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

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