What to do During a Boil Water Advisory
When a water pipe broke just outside of Boston, more than two million people were left without clean water for three days. Within hours of the break, a “Boil Water Advisory” (BWA) was issued and cases of drinking water in stores quickly disappeared, restaurants closed their doors, schools sent children home, and hotels refused reservations.
While this incident affected millions of people and caused the governor of Massachusetts to declare a state of emergency, most water supply contamination events only affect a neighborhood or two. Yet thousands of BWAs are issued each year, so understanding what steps to take during a BWA is important.
Red is great color for roses, but redish-orange stains in the toilet, sink and tub aren’t pleasant. Red staining generally indicates the presence of iron in the water. So what can be done about it? How commonly is iron found in water? And is iron present in YOUR water supply?
Chlorine vs. Chloramines: What is the difference?
Ideally, you want your water to be clean, pure and tasteless. Yet, often times it can have disinfectants, like chloramines and chlorine that cause foul odors and leave undesirable tastes behind.
Since the majority of us receive our water from a public water supply, we understand that chlorine and chloramine is in our drinking water is there for a reason. For more than 100 years, chlorination has saved lives and played a critical role in defending America’s drinking water supply from pathogens that can cause waterborne diseases such as typhoid and cholera.
So what’s the big deal with TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) in my water?
Generally, TDS cannot be recognized with the naked eye, but you may notice some of its effects in your home. High TDS can cause corrosion of plumbing fixtures and shorten the life of appliances. A high level of TDS can also make your water taste metallic or bitter.
What is TDS and What Does it Affect?
Total dissolved solids are organic and inorganic substances that are dissolved in your water. The lower the level of TDS, the more pure your water is.
In the last 40-plus years, I’ve lived in six different states. With each move, it’s taken some time to get used to taste of my tap water in the new location. Sometimes the water coming from my tap has had a very strong chlorine odor and taste. Other times the water has had a bitter taste or ‘rotten egg’ odor.
Like most people, my water has always come from a municipal water source. In fact, most of us (about 86 percent) receive our water from a public water supplier where water is treated and monitored at a municipal water treatment plant and then piped to individual users for consumption.
Why the Bad Taste In My Water?
There are a number of different reasons why your water might have an unpleasant taste.
From time to time, we’re asked the question, “Does using a water softener have an adverse effect on household septic tanks?”
Since one quarter of all homes in the U.S. have a septic system and we know that hard water affects nearly 85 percent of homes in the country (many of those homes have or need a water softener), that’s a very valid question.
If you’ve done any research on water softeners, you’ve come to realize that there are a lot of choices when it comes to selecting a water softener for your home. In making the purchase decision, you can be sure you’re getting a top-notch water conditioner that has gone through rigorous testing and meets industry standards when you see the “Gold Seal”.
What does a Water Quality Association (WQA) “Gold Seal” Mean?
We all know drinking water is essential for good health. We’re also aware that most of us don’t drink enough water each day and should try to drink more.
But do we give much thought to what is in the water we do drink? If not, it’s time we did.
An Unexpected Culprit
In the United States, most of us get our water from a public water supply. We trust that this water is clean and ready for drinking, showering, cleaning and cooking.
Although regulations and monitoring are in place, the quality of our drinking water can change daily.
Municipalities work hard to provide clean water for their customers, but contaminants can infiltrate aquifers and springs, and corroded pipes can introduce impurities into the water lines even after water has been processed at a water treatment plant.
Can filtered water and a little vinegar really keep produce fresher, longer?
Summer will soon be here and I’m looking forward to fresh berries from my local farmer’s market. Early last summer, I came home with 10 pounds of strawberries with grandiose plans to make fresh strawberry jam. When I finally started my jam project (only 36 hours later), I was sick to find that many of the berries were already covered with a fuzzy mold.
A great tip that really works!
I’ve since learned a great tip for keeping fresh produce longer–and it really works! Each time I come home from the market with fresh fruits and vegetables, I rinse the produce in a vinegar and filtered water solution.
This idea seemed counterintutive at first, because in the past, once I had rinsed fruit in water, the fruit seemed to go bad more quickly.
I learned that the water and vinegar solution has the opposite effect and the fruit actually lasts longer because the acid in the vinegar kills mold spores and bacteria on the food. With the bacteria eliminated, produce does not decompose as quickly.
As a water softener owner, you can see the salt in your brine tank is running low and it’s time to pick up some more. Like many people, you may be baffled by all of the water softener salt choices you see at the store: crystals, block, table, rock, and pellets. What is better: solar or evaporated salt pellets? What about salt pellets vs. potassium chloride pellets? What should you buy? What is best?
First of all, only salt or potassium chloride specifically designed for water softeners should be used. Do not use dicing or table salt.
Softener Salt vs. Softener Potassium Chloride