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Hard Water: How to Test in Aquariums

If you wanted to take care of aquarium fish that aren’t for beginners, you should consider water hardness. There are species who can’t survive in a climate that’s unlike their native waters. You should test their hard water to make sure they have a happy home.

hard water - aquarium

They stare into your soul a little, but that’s fine in the long run.

Hard Water: What is It?

The concept of hard water might confuse some of our readers, but the idea is pretty simple, depending on whether you’re thinking, technically or functionally. On a technical standpoint, hardness measures if water leaves a strong mineral residue during its evaporations. On a functional standpoint, hardness measures how much calcium and magnesium is in the water. The water hardness in an aquarium has a strong correlation to high PH.

TWO TYPES OF HARDNESS

Your test kit can measure either general hardness (GH) or carbonate hardness (KH), but remember that they can’t do both. Your GH involves the total of your dissolved solids, while your KH looks at how many carbonate minerals dissolve in the water. It won’t include other factors like organic compounds or sodium salts. You’re mostly looking at your GH, but your KH comes into play when you have coral or specific aquarium plans.

REAGENT TESTS 

You collect a sample of the aquarium water in a test tube provided in the kit. Afterward, based on the instructions, you add the number of drops of chemical (reagent) that changes the color of water, depending on its hardness. There will be a color chart you can use to match the correct colors to the corresponding water hardness.

STRIP TESTS

You can also collect water in a small bin to dip a strip into it for a strip test. You should never dip a strip right into your aquarium. When the appropriate amount of time passes, you can compare your strip to the color chart to determine water hardness.

HARDNESS MEASUREMENTS

You’ll rely on two different units for general hardness (GH) and carbonate hardness (KH). Those are ppm (parts per million), which can also be written as ppmGH or ppmKH by whether its general hardness or carbonate hardness. Your alternative is degrees of hardness that uses their written as dGH or dKH.

If you’re ever in fear about whether you know your stuff, make sure to talk to your local fish shop and do your research. You’ll have a happy home for your fish in no time!

Top 5 Most Expensive Water Bottle Brands

The most expensive water in the world contains hefty price tags due to their unique water bottle designs, gem use, and water from exotic locales. A strong aspect of these waters also contains the addition of water filters and mineral additions. If you drink these waters, you’ll find it surprising that they each have a unique taste!

5. Expensive Water: Bling H2O

As the cheapest bottle on the list, Bling H20 by Global Premium comes with a hefty $40 dollar price tag. This bottle contains 750 MLS of water that comes from the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee. The reason that this water becomes a standout is because of its 9 step distillation that changes the taste. This process includes ozone, ultraviolet, and ceramic filters

4. Expensive Water: Fillico

The Fillico Jewelry Water company has a bottle that reaches $219 for a 750 mm bottled water. As a unique choice, they choose to use a chess motif that includes adding on crystals and diamonds onto their water bottles. For the location of their water, it comes from the “Nunobiki,” which is a famous spring water in Japan. It’s near the Rokko Mountains.

3. Expensive Water: Kona Nigari

This $402 per 750ml bottle contains desalinated water from the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii. Due to being a Japanese exclusive product, it’s a hard bottle to obtain in different areas of the world. It’s popular in Japan because it’s said to have many health benefits.

2. Expensive Water: Exousia Gold

This is a $24,000 water bottle infused with anti-stress and anti-aging properties made from pure gold. If you look deeply into the water, you’ll see little gold flecks. As one of the more unique bottles on this list, it’s a difficult water to recreate since their company keeps the distilling process a well-guarded secret.

1. Expensive Water: Acqua di Cristallo Tributo a Modigliani

expensive water

They auctioned off this bottle of water for $60,000 back in 2010. It’s filled with a unique mixture of glacier water from Iceland and natural spring waters from France and the Fiji Islands. They created this unique design based off of Italian artist Amedeo Clemente Modigliani’s artwork. The company made the bottle out of 24-karat gold with 5mg of 23 K gold dust.

