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Water Treatment: Public Problems and Homeowner Options

water treatmentClean water is an essential part of life. Thanks to modern advancements in the plumbing and water treatment world, providing community-wide clean water has never been easier. However, things can go wrong with even the best water treatment plants. What can homeowners do when the community water system goes down? We’ll give you steps to take that can take to protect against the fallout of the city’s water treatment snafu. Before we get into that, though, let’s review the process that your water undergoes before it is lead to your home.

Public Water Treatment Process

surface waterYour drinking water follows a well-defined course from its source to the faucet. You can read more about basic water treatment in our previous post. Here’s the big picture.

Collection

First, specially designed equipment collects untreated or “raw” water from underground aquifers or from a surface water source such as a lake or river. Next, pipes transfer raw water to the designated water treatment facility. After that, the water undergoes a “pre-treatment” process. This process removes larger debris such as silt and leaves.

water treatment

Treatment

Once that pre-treatment is done, then the water will pass through a sequence of other treatment processes. These processes include filtration and disinfection with either chemicals or physical means. Disinfection helps remove and eliminate disease-causing microorganisms. When the water treatment process produces water ready for public consumption. Finally, the treated water flows out into the community through a network of pipes and pumps, aka the distribution system.

How Does Water Become Contaminated?

water treatmentJust because the United States is one of the most developed countries in the world, doesn’t mean it isn’t susceptible to water contamination. The catastrophe in Flint, MI represents one an unfortunate example of just how real water treatment issues become left untreated or unchecked.

Water contamination can happen anywhere, from larger cities to the smallest rural areas. Each problem is unique, which makes getting ahead of contamination that much more difficult.

water treatmentRural

When dealing with farming communities, agricultural runoff poses the greatest risk of contamination.  Water drains from farming fields as a result of irrigation, melted snow or rain. This runoff will likely contain pesticides, animal waste, fertilizers or even soil particles. All these contaminants can enter surface sources of drinking water such as lakes and rivers. Depending on circumstances, these same contaminants leach down into the groundwater supplies, or aquifers, and render them unsafe to drink. Treating groundwater is very difficult, and in some cases, an impossible venture, not to mention costly.

Industrial

The proliferation of industrial and manufacturing areas in metropolitan areas generates a substantial risk of water pollution. In larger and older cities, lead in the water supply still plagues residents. How does lead get into the water supply? Old infrastructure and aging deteriorated pipes contribute to this hazardous contaminant. A large number of industrial facilities also use freshwater to carry their waste away from their plant and deposit it into rivers, lakes and even oceans.

What Are the Risks of Drinking Contaminated Water?

Contaminated drinking water presents deadly risks. Each contaminant creates its own list of problems for unwary citizens. The Environmental Protection Agency provides a list of some of the most common contaminants and how they affect the population:water treatment

  • Lead: if consumed by children or pregnant women, it can lead to developmental problems and congenital disabilities.
  • E. Coli: E.coli, a bacteria that lives in human and animal feces, can enter water sources through human sewage or farming runoff. The symptoms of E. coli include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. If the case is severe enough, anemia, kidney failure, and potentially fatal dehydration can occur.
  • Pesticides and Nitrates: nitrates are components found in fertilizers. These are common water contaminants in farming communities. The most noticeable condition caused by nitrate contamination is methemoglobinemia, which is also known as “blue baby syndrome.”

What’s the Solution?

While the above information is scary and shouldn’t be taken lightly, there are steps that you can take to make sure your family has cleaner, safer water for your home.

Point-of-Entry Filtration System

Point-of-entry (POE) systems, also known as whole house water filters, connect with the main water line for your home. You will find the main water line where the water first enters your home from outside. The POE system treats the water so it can flow to every tap and every water-using appliance in your home. POEs treat wide-range water contaminants including iron, sulfur, chlorine and total dissolved solids. Depending size, POE systems last between five-to-seven years without needing a replacement. A POE does filter out a large number of impurities, making it safe for household and appliance usage. However, it does not filter enough for general consumption.

