Waterwise Wednesday: Black Water

Photo © creativecommonsstockphotos

Cities flush fire hydrants to make sure the hydrants work properly and rid the system mains of corrosion, rust, and sediment.

If faucet water is dark or discolored after a City hydrant flush simply run the tap until the water is clear again. The black sediment is naturally occurring maganese that has reacted with sodium hypochlorite that is used to protect water from contamination as it travels through the pipe system.

Waterwise Wednesday: Water Safety Tips

Swimmers are bobbing at the pools and lakes. Remember a few tips to stay safe and enjoy the water all summer.

– Always swim with a buddy. Don’t assume that lifeguards can see everything, they’re watching several people at once. Children should always be under active supervision.

– Explore cautiously and make sure you’re comfortable with the body of water you’re swimming in. Rivers and lakes can have undertows. Never dive into an unfamiliar area.

– Remember, more strength is needed to swim in a current. 
If you get caught in a current, don’t panic or try to fight it. Float with it, or swim parallel to the shore.

Photo © Gbphotostock

Waterwise Wednesday: Rain Here and There

Only two planets are known to get liquid rain at the surface, Earth and Titan (one of Saturn’s moons). Earth’s rain is water, Titan’s is liquid methane.

The rain on the rest of the planets discovered so far evaporates before reaching the planet’s surface. Which may be a good thing since the “rain” is actually solid rock (COROT 7b), diamonds (Neptune, Saturn, and Jupiter), or Sulfuric Acid (Venus). Makes a walk in the rain on earth rather enjoyable, don’t you think?

Photo © creativecommonsstockphotos

Water Wise Wednesday: Another Way to Tell Time

A drip a second from a leaky faucet sends five gallons of water down the drain in a day. An hour could be measured as 3,364 drips or about 3 3/4 cups of water.

According to the US Geological Survey, a typical drip is between 1/5 and 1/3 of one milliliter. Using 1/4 of a milliliter as an average, the USGS estimates that roughly 15,140 drips from a faucet equals one gallon of water.

In the end, it’s probably easier (and cheaper) to just set the clock ahead for Daylight Savings Time this Sunday.

Copyright: Dreamstime.com

Waterwise Wednesday: Kid Games

Need to keep the kids occupied while they’re home for break?

Try some of these water conservation games rounded up by Water, Use it Wisely.

Games

 

Waterwise Wednesday: Winter Prep

Winter officially begins this Friday. Make sure your house is ready to prevent freezing and flooding.

1. Know where your property shut-off valve is. The faster you can turn off the water when a pipe breaks, the less water wasted, water damage, and repair costs.

2. Insulate water pipes in unheated areas. Wrap water supply lines in unheated areas with insulation tubes made of polyethylene or fiberglass. The most susceptible pipes freezes are those exposed to frigid temperatures such as outdoor hose bibs and water supply lines in unheated interior areas like basements, crawlspaces, and even kitchen cabinets.

3. Drip your faucets. Contrary to popular belief, dripping faucets during freezing temperatures can actually save you money on water by acting as inexpensive insurance. Pulling water through the entire system by turning on faucets keeps the water moving, reducing the likelihood of freezing.

4. Check for leaks after the first thaw. Winter’s temperature changes between night and day cause pipes to expand and contract. When the spring thaw occurs, weakened pipes are likely to break.

Photo © creativecommonsstockphotos

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Waterwise Wednesday: Thanks! For Saving Water on Thanksgiving

Here’s some ways to save water as you celebrate the holiday . . .

1. The Big Thaw. Thaw the turkey in the refrigerator instead of cold water. Remember, to put it in pan to catch leaking juices.

2. Bathe instead of shower. Wash vegetables in a large bowl of water, instead of under running water. Then use the water to soak the roasting pan or dirty utensils before washing them.

3. Steam instead of boil – not only will you use less water, you’ll also preserve more nutrients and vitamins.

4. Track the glass. Use wine glass charms, ribbon, or different color yarn to keep track of your glass throughout the day instead of reaching for clean one each refill. K

5. Easy reach. Keep one pitcher of cold water on the table for water glass refills. Keep a second to collect the half-full glasses at day’s end for plant or pet water.

6. Scrape dishes into the compost or trash rather than rinsing food scraps down the garbage disposal, which clogs pipes with oil and grease.

7. Thank goodness for dishwashers – ENERGY STAR – rated dishwashers can use as little as three gallons per load. If you have to wash dishes by hand, fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water.

 

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Free photo 82950340 © creativecommonsstockphotos – Dreamstime.com

Waterwise Wednesday: Wake up! Our Water Makes Great Coffee

The Panhandle’s hard water makes great coffee. Our hard water contains “sticky” minerals like calcium and magnesium, while the coffee beans contain compounds like citric acid, lactic acid, and eugenol (a compound that adds a “woodsy” taste) that give coffee its distinct flavor and aroma. The minerals stick, or attract, the compounds while brewing providing more flavor to the coffee.

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Waterwise Wednesday: Enjoying the Fruits of the Harvest

Its harvest time for all those rain-barrel-watered garden veggies.

Save water during cooking by rinsing the produce in a large bowl of water and gently scrubbing with a veggie brush. Steam the veggies instead of boiling – it preserves nutrients in addition to water. If you choose to boil, use the minimum amount of water and save it to water plants later.

And to preserve fruits and veggies, eat them in order, starting with the things that will go bad the soonest:

First: bananas, berries, cherries, kiwis, avocado, spinach, lettuce, and grapes

Second: tomatoes, mango, peaches, pears, melon, apricots, and zucchini

Third: cucumbers, pineapple, and pomegranates

Last: carrots, potatoes, celery, apples, grapefruit, and oranges

Photo © Liz Van Steenburgh

 

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