the water pipes or sprinkler lines, and never seem to worry about it (many sprinkler systems are served by domestic drinking water sources). How about the people who irrigate with a hose and just let the water run down the street for several hours. We could serve a small community with water for months with what we waste in just one day.

There are people in the world that would give their eye teeth for a tiny bit of that clean wasted water. I was looking at a website the other day where children were drinking through something called "Life Straws" out of a body of murky surface water to get a drink. It made me shudder. It uses a process involving a pre-filter, an iodine layer and a granulated active carbon layer all wrapped up in a fat straw. Don't get me wrong, it's a blessing they have them, but can you imagine that being your main source of drinking water? I also saw that people in the states are ordering them for back woods use, but a caution was given in regards to Giardia lamblia infection (beaver fever) which is resistant to iodine.

Think about it folks. We could all be drinking with Life Straws in the local pond someday if we're not careful.

The wide spectrum of water uses, turn round and round, like a
water wheel.
I welcome your comments

Friday, February 22

A Day With No Water

Todays Water Tip:
Don't End Up High and "Dry"

While bottled water may not be the best thing for the environment due to the plastic bottles it comes in, it sure can be a life saver in an emergency. It does have a time and a place. You should always keep a stock of bottled water in your home. Individual bottles are convenient as you can use only what you need, although large jugs are also available. The bottles can also be refilled with tap water after opening for a more "green" approach, but make sure it is made of a safe plastic, and that they are washed thoroughly between uses with hot soapy water. A few bottles kept in your car can also be a big help in an emergency. Don't leave your self high and "dry". Be prepared.

A Day With No Water
Imagine you wake up in the morning as usual, your mouth feels like the Sahara Desert, you tiptoe into the bathroom, blindly grab a dixie cup, reach for the faucet and.....nothing. Not a drop.....what the heck? Nature calls so you sit down, after a few minutes you reach for the handle and....nada. Not a thing, it just jiggles. OK, whats going on here, I know I paid that water bill on time!?!

In the kitchen, same deal. 5:00 AM, who ya gonna call? So you shuffle to the fridge for some juice or milk or what ever is handy to wet the old palette, take a big gulp and head back to bed. Luckily sleep doesn't require water.

7:45 AM, the alarm rings. You shuffle back to the kitchen, grab the coffee pot, shove it under the faucet and.....oh yeah. No water. "OK, I think there is some bottled water in the garage." You find enough water to barely fill the coffee pot up half way. "Two scoops instead of four should do it." OK, so your on your way to wake up two sleeping cherubs for a day of learning and exploration, when you find the puppy looking extremely sheepish in the corner, and.....squish. "Oh man, this is all I need." You hop on one foot to the hallway bathroom and dig under the counter for some baby wipes that you stashed there yesterday. Good thing. You clean up your foot as best you can and drag your self into the twins room to wake them up for school, and you think, "what else could go wrong?"

After a cold cereal breakfast, baby wipe sponge baths, and hair do's done with the plant sprayer, you make the trek to school. Your husband luckily has the morning off, so hopefully he can figure out this "water thing."

Upon your return, you find out that hubby called the water company and discovered that there is a main line break a couple of blocks away, the water will be shut off for at least the rest of the day. Uggg! It's your day to volunteer at the school for a field trip and you desperately need a shower. Hubby on the other hand, throws on jeans, a shirt, and a baseball cap, and looks like he's ready for a day on the golf course. Oh man, this really sucks, thank God for baby wipes!

Get the picture? These things are only the beginning of the trials that will be encountered on this day without water. By the end of this day you will feel like you have been run down by a mac truck. It's like your on some forsaken waterless camp out where you were drug unwillingly by the hair. By the time the water is turned on the next morning you feel like you have never had such a wonderful luxury. Water.

There are people in the world who would think of this as a typical day. But they don't have baby wipes or plant sprayers or bottled water to get them through. They carry water to their homes daily to cook, clean, bathe, irrigate, and water their animals. For many of us, endless water is a luxury. We wouldn't know how to function with out it. Lets get a clue. Lets treat our water wisely and protect our luxury.

The wide spectrum of water uses, turn round and round, like a
water wheel.
I welcome your comments

Tuesday, February 12

Treat Water Like Gold

Todays Water Tip:
Hot Water Troubles?.....
Three morning showers, and only enough hot water for one and a half. Does this sound familiar?
Many times people do not realize that inside their hot water tank is something called a dip tube. This tube is made of plastic and will break down over time. If your hot water begins to diminish too quickly, or if you are finding small pieces of plastic getting caught in the screens of your faucets, you may have dip tube trouble. We recently had this problem, my husband Bill replaced the dip tube, and now we have plenty of hot water, and it's twice as hot. The dip tube forces cold water to the bottom of the tank allowing the hot water to exit the top of the tank. Without a dip tube the cold water will mix with the hot water at the top of the tank greatly reducing the water temperature. An added bonus.....better pressure from your faucets after you remove the broken plastic pieces from the screens.