Point-of-Use Filtration System

Point-of-use (POU) filtration systems connect directly where the water exits the plumbing. For example, many homeowners install their POUs by a single water connection, usually under the kitchen and bathroom sinks. This type of water filtration system is of lower capacity, making it a perfect option for light use application. Again, depending on size, your POU system can last anywhere from three-to-six months or in some cases, up to a year. The most common type of POU system, reverse osmosis, can be installed either under the counter or on the faucet.  Reverse osmosis filters use advanced filtration technology that removes up to 99% of water contaminants, producing the best quality water for consumption. As a result, reverse osmosis POU systems remain the most popular option in the large selection of POU products.

What does All This Mean?

Pollutants, accidents and human error continue to plague the water treatment industry. As a result, you shouldn’t rely on them to take complete care of your water. Water treatment facilities, in general, are a great starting place for water filtration. But, taking advantage of whole-house water filtration systems and point-of-use filtration systems is the sure-fire way to make sure your household has access to the purest water. If your home is missing one or both options contact us today. Let us help you on the right path to clean, crisp, delicious water.

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Basic Water Treatment

One of the things we take for granted nearly every day is clean drinking water. When we are looking for a new home or business building, we automatically assume that it will have clean, running water. While this is not faulty thinking, have you ever wondered where your water comes from and how it is processed to be ready for use and consumption? In this article, you will learn where your water comes from, how it’s cleaned, the differences between public and private water treatment and why good water quality is so important. 

water treatmentWhere does our water come from?

The first part of water treatment is collecting it. Natural or untreated water is collected from underground aquifers, like a well or from a surface source such as a lake or river. It then either flows or is pumped to a water treatment facility.  

How does water treatment work?

Once the water arrives at the treatment facility, it is pre-treated in order to remove larger debris like silt and leaves. After that, the water will undergo a sequence of treatments. These include filtration and disinfection. Filtration and disinfection occur using either chemicals or a physical process. These treatments eliminate any disease-causing microorganisms.  

 Once the water completes this treatment regimen, it travels through a labyrinth of pipes and pumps known as a distribution system. 

In-home Water Treatment 

water treatmentIf you decide that you want even more filtration for your household water, there are in-home water treatment options that you can have installed. Known as Point-of-Use treatment systems, they treat your water at the point of consumption. The typical POU devices include:

Point-of-Entry devices treat water intended for household uses such as laundry, dishes, showering, brushing teeth and flushing toilets. These  include:  

  • Activated Carbon 
  • Ion Exchange
  • Filtration

Public  Distribution Systems Vs. Private Distribution Systems

water treatmentWater treatment and delivery systems fall into two primary groups: public and private. The main difference between the two is who controls the treatment facilities. 

The city or town served by the public water treatment facility typically owns and operates the facility. The facility usually falls under the management of the city or town’s elected official, such as a mayor.  

private water treatmentPrivate water treatment facilities vary in size and service area. An individual well that is supplying a single household and a small corporation that provides water to a small group of homes are both private water treatment facilities. So is a large company or business that has its own water service divisions.  

Regardless of the type of water treatment in question, they both must adhere to the water quality standards established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  

Why is water quality important?

Water makes up 70% of the human body, making it vital to human life. The human body can go a month or more without food. Even a week without water, however, can be fatal. Not all water is beneficial, though. Drinking bad or unfiltered, untreated water can have severe health consequences, some even fatal.  

How does water quality affect humans?

water treatment

Giardia lamblia organism

The CDC states that the top causes of drinking water-related outbreaks are: 

  • Giardia
  • Shigella 
  • Norovirus 
  • Hepatitis A 

As scary as that sounds, that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what can happen when you drink untreated water. Studies have shown high levels of lead in drinking water may cause delays in mental and physical development. Lead is also linked to learning difficulties and short attention spans in children. Again, this is just a short list of what can happen if you consume untreated water.  

hard water = more detergent neededHow are appliances affected?

