09 Feb 17
Where we Were
As we reflect on the past year, we cannot help but think about the effects of the California drought. We are concerned about the state’s water conservation efforts and what they will entail during the coming year.
An article published by NPR at the end of last year, explains that since the message about water conservation is lessening in strength and frequency, California’s water conservation efforts also seem to be decreasing.
Residents were once forced to reduce their water usage, and as such, were conserving water better than ever. It seems that since we don’t see this message as much anymore, people are forgetting the importance of saving water for the future of their communities.
It’s not Easy
Water conservation is not the easiest of tasks as a homeowner. We realize that it takes creativity, patience, compromise and ingenuity to reduce water usage and water waste inside and outside the home. Without hearing as much about the drought and the status of our water reserves, people aren’t giving this enough thought. As a result, many residents are back to their water wasting habits.
More than 62 percent of California remains in severe to exceptional drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Our reservoirs are still low, groundwater is still being over-pumped and the mandatory statewide water cutbacks are over.
So what now?
With fewer drought messages, we still need to be vigilant about our environmental responsibility in regards to our water supply. A year ago, when Governor Jerry Brown mandated a 25 percent water cutback, the message was dire and it was clear.
We saw people taking action around the city; less watering of lawns, installation of water saving appliances and water recycling programs were popping up all over. Many residents were also contacting us about our eco-friendly drinking water systems that waste less water than their current reverse osmosis systems.
It is difficult to change bad habits overnight, and it is also difficult to explain the current drought status to everyone each day. The drought is nothing new, so it becomes old news and people don’t pay attention to it after a while.
It is still not too late to make the changes within your household, however. One way to reduce water waste and continue to make eco-friendly and responsible choices when it comes to water waste is to consider one of our home drinking water systems with advanced technology.
Reducing water waste with your water appliances at home is a good start. You can be even more creative with some of your other water conservation efforts as well. Just because we don’t have mandates or messages to tell us to conserve drinking water doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue to do our part. Together, we can all make a difference for the future of our state.
24 Jan 17
As California enters its sixth year of extreme drought, it’s no surprise that water conservation is top of mind for most residents and lawmakers. Since the beginning of the drought in 2011, more than 100 million trees have died, wildfires have swept the state, dozens of farms have been decimated, rivers have dried up, countless numbers of wildlife have been killed and entire communities have suffered through no running water or drinking water available. There have been emergency water restrictions put in place to help manage the water that California has left, but lawmakers know there needs to be something more definitive with long term measures put in place.
Currently, there is a water management proposal underway which will change the way water is managed and budgeted throughout the state. The proposal, “Making Water Conservation a Way of Life” could be finalized within the next couple of weeks, although it may take up to three years before it will be implemented. There is expected to be quite a lot of legislative and public debates about how to go about identifying and budgeting the water needs of each community. According to Water Deeply, when and if this proposal is implemented, some of the provisions in the plan would include the following:
- Make permanent the ban on wasteful water practices, such as watering down driveways and other hardscapes
- Provide technical help and incentives to aid water suppliers in finding and fixing leaks
- Develop new water use standards for urban water suppliers based on local conditions
- Require water suppliers to be compliant with new water use targets by 2025
- Require water suppliers to submit a five year drought risk assessment
- Improve drought resiliency for small rural water agencies
- Require agricultural water districts to create an annual water budget, a drought plan and measures for increasing efficiency
California has historically been one of the most irresponsible when it came to water management, and legislators are seeking to change that. With no end in sight seen for the current drought, setting water budgets for the state is critical. Until recently, even some major cities did not require businesses and homes to install water meters, according to the Washington Post. However, under the new proposal, California will require thousands of sophisticated meters to be installed and will combine satellite technology and aerial flight data to study the state’s topography to determine irrigation needs.
The new proposed plan will not only affect homeowners and businesses, but also the huge agricultural industry in California. Approximately half of agricultural water suppliers are not following the existing requirements of the Department of Water Resources. This new plan will enforce current reporting rules already in place, as well as addressing the need to modernize water delivery systems for irrigated farms.
We are already seeing greater scrutiny on private water treatment systems in California, with many areas enforcing water softener bans. Another area where we expect water conservation efforts to extend to is water filtration systems – and for good reason! Many homeowners use reverse osmosis water filtration systems, and if you have ever visited our website or watched any of our YouTube videos, you understand how much water these types of systems waste. Making the switch to more environmentally friendly water filtration systems, such as our LINX Drinking Water Systems, just makes sense. Not only will you be ahead of the game for water management legislation, but will be doing your part to help preserve California water now and into the future.
28 Dec 16
Picture this: it’s a hot summer day and you have been working outside all afternoon and all you can think about is a fresh, cold glass of water. You come inside and turn on the faucet to quench your unimaginable thirst, and to your dismay, your drinking water smells worse than you do! Gross, right? Okay, it might not be that bad, but it is still unpleasant enough for you to question whether or not it is safe to drink. Well, we are here to help you decipher the cause of bad smelling water.