Bonus Round: Beverly Hills 9OH20 Luxury Collection Diamond Edition

If you’re looking for limited-edition water, the Beverly Hills 9OH20 Luxury Collection Diamond Edition comes at a price tag of $100,000.00. There are only nine bottles in the world and the comes from the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Mario Padilla Jewelers designed the bottle that contained 14-carat gold, 250 black diamonds, and 600 G/VS white diamonds. You also get free water from the company for a year! It helps the price tag, but I’m not sure by how much.

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Common Steps in Community Water Treatment

While the United States of America contains some of the safest drinking water in the world, our consumers should know the process behind community water treatment. These sites mostly provide surface water treatment. If you need specialized work, you should consider buying a unique water filter for your home or business.

The more you understand can help protect your family from waterborne germs and pathogens that do run through people’s water supplies. In recent memory, there was a case of e.coli affecting the well water at CLIMB works in Sevier County.

community water treatment site

COMMUNITY WATER TREATMENT: 4 STEPS

1. Coagulation and Flocculation

In the community water treatment facility, their workers add positively-charged chemicals into the water supply. These positively-charged chemicals react to dirt and particles in the water and that binds the two particles together so they coagulate. When these bigger particles form, they’re called floc.

2. Sedimentation

The floc becomes heavy so it drifts to the bottom of the water supply for ease of separation. This process makes the floc easier to remove compared to the original smaller particles when workers continue into water filtration.

3. Filtration

As a result, the community’s water supply becomes clear on top. The water, then, passes through filters of different compositions like charcoal, gravel, and sand, and different pore sizes to remove dissolved particles. These particles can include dust, parasites, bacteria, viruses, and chemicals that one doesn’t want in their drinking water.

4. Disinfection

The workers will proceed to throw in a disinfectant into the filtrated water supply. For example, the popular choices are chlorine and chloramine, which kills any left-over germs so you can have safe drinking water. While there are safe levels of drinking chlorine in your community water, there are scientists who study the long-term, negative effects of drinking chlorine.

Why Should You Get a Home Water Treatment Unit?

When you purify your water with a home filtration system, you protect your family and friend from harmful toxins. You’ll find that extra chemicals, bacteria, and chlorine does get through community water treatment sites. Even if the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides regulations, they don’t inspect for all contaminants.

If you have a person in your home who has a compromised immune system, it’s best you don’t take the chance for them to fall ill, due to an unclean water supply. The right water filtration system protects your health and makes your drinking water taste great.

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3 Tips for Caring for a Bird Bath in the Winter

Whether you are thinking of implementing a new bird bath in your winter landscape or caring for one you currently have, this article will serve as a guideline to take proper care of it and its guests. Let’s get started.

Know your neighborhood.

It may be helpful to first know the birds that live in your neighborhood and what their migration patterns are. Do the bird species living in your neighborhood overwinter (not migrate at all), and if not, when, in what month do they migrate and when do they return? It’s also helpful to know your region’s weather patterns. When, if at all, do bodies of water freeze?

Buy the best material for withstanding the weather.

Depending on the weather patterns of your winter season, you should choose the appropriate material for a bird bath that will stand the test of time. If water repeatedly freezes and thaws in your region, you should avoid baths made of cement, stone, or glass. The best material, no matter where you live, is plastic or resin. These materials are shatterproof and can take the changes of the season. Dark colors are best because they attract the sun’s warmth.

Keep your bird bath warm using these tips.

  • Strategically place your bird bath to get the most exposure to the sun, the same way you do with house plants.
  • An insulating blanket wrapped around your bath will also aid it in keeping warm.
  • Prevent freezing by using the element of wind. If you place a ball on the top of the water, the wind will keep it moving along the bath and prevent thin layers of ice from forming.
  • Plastic liner products will make it easy to remove any ice that has formed.
  • You can also heat water on the stove, let cool a little, and then pour it into an existing freezing over bird bath to stop the freezing process. Never add boiling water to a bird bath, use excessive force trying to break ice, or antifreeze chemicals or salt. They are not safe for your bird bath or more importantly, your bird friends!
  • And last, but definitely not least, an electric-heated bird bath option is available for purchase, but are the most expensive option. If you live in an extreme weather region, this may be your only option.
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Best Easter Egg Fillers 2017

1. Candy

Putting candy in the plastic Easter eggs for a hunt or as game prizes is a no-brainer, but to accommodate those with allergies and sensitivities, look for candy options that are gluten-, dairy-, and peanut-free.