Treated water also improves the performance of your water-using household appliances. Point-of-Use or Point-of-Entry filtration devices soften your water. Although hard water is not as detrimental as untreated water, it is still not an economical option.  

Water softeners remove the harsh minerals that lead to buildup on your appliances, pipes, tubs, sinks, and dishes. 

Hard water decreases your soap’s effectiveness, increasing the need for more soap or detergent. Soft water is also easier on your clothing, leaving it feeling soft and fresh. Hard water, on the other hand, will leave your laundry feeling stiff and scratchy.    

Free from hard water buildup your showerheads, sink drains, tub drains, dishwasher and washing machine will be more efficient. This saves you money and leaves less of a carbon footprint. 

 EPA Guidelines and Regulations  

According to the CDC, every community water supplier must provide an annual report, called a “CCR” or Consumer Confidence Report. This report provides information on your local drinking water quality. 

Stay tuned for our next article when we’ll discuss homeowner options when it comes to basic water treatment.

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Well Water

If you have well water, you’re not alone. Over 13 million Americans use private wells as their source of drinking water. Households that use private wells are responsible for the safety of their own water.

water pouring into cupped handsWhat is well water?

What does it mean to have well water in your home? Well water comes up straight from the ground directly into your home; essentially, it is not treated.

Problems with well water

Minerals

Untreated water has a higher abundance of minerals than treated tap water. All these minerals often affect the taste of your water. Although the minerals are safe for consumption, they can cause other problems in the home.

One such problem of hard water is that it keeps soap from dissolving properly. A telltale sign of this is that you feel a film on your body when you step out of the shower.

Soap buildup can also clog drains. A water softener can filter out those pesky minerals, keeping your body and drains soap free.

Contaminantsrendering of germs

Contamination is also a common issue in well water. From microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses to dissolved solids, these contaminants can cause some serious health issues, such as gastrointestinal illness.

So how do we solve these problems?

Water softeners can help with the minerals in well water. Contaminated water, however, takes more intense intervention.

Water Softeners

Many people wonder if you use a water softener with well water, The answer is yes–yes you can. Water softeners help to filter out minerals, such as magnesium and calcium. Removal of these minerals turns your water from “hard” to “soft”. You’ll notice a big change in the look and feel of laundry and dishes. You’ll also be saving money on soaps and detergents, because soft water requires much less of each. Water softeners can even make your water taste better by filtering out the minerals.

Testing for contaminants

What about the microorganisms? First, test the water and see if it is contaminated with microorganisms. This simple test only costs $30, and results usually come in about a week or two after the water sampling.
You should test for microorganisms once a year, or when you repair any part of the plumbing system, move into a new home, drill a new well, or if members of your household have reoccurring gastrointestinal illness.

Treating for contaminants

Chlorine
If your well water does test positive for microorganisms, you should immediately disinfect the water with chlorine bleach. After shock chlorinating the water, wait one to two weeks in order to retest the well water for microorganisms.

pot of boiling waterDistillation
Another, perhaps even easier, way to make your well water safe for consumption is to distill it yourself. Essentially, this means boiling your well water before using it for cooking or drinking. Distilling the water is an easy way to make sure your well water is clean and safe for use. You do not have to distill the water for bathing, however.

Deal with the source
It is essential to find the source of the problem and eliminate it. Most problems with microorganisms are due to faulty maintenance and/or construction, which can be easily fixed. For example, you may have to:

    • replace a leaky well cap
    • divert surface water away from your well
    • move livestock and/or pets away from the well area

Conclusion

Overall, if you have well water, taking care of it is not as hard as you might think. Well water is easy to take care of, as long as you take some precautions.

Use a water softener with your well water to prevent hard water damage to your body and your pipes.