There are many causes for smelly water. To start with, if your drinking water smells like gas, petroleum, or the like, DO NOT DRINK IT! This could be the result of an underground leakage that could be contaminating your water supply. If you smell this, be sure to contact a local health agency or your water utility company immediately, this type of water contamination could be deadly.
A chemical or chlorine odor to your drinking water could be the result of added chlorine to the water supply. Generally this will be a slight odor and nothing to worry about. However, if it is mixing with organic matter in your plumbing system, the scent could be more noticeable. If this smell seems to be excessive, go ahead and call your utility company for some advice. For those everyday chlorine odors, a drinking water filtration system is the way to go.
One of the most common scents people complain of is a sulfur or rotten egg smell. There are many causes for this particular scent. For one, various bacteria growing in your drain could be causing the problem. Another cause is the deterioration of an element in our hot water heaters. If you suspect that this is the cause, it might be time to put in a call to your local plumber. The presence of hydrogen sulfide in the water supply is a major contributor to this odor. To combat this issue, the use of a water filtration system is recommended.
If your drinking water smells moldy, earthy, or fishy have no fear! These nasty odors can be a result of bacteria growing in your sink drain or from organic matter present in the water supply. To determine which is causing the odor, fill a glass with some water and walk away from the sink. If the water doesn’t smell, then it is most likely the sink drain causing the problem. If the water is malodorous, then there might be organic matter in the supply. While it certainly smells awful, these odors are harmless. Despite this, filtered water is just so much nicer to smell and drink. It might be time to purchase yourself a nice filtration system.
Even though some of these odors may not be the result of a dangerous situation, if any scent seems to be abnormally strong or you cannot identify the odor, you should place a call in to your local water supply company or a health agency. It’s better to be safe than sorry. For the most part however, a water filter is the way to go. A good water filtration system is the key to that clean, fresh glass of water you were searching for in the first place.
22 Nov 16
As a consumer, you may feel bombarded with advertisements and commercials, telling you to buy their products. If we bought everything on the market, we’d be flat broke or worse. There is no way to buy everything that we are told to, but there are some products out there which are good for your home, good for your health and good for the environment. Something which is good for all three is certainly worth looking into. That product is in fact a water filter.
Many people assume that their tap water is safe, and if they are concerned, they turn to bottled water. However, by doing so, they fail to take into consideration that bottled water is often not any better for you than tap water, and it is certainly not very good for the environment.
While American drinking water is some of the best in the world, it is not perfect and it is not foolproof. There are many drinking water contaminants which aren’t even regulated. Also, many drinking water treatment facilities around the country are older and are allowing contaminants to get into their water supply. There are stories popping up all the time where another water supply source has been contaminated or a pipe that has burst, contaminating thousands of gallons of water.
More than 60,000 chemicals are used in the U.S., but only 90 water contaminants are regulated under the Environmental Protection Agency’s EPA Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The SDWA doesn’t necessarily require complete removal of these 90 contaminants either; it only sets a ‘safe standard’ on the maximum contaminant levels allowed in public drinking water.
Another thing to think about when considering the purchase of a water filtration system, is who will be drinking your home’s tap water. Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than others. People with compromised immune systems, such as cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or those with HIV/AIDS, as well as some elderly individuals and infants can be at an increased risk.
As a consumer, you need to be aware of what is in your drinking water and concerned enough to do something about it. Fearing your drinking water won’t change it – but our drinking water systems can! Contact us today to learn which of our drinking water systems would be the perfect addition to your household.
04 Oct 16
Even though drinking water here in California is pretty good, there are still some water contamination issues. As you drink your tap water tonight, think about what might actually be in your water. And if you get your drinking water from your own private well, then the question becomes even more significant. Drinking water around the state has the potential to contain many different contaminates, however today we are going to look at nitrates. Sure, we can filter them, but how effective are water filtration systems for nitrates?
Some reverse osmosis water filters just cannot handle water that has extremely high levels of nitrates. Here in California, we have a lot of areas where agriculture is a key component of daily life. With that being said, there are high levels – extremely high levels – of nitrates in the groundwater. These nitrates can quickly and easily seep into private wells and even into tap water.
Animal waste is another source of nitrates, but if you live in an area where fertilizers are used, that too could be one way that your water is developing high nitrate levels. If you don’t filter your water, then you could be at risk for nitrate exposure. Too much nitrate in your body makes it harder for red blood cells to carry oxygen. While most people recover quickly, this can be very dangerous for infants and some adults. Infants exposed to high amounts of nitrate may develop “blue baby syndrome.” All of these are important factors to consider when choosing your means of nitrate removal.
Municipal drinking water treatment facilities test for nitrates, but wells are left on their own and you’ll need to test your own water for nitrate contamination frequently. The maximum contaminant level, or the EPA’s drinking water standard, for nitrate is 10 milligrams per liter mg/L, which is the same thing as 10 parts per million ppm. If a nitrate test shows levels higher than 10 ppm, you need to find a safe alternative drinking water supply. This usually means installing a drinking water system in your home, but even some of those systems cannot lower your nitrate levels to under those set standards.