2. Temporary Tattoos

Children love temporary tattoos and this filler is a really affordable option that will keep the children occupied for a half hour or hour after the egg hunt is finished. If you are worried about parental consent , use stickers instead!

3. Sponge Capsules

Sponge capsules are capsules the size of pills that when placed in water, expand into shapes. They can be found in packages at the dollar store and will also keep the kids entertained for some time afterward. If you can find Easter shapes, even better. After the hunt, they can apply paint to them and decorate posters to take home using large pieces of paper or posterboard.

4. Toys

Common toys that fit inside the plastic eggs are jewelry, hair accessories, Lego figures, and matchbox cars. Children can trade toys after the hunt if they want to. Band-aids, shoe laces, pencil toppers, erasers, and chapsticks are also functional items that the children will enjoy.

5. Money

The ultimate find in an egg could be money. $1, $5, and $10 are enough to excite the children. You can even make these eggs bigger, or different than the rest (perhaps spotted) so they know that there is something really special about these eggs!

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Medical Waste in Our Water!?

Many terms are interchangeable with medical waste, including infectious waste and health care waste. Medical waste is created from the process of diagnosis and treatment of or the immunization of people and animals. It is considered infectious waste when the waste itself is contaminated with an infectious disease that can be transmitted from being in proximity of the item. Wastes can include sharps (needs and sharp surgical tools like scalpels), laboratory materials, blood and blood products, and any waste whatsoever that comes from a patient who is in isolation because they are carrying an infectious disease. Chemical waste and other hazardous materials are also medical waste.

You’ve seen the sharps containers on the walls of clinics, maybe in hotel rooms. There must be strict/// regulations and procedures, right? To understand the medical waste concern, you first have to know the history of the issue. In the late 1980s, several coasts of the United States had syringes wash up on their beaches. From this incident, the MWTA was created (Medical Waste Tracking Act). The MWTA was meant to implement standards for managing medical waste, but few states adopted the standards and it expired in the early 1990s anyhow. From then forward, each state was left responsible for its own medical waste and how it was handled and disposed of.

Over the course of the following decades, the conversation continued as concern about the increased treatment of HIV and AIDS in clinics grew. One of the greatest accomplishments was OSHA’s blood-borne pathogen standards that required certain precautions of medical professionals such as wearing masks and gloves during certain procedures and when coming into contact with bodily fluids. This started important conversations about what materials were considered infectious and which were not. Over-all, after the blood-borne pathogens standards were put into place, more materials were considered infectious than ever before. This, organizations agree, is the very first place the medical waste management movement should begin; by properly classifying infectious wastes from other wastes.

A very small percentage of hospital and clinic waste is actually ‘medical waste’. Most of it is actually trash, cardboard, plastic, food waste, etc. Perhaps this is the reason the medical waste issue has not been as big a deal as it should have been all these years. None too helpful is that fact that there is little documented cases of disease transmission from contact with medical waste.

Wastes are classified in three categories: biological, chemical, and radioactive. Properly classifying the waste and then “deactivating” it in a corresponding way is an important step of keeping our populations and future generations safe. In 2002 there were 100 different methods and technologies that could make medical waste not hazardous to human and environment health. Popular treatments of waste include steam sterilization and incineration.

Although standards have been put in place now by several acts and agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department of Transportation, the Clean Air and Water Acts, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the fact that there are hundreds of ways of disposing of the toxic waste and that there still has not been one conclusion between all these agencies and acts raises healthy concern.

What Is Fracking? Why You Should Care

What Is Fracking?

Fracking is the process of drilling a hole deep into the earth before sending a high pressure powered mixture directed at the rock beneath with the goal of releasing a stream of valuable gas and/or oil. There are benefits to this manipulation of earth, and there are also consequences. It’s an important conversation that’s been placed in front of cities, states, and countries for some time as the demand of technology and fuel grows further into the 21st century.

What Are The Benefits?