Treat water like Gold?
As I was doing my morning treadmill walk one day this week some words jumped out at me from the TV. I was watching the Today Show as I always do, and they were having a segment on the Georgia Aquarium. The words "we treat water like gold" caught my interest. The speaker who was being interviewed stated that water conservation is a very high priority at the aquarium. After visiting the Georgia Aquarium website, I found out that water conservation is the 2nd priority after taking care of the animals. I was impressed with what I read. Many measures ranging from water recycling, low flow faucets, waterless urinals, to low or no water landscaping, just to name a few things are being implemented at the facility. This place really knows it's stuff when it comes to conservation. If an establishment like this one, can put water conservation so high on it's list of priority's I think there is something here to be learned.

"Whats your point?" you ask. My point is that without water this aquarium would not even exist, all the animals would die. Whether a creature lives in the water or not, water is an essential element, just to stay alive. In a way, we are kind of like the creatures at the aquarium. We are all reliant upon water, and we are also reliant upon the fact that water users in our world take care of that water and treat it responsibly. We all have the responsibility to conserve and protect this resource that no one can live without. Our water is not an endless supply, in many parts of the world it is in scarcity. Most people in this country have the luxury of turning on a tap and water pours out. We can consume as much as we want or need. We all need to realize this is a "luxury", not just something to be taken for granted and wasted needlessly. Let's take a lesson from the Georgia Aquarium. Lets treat our water like gold.

The wide spectrum of water uses, turn round and round, like a
water wheel.
I welcome your comments

Tuesday, February 5

Protect yourself and your neighbors

Todays Water Tip:
Do you have any puddles in your yard that keep coming back, or never go away? It's hard to tell when there is snow on the ground, but beware, you could have a leak in a water line. Not only can a water leak cost you extra money, but it could be a cause of contamination to the water supply, especially in low pressure circumstances. Another problem is the waste of precious water. Water conservation is a must for our future welfare, believe it or not, we could run out!

Protect yourself and your neighbors
I know it's only February, but many of us are already planning our gardens. If it weren't for that darn groundhog seeing it's shadow, spring would be right around the corner. Hold on, I do respect the skiers and the snowmobile addicts, and all of the other snow maniacs. I have my own maniac at home. Snow is good. Good for our water supply, our environment and just for good clean fun, not to mention great driving adventures! I on the other hand yearn for spring, sunshine and flowers, I can't wait for the tulips to bloom.

Speaking of flowers, that brings to mind lawns and gardens, I have a question. How many of you have underground sprinkler systems? What a great invention. No more hose dragging, flooded gardens or muddy shoes. Do you ever have to fix a sprinkler line? Many times lines will break from age, improper care, or will be damaged when digging for various reasons. Any time there is a break in the line, contaminants from the soil can enter the water lines. "So what" you say, "its only a sprinkler line." Guess what, many of those lines are connected to the domestic drinking water lines. Whether you are in the city or the county, irrigation water from sprinkler lines can contaminate drinking water. If you live in the city, chances are that you will receive a letter addressing this issue. If you don't already, you can expect one in your near future. Cities are required to implement "Cross Connection Control Programs" to protect the public drinking water supply. This is both necessary and required. "Oh brother, what now?" you ask. Believe me, you should be grateful these rules are in place. There are many documented incidents of domestic water contamination coming from sprinkler systems, businesses and industries. Even an X ray machine or photo lab is a potential risk. What about an illegal drug lab? We're talking risk of illness or even possible death.

Homeowners and businesses are being required to install something called a state approved Backflow Assembly to protect the water supply. There are different types for the different degrees of hazard (so do your homework before you buy). Why is this necessary? Water can change it's direction of flow. If a main line breaks, a fire hydrant is opened, or a pump on a well breaks down, negative pressure can become present in the water lines. If there is no protection at a property that has a source of contamination present, that water can be literally siphoned in the wrong direction (many cities want all properties protected "just in case"). A hose submerged in pool water, chemicals, or a garden pond, can also be siphoned back through the hose to the water lines. How about a nice glass of pond water or fertilizer to quench your thirst. No thank you!
You see, these new rules are put in place to protect you, not to hurt you. If you buck the system to try to save a dollar, you are putting yourself and your neighbors at risk. I don't want that responsibility, do you?

