Did you know that bottled water actually has negative affects on you? While the price is between $1-$2 for a bottled water, it can be mighty convenient to run into a convenient store and make the purchase. However, many water bottled brands just put tap water into the bottle and disguise it with an eye-catching label. According to ABC News, Aquafina water bottles originate from public water sources. The Natural Resources Defense Council explains that bottled water may not be any cleaner or safer than tap water. The National Geographic wrote an interesting articled titled, Why Tap Water is Better Than Bottled Water, which explains how much money bottled water companies are making but they are merely repackaging tap water. A reporter at ABC News states, “There are more standards regulating tap water in Europe and the United States than those applied to the bottled water industry.” Most of the time, water comes from a municipal supply, is treated then packaged and sold for too much money. Bottled water is regulated by the FDA while tap water is regulated by the EPA. The EPA has much stricter restrictions and regimes, and the EPA must send an annual water quality report to its residents. Bottled water also costs 2,000x more than tap water because of the plastic encasing bottle. In depth research also shows that a majority of purchased bottled water does not get recycled.
There are several different types of water filtration methods which we will explore in-depth. If you need water filtration for your home, give us a call at 800-428-8001! Distillation Distillation is the oldest form of water filtration where water is heated to boiling and the water vapor rises to a condenser. The cooling water lowers the temperature and the vapor is condensed, collected and stored. A majority of the contaminants remain in the liquid phase vessel. In some cases there are carry-overs that are found in the distilled water. Ion Exchange This process occurs when water percolates through bead-like spherical resin materials. Ions in the water are then exchanged to fix the beads.The two common types of methods are softening and deionization. Softening is used to reduce water hardness and reverse osmosis. The beads in the softener are used to exchange two sodium ions for calcium and magnesium ions that are removed. Deionization occurs when the beads exchange hydrogen ions for cations hydroxyl ions for anions. When used with other methods, deionization can be a crucial factor of a total water purification system. Reverse Osmosis Reverse osmosis is one of the most popular water filtration methods because it removes a wide-range of contaminants which can be a hazard to your health. This process happens when most contaminants are pushed out from the water through a semi-permeable membrane.
Recently, we’ve seen some news about cartoned water. These cartons are similar to the soymilk containers and coconut water boxes, but are they really helping the planet? When you consider the other options for water storage – plastic or glass, the carton is the better choice due to waste reduction. These cartons have a high paper content, which IS a good thing, because trees are a renewable resource and plastic is not. The carton is made of paper and plastic, and this where we run into an issue. Recycling can be tough for some towns. Some areas don’t have the technology to separate out the materials and recycle one or the other. The company offers a mail-back program for areas that aren’t able to recycle, but most of these cartons are ending up in the trash. When you look at it from this point of view, at least the glass and plastic bottles are recycled all over the world without issue. In addition to this, shipping cost and emissions from trucks are lower because the cartons are so much lighter than glass. Lastly, do need these cartons? We have a clean water source coming from our sinks, and we have refillable bottles to avoid producing any more waste or littering. If you are worried about polluting your environment, you can carry a refillable bottle- and be sure to recycle in other aspects of your life!
