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!