Test your water regularly for microorganisms and other contaminants. Know to shock chlorinate the water. Also, be sure to boil you well water before drinking or cooking with it.

Give us a call for all your well-water needs!

Whether you have a well or are thinking about putting in a well, Knoxville Water Treatment can help with all your questions and well-water needs. Give us a call today!

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Water Softeners Part 3 Installation

water softener

                        problems caused by hard water

Time to install a water softener?

Scale build-up?

Bad taste & odor in water?

Stains on sinks, tubs, & laundry?

More scrubbing to get mineral deposits off faucets & shower heads?

If you’re experiencing any of these problems it’s time to get  your water tested.  A water softener system is the most cost-effective way to correct hard water hassles.

Once you’ve made the decision to install a water softener, you have some other choices to make.

DECISIONS, DECISIONS….

One choice will be the type of water softener you buy. Another will be how you will install the system. Many homeowners are comfortable with plumbing tasks and can do a DIY install. Others will want to enlist the services of a professional.

 

If you’re thinking about a DIY install, here are some pointers to get you started:

 

1. PERMITS

Be sure to check with your local building codes. Some locations require permits for installation of water softener units. They may also require emergency by-pass or shut-off valves. Local code requirements may affect your choice of system.

2. CHOOSE YOUR SYSTEM

Once you have the permit issue clear, your next step is to choose which water softener system you want to install. A multitude of online water softener sites provide an overload of information. You can get better information and more personal answers from your local water treatment service. We’ll help you evaluate your needs and get the best system for you.

soldering a copper pipe3. TOOLS

OK. You’ve gotten your permit and selected your system. Before you go to pick it up, or have it delivered, make sure you have the basic tools need to get the job done properly. Basic plumbing tools should be enough to get you started.

Pipe cutter      Pipe wrench      Torch & solder      Pipe fittings      Flex pipe tubing      Copper pipe           PVC solvent      Teflon tape      Elbow unit      Gloves and safety goggles     Pipe wrenches

4. CHOOSE YOUR LOCATION

Permit? Check. System? Check. Tools? Check. Excellent! water softenerNow you need to find a place in your house where you will install the system you’ve chosen. Things to remember when selecting the location for your water softener include:

  • Easy for you to access to install & maintain
  • Access to electrical outlet
  • Close to drainage (floor drain, standpipe, sump pump, or utility sink)
  • Connection must be before water heater split
  • Connection must allow softened water to water heater and inside faucets, but not to outside hose faucets

5. INSTALLATION PROPER

water shut off(Note: These are general installation steps. We like these DIY instructions for salt-based, reverse osmosis, and magnetic systems.)

Step 1: Shut off water to house.

Find the shut-off valve (usually in your basement) and close it. Now, open the lowest valve in your house water line to drain all water from the inside pipes. Once pipes are drained, proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Cut the main line.

Use your pipe cutter to cut open the main water line where you’ve chosen to install your water softener.

Step 3: Connect by-pass or shut-off valve.

Follow manufacturer instructions to install the by-pass or shut-off valve. You should install this as a safety feature whether your local building codes require it or not.

water softenerStep 4: Tie in to water supply.

Use copper or flexible tubing and pipe fittings to connect water softener to main water supply.

Step 5: Set up drainage

Connect drain hosing to unit and clamp it in place. Feed the end of hose near where it will drain. Be sure to leave about a two-inch gap to prevent any backwash from contaminating the system.

Step 6: Connect brine tank (salt-based systems)

Connect the large backflow hose to the brine tank. Refer to your manufacturer’s instructions for details.

Step 7: Flush tank

Turn the valve into the bypass position and flush water through to clear any debris or sediment in the tanks.

Step 8: Add salt (salt-based system)

If you own a salt-based system, add salt to the brine tank following your manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 9: Turn on the water

Start by turning on a cold water tap somewhere in the house. Next, turn on the main line valve slowly until it is fully open.