There has a been a long standing paradox about the surface waters of the ocean. The very top of the worlds oceans are saturated with the greenhouse gas, methane. However, the species that would produce such gases could never survive in this underwater atmosphere, so where does it come from? The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute thinks that they may have figured it out. Methane is a pretty dangerous green house gas. To understand why we should care about its presence in our oceans, lets first look at some information. If produced underground, methane can last for hundreds of years. Once in the atmosphere, it can hang around for anywhere between 10-15 years. While the life of methane is impressive, it is also good at trapping heat. This – contributes largely to global warming, hence why we should pay attention to its levels. While in smaller amounts methane can be helpful to us, these large amounts are hurting our environment. According to scientists at the WHOI, the answer to where all of this greenhouse gas is coming from could be in the way that bacteria break down dissolved organic matter; basically, a combination of what substances are put back into the seawater by sea life. Recently, the WHOI discovered that “the ocean’s dissolved matter is made up of novel polysaccharides — long chains of sugar molecules created by photosynthetic bacteria in the upper ocean. Bacteria begin to slowly break down these polysaccharides, tearing out pairs of carbon and phosphorus atoms (called C-P bonds) from their molecular structure. In the process, methane, ethylene, and propylene gasses are created as a product. Most of the methane escapes back into the atmosphere, hence its’ presence on the surface water of most of our oceans.” (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. “Mysterious source of greenhouse gas methane in ocean explained.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 November 2016 <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161117145241.htm>.) Previous to the conclusions below, scientists were looking at where methane could have come from. They looked at fish and shrimp to see if the gas was hiding in their intestines, however there is too much oxygen present there to have the gas there as well. Once the scientists added a humanmade chemical to the water which contains many C-P bonds, the organisms began producing methane. Of course once they made this connection, the scientists needed to see where the C-P bonds were coming from naturally. What they narrowed it to down to was that the process has two parts. There are two different species, one that can make but not use these bonds, and one that can use but not make the same bonds. With these new developments, we can see where most of the methane gas is coming from in our oceans! For more information on this particular study, check out the article, here. For all of your water needs – call us at Culligan. We would love to help.
If you have ever seen the movie Erin Brockovich then you may find it interesting to know the cancer-causing toxin in the movie is real and already in your drinking water. Last month the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reported a large amount of chromium-6 has contaminated the tap water consumed by Americans. While the EPA has set a federal standard for the amount of chromium allowed in drinking water, they have never set a limit for chromium-6.
What is Chromium-6?Chromium-6 is a heavy metal and carcinogen that can be found in nature but is usually created by various industrial processes such as welding and manufacturing processes like tanning leather products and creating stainless steel. The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration states that “high levels of airborne Chromium-6 can cause cancer” but the administration is uncertain about the degree of Chromium-6 that can be harmful. Chromium-6 has been linked to reproductive problems and liver problem along with cancer. The highest concentration of Chromium-6 can be found in California but recent reports have indicated that there are low measurements of chromium-6 in communities throughout Massachusetts. One of the highest reported results of chromium-6 in Massachusetts has been in Harwich. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection goes by the EPA standards, but the EPA is currently under the process of developing additional risk information for chromium-6, updates to the standards will come as soon as next year.
This past summer was a hot and dry one! Due to the lack of rain, state officials have responded to the drought by urging residents to limit their water usage. Massachusetts officials have offered assistance to struggling farms to prevent any decline in local agriculture. Officials also want to ensure that every town in Massachusetts has a plan in place to provide enough water for firefighting and public safety purposes. Governor Charlie Baker recently said, “With much of Massachusetts continuing to experience extremely dry conditions, I am asking the public to administer best water conservation practices for the foreseeable future. By minimizing water use, especially while outside, we will collectively take crucial steps necessary to enable groundwater and reservoirs to rebound quicker as we work together to manage and reduce the effects of a statewide drought.” The Governor urged individuals to check with their city or town officials to find out which local restrictions are in place as they can vary from community to community. “The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is coordinating with other state agencies and cities and town to ensure that all local needs can be met if the drought condition worsens” stated Public Safety Secretary Dan Bennett. With all of these warnings from public officials, here are some quick tips for conserving water! – Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or washing your hands. – Fix any leaks in faucets or plumbing – Take a shorter shower – Head to a car wash that recycles water – Only run your dishwasher or washing machine when each is completely full Along with ensuring that residents are aware of water conservation, Baker’s administration wants the public to know the dangers of the dry conditions. With these conditions, the administration wants people to be extremely careful when using grills, matches, candles or open flames outdoors, as well as to making sure that smoking materials are properly disposed of. As summer draws to an end, officials are hopeful that the fall will bring much-needed rainfall to the dry towns and cities across Massachusetts. For more information on water conservation, visit the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s drought management page and the Massachusetts Department of Water Conversation Page.