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

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