Step 10. Plug unit in and set up timer

Plug your unit securely into the outlet. Follow manufacturer instructions to set timer on your system. Timer settings include time of day, hardness level of your water, and details related to the rinse and regeneration cycles of your individual model.

THAT’S IT! Enjoy your new soft water!!!

Knoxville Water Treatment knows that installing a water softener system requires a lot of work. If you have questions during your DIY installation, or if you decide you’d like a professional to do the job, give us a call today. We’re stocked with top-of-the-line water softener systems and offer free water testing. Get in touch today!

 

 

 

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Water Softeners Part 2 How They Work

hard water spotsPart 1  Recap: Hard Water

In Part 1 of our series on water softeners, we discussed the effects of hard water on your pipes and appliances. We also noted how hard water reduces the effectiveness of soap and detergents and leaves chalky-white streaks and spots on dishes.

Of all the solutions we explored, water softeners provided the most efficient and cost-effective means of getting the unwanted minerals out of your hard water while still leaving it palatable.

 

Water Softener Componentshard-water-solutions, water-softeners

Three basic components comprise a water softener system.

  1. Mineral Tank-This is where the action is. The mineral tank constitutes the heart of the water softening system.  It contains the resin beads necessary in the ion exchange process that removes calcium and magnesium from your hard water.
  2. Brine Tank-The brine tank holds an aqueous solution usually containing a very high concentration of sodium. Sometimes the sodium is replaced with potassium, depending on the needs of the homeowner. The brine tank plays a key role in the regeneration cycle, which we’ll discuss in a later paragraph.
  3. Control Valve-This important component of the system determines when it is time to clean the resin beads that have been accumulating calcium and magnesium from the hard water flowing though the system. We’ll compare the different types of control valves and timers available in a later paragraph, also.

How Does It Work?

Calcium and magnesium in hard water create lots of problems. Water softeners remove the calcium and magnesium from the hard water and replace them with a mineral that doesn’t cause scaling. The minerals trade places through a process known in chemistry as ion exchange. We’ll talk about the process in common terms, but for those interested in the science behind ion exchange we found a You Tube video and a website that give a great explanation.

 

Ion exchange–trading scale-producing calcium and magnesium for non-scaling sodium or potassium.water softeners, sodium chloride

  • Polymer resin (like plastic beads) fill the mineral tank. These beads are covered with sodium or potassium  ions.
  • Hard water flows into the mineral tank.
  • Because of their electrical charge, calcium and magnesium ions in the hard water attach to the negatively-charged resin beads.
  • Sodium or potassium ions detach from resin beads and release into the water when calcium and magnesium attach.
  • Softened water circulates back into the household supply.

What happens when the resin beads “fill up” with calcium and magnesium ions?hard-water-solutions, water-softeners

This is where the control valve and brine tank come into play. Calcium and magnesium eventually saturate the resin beads. This means that the beads can no longer attract these ions. They need to be cleaned. Water softeners clean the resin beads in a three-stage process called regeneration. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Backwash

The control valve reverses the water flow. This removes all debris  from the mineral tank and flushes it out the drain.

Step 2: Recharge

In step 2, brine (very salty water) from the brine tank pumps into the mineral tank and flushes the resin beads. The high concentration of salt in the brine forces the calcium and magnesium ions to detach from the resin beads. Calcium and magnesium ions move back into the water. The salt (either sodium or potassium ions) then attaches to the resin beads. Finally, the salty water, now filled with calcium and magnesium ions, flows into the drain.

Step 3: Rinse

Water softening resumes once recharging finishes. The mineral tank fills with hard water and ion exchange begins. When calcium and magnesium once more saturate the resin beads, the control valve initiates the regeneration process.

As you can tell, the control valve manages the entire process. In order to make the best choice, you need to know what’s available for you. Homeowners have a choice of types of valves to use.

