Tag Archives: EPA

National Geographic’s 5 Ways to Save Yard Water

National Geographic recently posted a wise article on ways to replace your lawn with water-saving plants and other alternatives so that you don’t use as much water during this extreme Californian drought. Here is the list that they created to help you and your family save water in your home… ”

astroturf

  1. Astroturf– Made famous on sports fields, synthetic grass, or astroturf, is becoming an increasingly popular choice for homeowners, from California to Virginia. A lot of research has gone into the material in recent years, to make it softer underfoot and to reduce the temperature it achieves under intense sun.
  2. Groundcover– Instead of grass, a wide range of ground covers can be used to keep out weeds and reduce erosion, which would otherwise be a problem if people suddenly ripped out their grass. Alternatives include rocks and mulch, some of which can be locally sourced. Crushed shells are popular for properties near a beach. Sand also is an option, particularly for those going for a Zen garden look.
  3. Native plants– Many traditional nurseries offer plants that are native to a local area. Native plants are adapted to the local climate and require little or no watering to thrive, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. [They] also can provide habitat for local birds, mammals, and insects. They typically earn points for green certification systems like LEED or can help homeowners achieve a “wildlife friendly” designation from their state or a nonprofit.
  4. Drought-tolerant grasses & shrubs– In addition to native plants, homeowners also can choose from a wide range of drought-tolerant grasses and shrubs from around the world. Examples include lavender, sage, kangaroo paw, and tea tree.                                           cactusinfo
  5. Desert plants– People can exchange grass for such water-sippers as succulents and cactus. These plants are often widely available at nurseries, and they can be kept in pots and moved indoors during colder months in cooler climates. They can be used in large numbers or as accents.  “

To learn how to save water in your house as well as in your yard, visit Filtercon Technologies‘ website or call us at 800-550-1995.

Source:

5 Water-Saving Ways to Replace Lawns During California’s Drought. National Geographic. May 21, 2015.  http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/05/150521-turf-terminators-xeriscape-california-drought-tolerant-lawns-water-savings/

Images:

1) suggestkeyword.com

2) cactusinfo.net

Mine Spill To Affect CO, UT, NM, AZ, & Mexico

 red greeen and blue

America’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a water warning for areas near Durango, Colorado spreading all the way to Mexico. Last week, the Animas River suffered a toxic spill from a nearby mine, resulting in a mustard-colored contamination. 3 million gallons of lead, cadmium, arsenic, copper, manganese, and iron spilled when federal EPA workers were moving earth trying to control rising water levels in Gold King Mine and prevent an incident such as this one.

EPA cleanup

“What wasn’t a problem in the past is becoming a problem now because of the increased use of mountain water,” says geology and alpine hydrology professor Mark Williams at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Mark has worked with the EPA in the past to mitigate polluted water from abandoned Colorado mines. Western states together contain 500,000 abandoned mine sites that have the potential to cause pollution issues such as this one.

Animas River

But issue at hand remains how the water is going to affect the rest of the country and Mexico. The watershed that the Animas River flows into has already contaminated Colorado and Utah and will continue to flow down through the Navajo nation (some parts of Arizona and New Mexico) and Mexico. Farmers, industrial buildings, and the community surrounding the area of the spill have been warned not to use the water until it is deemed safe again. In the meantime, the EPA has sent out teams to clean the river thoroughly so that it can start to self-heal and bring wildlife back to the area. People living in areas affected by the spill can now file claims with the EPA.

Sources:

Yahoo! News. Animas River Spill: How Colorado’s ‘Gold Medal’ Rivers Turned Mustard. http://news.yahoo.com/animas-river-spill-colorados-gold-medal-waters-turned-002900376.html

Fox News. EPA’s McCarthy: Contaminated Water From Colorado Mine Will Spread. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/08/11/epa-mccarthy-contamination-from-colorado-mine-spill-will-spread-cause-still/

Images:

1) redgreenandblue.org

2) pressherald.com

3) wilx.com

The Chemicals You’re Drinking

At shows, people always ask us, “What’s in my water?” The short answer is that you can’t know unless you get the tap water in your home tested with a kit. The long answer is this:

tap chems

The EPA says that there are roughly 2,000 different harmful contaminants that could be in your water. Out of these, the most harmful are lead, giardia, cryptosporidium, and chlorine. This is scary because lead is found in pipes, so the tap water coming into your home can pick up lead if your pipes are corroded. Chlorine is also a contaminant to fear because we as water consumers do not decide the amount of chlorine that is added to our tap water.