Water is used for a spectrum of uses, turning round and round, like a water wheel.
I welcome your comments

Monday, January 28

I want clean water! How about you?

Today's Water Tip:
Do you have a hot tub?
Many times people will leave a hose submerged in the tub when adding water. You should always have an air gap (a space between the end of your hose and the surface of the water) when adding water to hot tubs, decorative ponds, swimming pools, etc. If left submerged, and the water line pressure changes (due to a water line break or a fire hydrant being opened for example) there is a chance of the hose siphoning water from the outside source back into the water lines, which could contaminate the drinking water.

I want clean water! How about you?
Have you ever been to a resort or park where the beauty is ruined by garbage and litter floating in the water. I'm sure everyone has at one time or another. Not only does this ruin our vision, it puts many forms of wildlife at risk. Plastic rings from beverage packs can kill or maim an animal. I recently found this picture of a turtle that was badly deformed because of a plastic ring that had secured itself around the shell when the turtle was young. It doesn't look too comfy, does it. What about plastic wrap that can suffocate? Or broken glass that can cut. Not only is garbage an issue, but water is continually contaminated by people who dispose of waste and chemicals in rivers, lakes and streams. Do they even think about the people who swim in these waters? Or the animals that rely on it as their source of drinking water. Fish can't escape it because it is their home. Evidently, many people just don't think. Or is it that they really don't care? What ever the reason, improper disposal of garbage and contaminants ruin our water and land. We must go that extra mile to protect our environment. If we all make a conscious effort we can clean up our water, and preserve it for what's important. Our future.

Water is used for a spectrum of uses, turning round and round, like a water wheel.

I welcome your comments, please click on the comments link below.

Sunday, January 20

Water...It's uses are endless

Today's Water Tip:
Do you get mineral deposits in your shower which are hard to remove? Of course many people purchase water softeners and filters to help avoid this problem. If you do not have this equipment here is an easy tip to help avoid this nuisance. A coat of common car wax applied to the walls and door of your shower will help keep it free from that ugly haze that is so common in areas with hard water. The water will bead up on the surface and the wax will prevent the minerals from adhering to the shower surfaces. Reapply periodically to keep your shower shiny and bright.

The uses of water seem to be endless. From drinking water to industrial use to energy, it's amazing to think how dependent our world is on water. In my job my focus is on drinking water quality, but the more I work in this field the more I am awestruck by the wide use, and need of this precious and yet amazingly powerful resource, water.

Water can be peaceful and calm, or powerful and devastating. Imagine floating on an air mattress in a pool, the water gently slapping against your skin almost lulling you to sleep. Next imagine a storm where rain or ocean water is submerging a town, or what about a jet powered tool using water as a blade to cut steel. Is there anything else you can think of with such an awesome realm of abilities.

Our water comes from several sources, aquifers deep under the ground supply our water wells and springs. This is our purest form of water, many times through lab analysis, well water is deemed suitable for consumption straight from the source. Rivers and surface water are are also used for drinking water purposes, power, irrigation, industrial use, and recreation. Surface water along with many wells and streams must be treated to be suitable for consumption (water must be analyzed by a certified laboratory before drinking). Many vacation spots which we call lakes are actually reservoirs fed by rivers. Fish and wildlife are another thing to think about, without clean water they would become sick and eventually die.

Regardless, whether it's nurturing or devastating, our world can not function without this precious fluid, it's time we take a stand and begin to protect and properly manage, what is so vitally important in our world. Water.

Water is consumed for a spectrum of uses, turning round and round, like a water wheel.


















My Summer Fun

















Mt. Rainier National Forest

















Annual Trout Picnic Family Photo 2007
Tower Rock U Fish Campground Randle WA

















Tower Rock

Monday, January 14

When the well's dry

Today's Water Tip:
Utility sinks can be a source of cross connection contamination. When cleaning your home or business, be cautious of hoses or retractable faucets becoming submerged in chemicals or contaminated water. If a back pressure or back siphon becomes present within the main water pipes of your distribution system, the fluid that your hose is dangling in can be sucked back into the drinking water supply and cause contamination. This can affect both you and your neighbors.