Types of Control Valves

water softeners, hard water solutions

Automatic water softener control valves fall into three categories.

Some use an electric timer. The timer flushes and regenerates the water on a regular schedule regardless of the ion concentration. During the regeneration phase with this kind of timer, softened water is not available.

Another type of timer uses a computer. The computer monitors how much water passes through the mineral tank. When the pre-determined volume of water is reached, the computer starts the regeneration process. Systems with a computer timer generally reserve resin beads. This means that some soft water is available during the regeneration phase.

The third type of automatic timer uses a mechanical water meter. The water meter determines water usage. This means no water is wasted and the mineral tank recharges only when necessary.  When you add second mineral tank to this system, you can have soft water even during recharging.

hard water solutions

Take Your Pick

Water softeners come in all shapes and sizes, but each one provides you with a simple solution to your hard water problems. Not sure what’s best for you? Give us a call. We have the water treatment experts who can determine the perfect system for you.

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Reverse Osmosis Water Filters

            Water, anyone?

Who doesn’t love a glass of cool, clear water on a hot day? Unfortunately, many people who go to their sink for a glass of refreshing, clean, clear water find themselves disappointed — or even kind of grossed out. Water taps across the country spurt odd-smelling water. The water often has unidentifiable particles of … well, something… floating in it and even sticking to the sides and bottoms of the glasses. No thanks! If this describes the water from your tap, it’s time to invest in a water filtration system. One of the most popular types of drinking water filtration systems is the reverse osmosis water filter system, or RO, for short.

What is Reverse Osmosis?

You usually hear about  reverse osmosis as a way to make ocean water drinkable by removing the salt.  Dictionary.com  says reverse osmosis is the process of producing pure water by forcing water with salt or other solid particles in it through a semi-permeable membrane. In order to really understand reverse osmosis, we need to talk first about regular osmosis.

Osmosis

Osmosis occurs when water moves through a semi-permeable membrane from an area of higher concentration of water particles to an area of lower concentration of water particles.

   Think of it this way:

You have one cup of fresh water and one cup of water with salt mixed into it. You pour the salt water into the left side of this U-shaped glass beaker. Then you pour the fresh water into the right side. A very thin plastic membrane filled with thousands of very tiny holes sits in the center of the bottom tube of the beaker. When you pour the cups of water into each side of the beaker, the fresh water flows to the side of the salt water.  The water level in that side of the beaker rises. This happens because there are more water molecules in the fresh water compared with the water molecules in the salt water. The fresh water moves toward the salt water to even up the number of water molecules.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis occurs when you apply  pressure to salt water. The pressure forces the salt water up against the membrane. The salt particles are too large to fit through the membrane openings and only the small water particles are pushed through. The membrane effectively filters out the salt and contaminants, allowing the now-clean water to pass through and mix with the fresh water on the right-hand side.

So how does all this work in a home drinking water system?

How reverse osmosis water filters work in your home

If you want to install a reverse osmosis system for your whole house, we can help with that. Most families, however, choose to start with a much smaller reverse osmosis water filter system that fits underneath the counter.

The reverse osmosis water filter system is connected to your water supply and the system processes the water  through a series of 3 to 6 tube filters before it passes into the storage container.  A separate faucet, installed on your sink, draws clean, filtered water from the storage tank. Some folks don’t want to install a complete reverse osmosis water filter system under their sinks. Most stores also carry a counter-top model of the reverse osmosis water filter system. This unit sits on the counter and connects directly to the faucet.

Now what?

Not sure if you want to try a DIY install for your reverse osmosis water filter system? Or maybe you need help figuring out what type of water filter system is best for you. Whatever your water purification needs, Knoxville Water Treatment can help. Give us a call today and start treating yourself to the best water you can get!

 

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5 Things Americans Take For Granted

It’s safe to say Americans take much more than just 5 things for granted, but this article outlines a few we can think about today. Maybe after you’ve read the article, you can think of a few more of your own, as well as some things you personally do appreciate.