The U.S. Has benefit from fracking, extracting oil from the ground, by driving the price of fuel down and giving us “gas security” for an estimated 100 more years or more. With it, we’ve also been able to produce electricity with half the emissions of coal. These benefits might be short lived when you consider the amount it threatens our environment, but these consequences are hard for some minds to see since it probably won’t effect them in their lifetime. Fracking will most likely benefit fewer people now, and effect the masses later on, and the U.S. Will be the example of what can happen due to their willingness to test nature to the extent they have fracking.

What Are The Environmental Threats of Fracking?

To set the scene, let’s look at the United Kingdom’s experimental fracking experience. After long time debate about allowing any fracking to ensue in their territory, test sites have been appointed for experimental fracking. In 2011, 2 earthquakes of 1.5 and 2.2 hit the area in nearby Lancashire and were found probably related to the drilling. Different areas involved with the originally approved test sites reacted differently and some have not approved further fracking for over 5 years. In areas where fracking hasn’t been the norm, the possibility is a scary one that makes residents willing to flea their homes if approval is granted near them.

A lot of the threats to the environment will be best guesses because there has not been enough research conducted on the consequences of drilling, but the earth has spoken loud enough to be heard in many cases. “Is anyone listening?” is another question.

Fracking can threaten water supplies because drilling into the earth with high pressure is not just a fruitful process of gas and oil, but can unleash any chemical or substance from the earth including Methane, which has contaminated much of the water sources near fracking sites already. There are several points within the process that leave our water sources vulnerable, including the water mixture used to release the gas from the earth in the first place. This mixture includes 600 known toxins and carcinogens including lead, mercury, and formaldehyde. Then the adequate disposable of the waste water and chemicals created from the process should be closer examined. It has not been strictly regulated, nor the aftermath studied enough. Remember Erin Brockovich? The story is too real with fracking. There has been over 1,000 cases of contamination near U.S. Fracking sites that include reports of sensory, respiratory, and neurological damage caused from the drinking water. It’s been decently documented that the water from fracking sites isn’t being adequately treated by our current facility’s procedures and that there are radioactivity levels involved that are much higher than approved safe.

Because water is the main component of the fracking process, up to 90% of the water used in fracking will never be returned to the environment for our consumption, which is a precious resource already under threat for a number of other reasons. More than ever, we need to protect this resource over others.

What Is The Social Risk Involved With Continued Fracking?

Furthermore, citizens can fear that the approval of fracking, if even for temporary gain of “gas security” and economic independence, will only set back research being done on alternative energy methods.

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HOW A MUNICIPAL WATER DISASTER CAN HAPPEN

A municipal water disaster can present itself without warning. The potential for adverse health effects can be great. Contact your city’s municipal water department for the latest report on the safety and quality of your water. The following are examples of water disasters that took the residents of these cities by surprise.

Most recently the Flint Michigan water disaster comes to mind. Flint had switched using the Detroit water system to using the Flint River. Soon after, high levels of lead were detected in tested homes. The water from the river was corrosive to the city water pipes which leached lead into the water supply. Lead poisoning can cause organ damage. In children it can cause brain damage.

Our nations capitol Washington, D.C. faced a water crisis when it was discovered that their lead levels were unacceptable. It was found that the change from using chlorine to chloramine caused premature pipe corrosion resulting in lead leaching into the water supply.

Cryptosporidium, a parasite, lives in the intestines of infected humans and animals. Feces from hosts can enter municipal water supplies by farm runoff and storm water. Milwaukee Wisconsin had a cryptosporidiosis outbreak in 1993 which caused illness to 400,000 people. Of which at least 69 people died. This incident became the largest documented waterborne disease outbreak in U.S. History. Cryptosporidium oocysts are tiny and were able to pass through the water facility’s filtration system. Milwaukee has put in place practices that has improved water quality security including water monitoring equipment and updated filters.

In 2014, the Toledo , Ohio metropolitan area residents were under an order not to drink or cook with the water. Samples taken from a water treatment plant indicated a toxin call microcystin. This toxin was a result of a large bloom of algae on Lake Erie. Microcystins form with the conditions of warm stagnant water and oversupply of nutrients. Fertilizer runoff from cropland contributing to the process. Ingestion of this toxin can cause liver damage.