chlorine
All of these reasons and more are why you should be filtering your water at home. It is important for living a long, healthy life free of illness and disease. It’s also important to test your water so that you know which filters to buy that will get all of the contaminants out of your water. There are also many different home filters to choose from. Should you get one that filters water throughout your entire house? One that goes under your faucet? In your shower? All of this depends on how much you’re willing to spend and how worried you are about your health. If anything, know that you should be filtering.

Want to check out more? Visit http://www.filtercon.com or call us at 800-550-1995

Toledo’s Contaminated Water: Here’s What Went Wrong

TOLEDO2-articleLarge

The contamination came from algae toxins—and it’s not likely to be an isolated incident

On Monday, the Toledo, Ohio, Mayor D. Michael Collins lifted the municipal ban on drinking water.The ban had left thousands of Toledo and Michigan residents without drinking water, which was contaminated by a toxin produced by an algae bloom in Lake Erie. If consumed, the toxin could cause symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting. Residents were told not to drink the water, use it to brush their teeth, or—most confounding of all—boil it.

We talked to two experts at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as Craig Cox, the senior vice president of agriculture and natural resources at the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to explain everything you should know about the contamination.

What is an algae bloom, and why is it toxic?

An algae bloom is a heavy concentration of cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae. It looks like a huge mat, turns the bay around Toledo bright green, and produces a neurotoxin called microcystin, which makes people sick.

How does an algae bloom form?

There are a few reasons algae blooms form, but it’s primarily caused by runoff from farm fertilizers. In Toledo’s case, the phosphorus and nitrogen from these fertilizers runs into the Maumee River, which drains right into the Maumee Bay of Lake Erie, where Toledo is located. This spurs the growth of the blooms. The summer heat has likely also played a role in this particular algae bloom’s growth.

Is this a growing problem in water?

Yes. The EPA says there is not a federal standard for blue-green algae in water, but experts say it is in the process of considering one. Farm runoff is not very regulated, so the expectation, according to Cox, is that this kind of water contamination could happen again and again. About 2o or so years ago the U.S. took action to prevent the amount of runoff draining into the lake, and things were looking up. But now, environmentalists are worried we’ve backtracked.

How did the algae get into the drinking water?

The water intake for Toledo’s water supply is located right in the middle of the Maumee Bay where the algae bloom moved to. The water intake brought in both the blue-green algae and the toxins it produces.

Aren’t there purification systems that prevent that?

Yes, but they don’t necessarily address the blue-green algae toxins. The algae bloom moved very close to the water intake system, and the water treatment system experienced much higher levels than they had previously. It put a lot of pressure on the system. The conventional treatment plan the city of Toledo has is a multi-step procedure that removes dangerous pathogens and decontaminates the water in a variety of ways. To directly address the blue-algae toxins, it is using activated carbon to absorb and remove the toxins.

How did the contamination go away in just a couple days?

The EPA worked with Toledo over the weekend to sample the water at both the supply system and the drinking water system, and a couple of things happened. First, the algae bloom moved away from the water intake system, which could have been due to the wind. The second is that Toledo enhanced its treatment system with the aforementioned carbon to specifically address the blue-algae and its toxins.

I thought boiling water decontaminates it. Why couldn’t the residents boil their water?

Boiling water kills things like bacterial organisms, but it does not get rid of blue-algae toxins. Instead, boiling water decreases the volume of the water, and therefore increases the concentration of the toxins, making it worse.

What can be done?

Creating buffers, like plants and trees that stand between farms and the water, may help catch fertilizer chemicals before they get into water ways, spurring algae growth. Farmers could also, theoretically, use less fertilizer, though there are no regulations in place as of now.

Written By Alexandra Sifferlin

Article Link:

Image Credit to Joshua Lott for The New York Times

Dangers of Swimming Pools

Cooling off in the swimming pool might sound refreshing this hot summer. However, before you and your kids go splashing around, you should beware of the toxins in chlorinated swimming pools.

swimming pools
Why Chlorine?
The act of treating water with chlorine started in the 1800s but became a regular feature in the early 1900s. Since then, several water districts throughout the US continue to treat their water with chlorine. It is added to many swimming pools because it has the ability to kill harmful bacteria. Chlorine in swimming pools is supposed to be regulated, but often times, it is not.