Shoes

After seeing the feet of poverty, you’d never again take for granted your 5-20 pairs of shoes, some of which you’ve worn only a handful of times. Some of these feet walk on hot black asphalt in the dirtiest streets, they wear shoes that do not fit, inappropriate shoes like sandals in the winter, and holy out-of-style tennis shoes from 1980.

Clean Water

Clean water is such an issue for some parts of the world that well over 10 blogs and more organizations dedicate their platforms to the cause. In some parts of the world, having water that is safe enough to brush your teeth with it, is a blessing. Even natural sources of water across the globe are unsafe to drink from without requiring medication afterward. In some parts of the world, heat and dehydration are so much a daily threat to their residents, that they must carry around a gallon of clean drinking water to survive.

Transportation

Some folks in other countries cannot leave their homes when they want to, sometimes due to law, obligation, or a lack of transportation completely. Yes, there are parts of the world where no one has a car! In some places, your opportunity to leave may come expensively and in the form of the most crowded bus you can imagine, with people sitting practically on top of one another. One person of that many is bound to stink up the bathroom during your voyage and you will absolutely endure the smell of sweat and body odor for the duration of your trip, too!

Public School and College

 

Almost 70% of high school graduates in the United States now enroll in post-secondary education systems (colleges). You’d think that this 5 million enrollment increases in the past 15 years would mean that the American people have increased the sense of value they associate with their education, but that’s not the case. While young men and women in other parts of the world have no access to education from even Kindergarten through high school, Americans are paying for alarmingly high tuition and not even attending their courses!

Waste Management Services

More than half of the world’s nations don’t have access to regular trash pick-up while Americans produce 236 tons of waste annually. This data puts us as the #1 most wasteful country in the world, second is the Russian Federation (207.4 tons), and then Japan (52.36 tons). Concerned advocates of people and the environment call it a crisis because the consequences being overlooked are the pollution of nature, adding to the public health’s vulnerability, and sometimes drowning poor country’s in our relocated waste.

It’s easy to forget how easy and care-free our lives can be in America when daily, we coast without interruption, but consider the effects of your ungratefulness on a larger scale. Our attitude has and will continue to effect other countries. Your effort, whether for change or for staying the same, will effect others and finally, make its way back to the states and your backyard, or your future generation’s backyards. What are you grateful for today? Take a moment to reflect on all that you’re blessed with!

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Important Minerals In Drinking Water

Minerals are important for the body to intake to function optimally. They assist in controlling bone growth, regulate all the body’s fluids, balance nerve and muscle functioning, maintain metabolism levels, grow connective tissues, and so much more. It’s debatable that all of our minerals are obtained from drinking water, a common misconception. Most of our minerals are actually absorbed through our food and a proper diet, so you don’t have to fret between drinking tap or bottled water in this regard (because many believe bottled/purified water is void of essential vitamins and minerals). You would need to drink a full bathtub of water each day to receive adequate minerals. You can get all you need from eating a balanced diet. You will, however, want to be sure your water is as safe and pure as possible for drinking and using on and inside your body.

The minerals found in our drinking water are typically inorganic minerals that can actually be harmful to our health. Over time, consuming minerals the body has no use for can be slow to process and be unwantedly stored in tissues and our organs, eventually becoming a toxic buildup. The most harmful among them are calcium salts that later can cause gallstones, kidney stones, joint and bone calcification, arthiritis, and hardening and obstruction of the arteries. Organ failure and cancer development, too, have been known to develop in long term exposure cases. This mineral can be found n both tap and natural spring water, so it’s an element that would need to be specifically tested for. Food minerals are much easier for our bodies to use and digest and are never toxic.