It is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to have an emergency supply of water in an event of a water crisis. Your water supply should include one gallon of water per person for three days. Ideally This water should be commercially bottled and sealed to ensure its safety. Rotate out bottles with close expiration dates. Include extra water if you have pets.

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Good Water Makes Good Coffee

For many people, the first thing they consume in the morning is a cup of coffee. A good cup of coffee would taste like coffee and look like coffee. A good recipe for good coffee starts with good water.

Good water can come right out of your kitchen faucet. If you’re lucky. Water hardness can vary depending on your geographical location. Water quality can vary from town to town. Call your water supplier for the most recent water report to learn how good your water is. The water report should also tell you how hard your water is. The United States Environmental Protection Agency requires the monitoring of 91 contaminants.

You know you have hard water if you see mineral deposits on your pots, sinks, and toilets. Hard water can leave whitish deposits on your coffee maker parts that do not wipe off. These deposits are from calcium and magnesium and do not pose a health risk. Over time mineral deposits can clog the tube and drip arm resulting in an uneven or failed brew. These minerals can also leave a slime floating on top of your coffee. Clean your coffee maker by running vinegar through a brew cycle. Be sure to run a cycle of water through after that to rinse the vinegar out.

Water that makes bad coffee? Pretty much the same culprits that make bad tasting drinking water can make bad coffee. How about hydrogen sulfide, that rotten egg smell. The presence of iron can give your water a metallic taste. How about too much chlorine?

Coffee shop chains use a filter system that treats their water so essentially a cup of their coffee tastes the same no matter where the coffee shop is located.

A better cup of coffee for you might just involve using a pitcher type water filter product. These can reduce chlorine taste, odor, and contaminants. Be sure to read the instructions on how often to change the filter. Keep the pitcher and parts clean and store your water in the refrigerator to inhibit bacteria growth.

Using bottled water can make a good cup of coffee but the expense makes this not such a good idea. Lugging several gallons of water from store to car to house can be a lot of work.

If you need a more advanced filter system call your local professional water treatment company for their advice and solutions. If you already have a water system in place a regular inspection is a good idea to make sure it is working properly and maintained correctly.

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Suspect hard water? There’s a test for that.

Different Ways Of Conducting Hard Water Test

knoxville-water-testing-in-homeWater is very important to us. You will realize that we normally use it for drinking, cleaning and so on. You need water on a daily basis. Water can be hard or soft. You will realize that hard water normally takes time to lather with soap. Hard water can actually frustrate you. It can make your dishes to be spotty and even affect your skin. It can make your skin to be dry. It can also affect other appliances in your home. If you spot any of these signs, you are living in a hard water zone. You will realize that very few people normally have water softeners. Most homes in the United States have hard water. This is the reason why you should test whether your water is hard or soft.

Testing your water’s hardness will go a long way in finding the best solution for your home. There are many ways of testing whether your water is hard or not. Some of those ways include:

1. Review your yearly consumer confidence report.

This confidence report is normally sent by July 1 from your water supplier. This report basically has details of where your water comes from and what’s in it. You can actually call your water supplier if you do not receive your confidence report on time. He or she will send it to you. If the water hardness level is not indicated in the annual report, you can contact your local water municipality.

2. Carry out some tests at home.

Put some water in a clean water bottle and add a few drops of basic soap. A good example is Castile. It is normally free of dyes and perfumes. Once you are done, shake the bottle vigorously for a few seconds. If you see milky water that lacks fluffy bubbles, it shows that your water is hard. You will realize that soft water normally has an abundance of bubbles.

3. Use hard water test strips.

You can actually buy these strips from any store or through an online retailer. These test kits normally cost between $5 and $20.These test kits can actually help you determine whether your water is hard is hard or not.

4. Use a third-party lab

You can actually send some water samples to a third party lab for more analysis.

5. Hire the services of Knoxville Water treatment.

We are professionals in this field. We can help you determine whether your water is hard or not. Once you hire us, we will come and do hard water test for free.