When the well's dry, we know the worth of water. Benjamin Franklin
Do we really think about the worth of water? Ben Franklin knew that water was and would remain a very precious resource. Even back in the 1700's he knew that water needed to be protected. Many people think that water is an unlimited resource that can be used endlessly and wastefully with no repercussion's. Sadly, it is beginning to catch up with us. With the massive use of water these days in many industries, farming, or simply for personal use, time is our enemy. We should learn to view water in a new way. We need to conserve it, and we need to protect it from contamination.

Have you ever gone camping? Dry camping, where the only water you have, is what you take with you. Did you recognize the value of the water that you possessed? I'll never forget the first time I went camping in our new camp trailer that we had just purchased for our family. I had a little boy who was covered from head to toe in dirt. The bathroom had a bathtub, so I filled it up, bathed my boy, and had to borrow water for the rest of the trip. Luckily, our friends came better prepared than I did! I did not even think about the size of that bath tub in comparison to the size of our water tank.

In a way, we should view our water supply as if we are camping. Yes, maybe a bit extreme, but if we begin to think in these terms, even just a little bit, we would save millions of gallons of water in this country.

Water is consumed for a spectrum of uses, turning round and round, like a water wheel.

Thursday, January 10

Is your drinking water safe?

Todays Water Tip:
Turn the water off when you don't really need it.
We don't always realize how much water we waste. Small habits like, turning off the water while your brushing your teeth, shaving a couple of minutes off that morning shower, or filling a pan with water to scrub veggies instead of holding them under running water, can save a lot! We let hundreds of gallons of unnecessary water just run down the drain, down the street, or in many cases, into the ground. Irrigation with hoses can be a huge waste when left unmonitored. I have seen sprinklers left unattended for hours or even days. The grass only needs so much water!


Safe drinking water
. Many people merely take it for granted that the water that flows from their tap is safe to drink. If you live in town, chances are that you can have that peace of mind. Water quality is monitored closely by municipalities to insure safe drinking water conditions.


If your home is on a community well, water quality is the responsibility of the homeowners or water association. A Certified Water Operator must follow procedures, while maintaining certifications and training to ensure that the water is properly maintained, and indeed safe to drink. The state has strict requirements for community water systems and businesses that provide drinking water to the public.

Private wells on the other hand (wells that serve one private residence), do not have as many requirements set in place by the state. Owners and users of private wells have the responsibility to educate themselves on the subject of safe drinking water.

Ideally, the water that flows from the ground into your well is pure and safe to drink. Unfortunately, as we all know, there are many more contaminants in this world now, which can affect our air and drinking water supply than ever before. Industry, farming, livestock, chemical use, septic tanks, roads and bodies of surface water are all things that can all affect your drinking water.

Did you know that the area, which is within 100’ radius around your wellhead, should be kept free from contaminants? Lawn chemicals, gasoline, automobiles, insect sprays, farm animals, decorative ponds or surface water, just to name a few, can all be sources of contamination to your drinking water supply, and should be kept out of the 100' "Sanitary Control Area" of your well.
More detailed information is available on the Washington State Department of Health, Office of Drinking Water Website.

Tuesday, January 8

Water. A Right or a Privilege?

Water. A right or a privilege? That seems to be the question. The fact is that many people couldn't function without the convenience of water free flowing into sinks, tubs, washing machines, buckets, pools, gardens, pitchers, glasses, or whatever else people may use water for. We are a water dependent society.

Without water our industries would shut down, our homes and bodies would wither away. There would be no animals, or vegetation. Life would cease to exist.

Yes, I know it sounds like a very bleak forecast. But there is good news. We can make a difference. By learning to respect this precious resource in a new way, we can help to ensure clean water for our children, and grandchildren.

In many parts of the world water is in scarcity. There are women who walk miles for water which they carry home in jugs and use to cook, clean, irrigate, drink and bathe. Talk about a wake up call! Can you imagine? Few Americans can. We have become so accustomed to unlimited water use that many do not even think about how much they really use.

The purpose of this blog is to offer some useful tips which will help protect one of our most precious resources. ................... Water!

Tip of the day:
Check your home or business for leaky toilets and dripping faucets
which can equal numerous gallons of lost water! Not only is this a huge waste of a natural resource, it can also cost you money.

You can tell if your toilet is leaking by putting some die tablets in the tank. If the water in the bowl becomes colored your tank is leaking.

New government standards will require all water systems to account for lost water in the near future. The overwhelming waste of water has made this a necessity. Large water systems such as cities will only be allowed to have a 10% water loss. Small systems will be limited to 20%. Water loss will be detected by meters within the system. Many times leaks are outdoors, underground and can go undetected for long periods.

Remember water is a precious natural resource. One we can't risk living without.
Stay tuned for more fun and useful water tips!