If now you stand corrected on the point of water not containing our necessary vitamins and minerals, where do you get them? Well first, you must know which minerals are essential: Calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Calcium is conducive to strong bones and teeth, and also plays a significant role in the digestive system. You can find adequate supply of calcium in foods such as nuts (almonds), greens such as broccoli, kale, and spinach, dried apricots and figs, seafood, and dairy products.

Iron produces white blood cells and supports the immune system. Foods rich in iron are apricots again, raisins, figs, beans and lentils, eggs, greens, lean red meat, seafood, and whole grains.

Magnesium’s job is to regulate potassium and sodium levels in the body that help you to control your blood pressure. It also assists in the absorption and digestion of vitamins and minerals. Magnesium is found in apricots, figs, bananas, brown rice, whole wheats, green leagy vegetables, peas and sweet corn, lean meats, milk, and yogurt.

Zinc is a antioxidant that helps with replenishment and a healthy immune system. You can find zinc in foods like brown rice, whole grain bread, cheese, seafood, and duck, goose, lean red meat, and turkey.

Now that you know which minerals are essential to your body’s optimal functioning, that your water is not the most important source for them, and which foods to get them from, all you need to do now is properly filter the water you do have. You can perform a simple at-home test or call a professional to have your water quality evaluated. It will be tested for harmful contaminants such as flouride, arsenic, chromium, perchlorate, heavy metals, bacteria, and viruses. With this information, you’ll be able to pick out a water filtration system that works for you and your family!

So remember to eat a balanced diet with some of the suggested foods from this article and drink the cleanest water possible!

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The Importance of Consuming Water

You’ve heard about the importance of consuming water because you are mostly made up of water, but it’s always great to have a reminder to get us back on track to hydration and its benefits. Here is a thorough recap on why you should drink adequate amounts of water daily and its importance to the wellness of both human beings and the world.

So, it is 60%, that your body is made up of water. You brain alone is made up of 70% water, and your lungs 90%. Water is crucial to your body’s optimal functioning. First, you’ll notice that it cushions and lubricates joints for ease of use and minimal chance for injury. It protects and nourishes the brain, keeps the body temperature balanced, and aids you in waste removal through sweating, eliminating, and urination. Per day, 2.5 quartz is lost and needs replenishing through foods and liquids.

Human beings are said to have originated as single-cell organisms in the oceans millions of years ago, which would explain why we are made so much of water. If you lacked water consumption, you would probably last no longer than a week, they say. It’s more important to your health than food is, which you can go without for an entire month before it’s lethal. When your body is void of water it produces less blood, forcing your heart to pump harder to maintain its systems. As the state of dehydration becomes worse, you will become clumsy and tired without adequate oxygen to the brain and muscles. Your eyesight may become unpredictable, and in the final stages, you will feel nauseous and vomit. Complete dehydration will put you in a coma and you will die.

There is an instance you can also consume too much water. This condition is called Hyponatremia and it describes the occasion when too much water floods your cells and causes them to expand too much. Swollen brain cells can cause a wide range of symptoms, including headache, nausea, stomach pain, confusion, seizures, fatigue, come and death (just like dehydration). Who would do that though, you ask? Hyponatremia has killed a number of marathon runners.

Let’s address some myths about water now. Both the 8 glasses of 8 ounce water a day requirement and the only water, no caffeine or alcohol rule, are myths according to Dr. Heinz Valtin of Dartmouth College Medical School. His documented studies in the American Journal of Physiology showed no evidence of needing this requirement, and he did find evidence that beverages such as beer could contribute to your level of hydration.

Just Enough

Knowing your body is the best way to know how much water or fluid to intake per day and even then, the amount will differ based on your activity level and other factors. Try intaking fluids and food much slower and see if your body tells you when its had enough. Otherwise, British Broadcasting Corp. recommends you drink between 6-8 medium sized glasses of fluid daily, and this can include fruit juices. Looking at the color of your urine can also be an indication of a healthy or unhealthy level of hydration. Dark yellow urine is not good, but straw colored yellow urine or lighter is great.

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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.