Chlorine By-Product in Urine
In a study by the University of Cordoba in Spain found haloacetic acids (HAAs), a by-product of chlorine present in the urine of swimmers only 30 minutes after they got out of the swimming pool. The EPA has limited the amount of this chemical in our drinking water because of its association with cancer and birth defects.

Bathing in chlorinated water is just as bad as doing a few laps in chlorinated swimming pools. Chlorine is absorbed through the skin very quickly. In some cases, when testing tap water, the results will show significant amounts of chlorine to maintain a swimming pool. With measures like these, what’s the point of rinsing off after a swim if it’s just with more chlorinated water?

baby bathing
Test Your Water
Pick up a chlorine test kit from your neighborhood swimming pool supply store. Fill up a container with water. It should change colors, depending on how much chlorine there is. Next, fill up another container of water and this time soak your hand for 60 seconds before testing. The water will show hardly any chlorine. Why? Because in just 60 seconds, your body absorbed the chlorine. Imagine bathing a toddler in this water.

Scientific Findings
Chlorine is a pesticide used to kill living organisms. When we consume chlorinated water, it destroys our cells and tissue as discovered by Dr. Robert Carlson, a well-respected researcher from the University of Minnesota. Chlorine has been linked to heart complications and circulatory problems in a study by Dr. Joseph Price. It has also been linked to several cancers.

Although swimming pools are fun in the warm summer months, the best way to be chlorine free is to invest in a whole house water filtration system. Your health is worth it.

Call us at 1-800-550-1995 for more information or Visit our Website.

U.S.-Mexico Border 2012 EPA Issues

Water quality, air quality, and natural resources suffer a disproportionate amount of environmental degradation compared to each nation’s overall environment in the border region. The 14 metropolitan areas along the border have abysmal air and water quality. … problems include: illegal dumping, agricultural drainage, airborne dust and pesticides exposure, inadequate water supplies, insufficient or nonexistent waste facilities and degradation of natural resources and ecosystems.

Environmental Health Problems

As a result of regional environmental degradation, many border residents suffer from environmental health problems, including waterborne and respiratory diseases . These health problems can be related to air pollution, inadequate water and sewage treatment, or improper management of pesticides, and hazardous and solid wastes. The elderly and children are especially at risk. Rural communities are sometimes at a greater risk, as they are more likely to have inadequate water supply and treatment systems…

San Diego – Tijuana
Calexico – Mexicali
Yuma – San Luis

http://www.epa.gov/Border2012/issues.html

Filtercon Technologies  –  the ultimate solution for clean air and water

Lightning Air

re-creates the same process as nature! Just like waterfalls and ocean waves, it generates negative ions that clear the air of dust and other particles. Just like a thunderstorm it creates 03 to sanitize and remove pollutants without the use of fragrance. It not only PURIFIES the air, but it also SANITIZES the air.

THE IONIC PURIFIER CLEARS THE AIR OF:

*DUST    *TOBACCO SMOKE      *PET DANDER      *POLLEN       *MOLD SPORES      *DUST MITE DUST      *INSECT DEBRIS

                  THE 03 SANITIZER WILL ELIMINATE OR REDUCE ODORS FROM:

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Call Filtercon for more information and Water Filtration options.

1(800) 550-1995

Trace elements at levels of potential health concerns found in wells

RESTON, Va. — According to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey, about 20 percent of untreated water samples from public, private and monitoring wells across the nation contain concentrations of at least one trace element, such as arsenic, manganese and uranium, at levels of potential health concern, according to a press release.

“In public wells these contaminants are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency , and contaminants are removed from the water before people drink it,” said Joe Ayotte, USGS hydrologist and lead author on the study. “However, trace elements could be present in water from private wells at levels that are considered to pose a risk to human health, because they aren’t subject to regulations. In many cases people might not even know that they have an issue.”

Trace elements in groundwater exceed human health benchmarks at a rate that far outpaces most other groundwater contaminants, such as nitrate, pesticides and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), stated the release.