If your water has extremely high levels of nitrates, then you need the best drinking water filters on the market – LINX®. Our drinking water systems have been proven to reduce the levels of nitrates and nitrites by over 99%, taking them down to non-detect levels in drinking water. In fact, our LINX 160 drinking water system is the first device ever certified to reduce nitrate and nitrite contamination down to NON-DETECT levels in certification testing. Pretty impressive, right?
If your household is ready to start reducing those nitrates from your drinking water, or if your current reverse osmosis system cannot seem to lower your levels enough, it may be time to contact us about a better solution. Our drinking water systems are effective and efficient and will also waste less water than traditional RO, so you’ll enjoy the best in water filtration and water conservation on the market.
04 Oct 16
The development of reverse osmosis in the last few decades has helped thousands of homeowners reduce their drinking water contaminants from both tap water and well water. It has saved people from illnesses and maybe even more serious health conditions, thanks to the removal of unsafe drinking water impurities. As advantageous as reverse osmosis is however, it does have one major disadvantage, and during these times of drought and water conservation, we need to make sure that consumers know about it, too. Water waste is one of the worst things about the traditional RO systems still on the market. Though they work to reduce water contamination, they don’t always work to reduce water waste.
These days, water filtration is well worth it; drinking water picks up cancer-causing contaminants, pesticides, antidepressants, chemicals and so much more. The Environmental Working Group found that roughly 85% of the population was using tap water laced with over 300 contaminants, many with unknown long-term effects and more than half of which aren’t even regulated by the EPA. While many of these contaminates can be filtered, typical water filtration utilizes a LOT of water in the process. During the filtration process in some older, basic systems, up to 20 gal of water is flushed down the drain for every gallon of filtered water produced. Below, you’ll read about other numbers with other systems on the market. Either way, it is important to find a balance between water filtration and water conservation. We cannot afford to waste our water any longer. Maintaining water sources, along with utilizing tap water wisely, should be in the minds of all homeowners, especially coming off this long-term drought for last five years.
While we encourage all homeowners to provide safer drinking water for their family, take this into consideration.
- Not all drinking water systems are created equal. Many systems waste gallons of water per gallon they filter.
- The typical water pressure in the average house is around 40 PSI. If the water coming from the tap is 64° then a normal reverse osmosis filter will require 12.5 gallons of municipal water to make one gallon of filtered water. That is a LOT of water waste!
Our high efficiency drinking water systems have a smarter design which translates into huge water savings – up to 90 percent less water waste! If your family only consumes one gallon of drinking water per day, you can save over 7,000 gallons of water in a year as compared to a traditional RO filter under typical household conditions. Give us a call and learn more about the best water filters on the market. Water filtration and water conservation all in one!
27 Sep 16
It’s true that last winter, we were able to replenish some of our water reserves in the state of California, but the amount of rain and snow California received was still slightly below average. Precipitation is always welcome but residents need to remember that water conservation is for life – not just when we are amongst a drought or when rainfall isn’t enough. In order to protect what we do have and to ensure that we don’t lose more water than we need, choosing the right drinking water system is essential. It’s also true that some reverse osmosis systems waste a LOT of water and are not environmentally-friendly just when we need it the most.
Why is RO bad for the environment? The water waste adds up! Reverse Osmosis (RO) filters use membrane technology to filter impurities, minerals, calcium, chloride, sodium, chlorine, etc from the water. The benefit is the filtration, but the disadvantage is the wasted water that occurs when water is pushed through the membrane – only the filtered drinking water remains and the rest goes down the drain. Literally – down the drain. If the water coming from the tap is 64° then a normal RO filter will require 12.5 gallons of municipal water to make one gallon of filtered water – that’s 12.5 gallons that you never even use. 12.5 gallons that we desperately cannot afford to lose these days.
Just because we aren’t feeling this drought day after day, doesn’t mean that we can afford to waste water. That which we don’t waste, we won’t have to want. Not all RO systems are made equal or equally efficient. According to the Alliance for Water Efficiency, assuming a RO filter is even 16% efficient discharging 5 gallons 18.92 L for every 1 gallon 3.78 L of filtered water, a typical home will produce 3,600 to 9,000 gallons 13.6 m3 to 34.1 m3 of discharge water per year; all needlessly wasted when drained into the sewer system. An older, less efficient RO filter might produce more than 30,000 gallons 113.5 m3 of discharge water per year.
Our drinking water systems reduce water waste because we waste up to 90% less water than traditional reverse osmosis systems. Using the most advanced filtration technology, we can save water but still produce the best water of your life. Contact us today to learn more!
30 Aug 16
This summer has been a rough one, with wildfires ravaging the lands in eight different states. As if a wildfire doesn’t do enough destruction to a community, some of the aftermath includes drinking water contamination, which many people overlook. But what impact will these wildfires have on our local water quality? Is our drinking water safe after the fires we’ve had in our region? With so many Americans in this situation right now, we think it is a good time to inform people about the impact wildfires may have on the safety and quality of your tap water.
When we first consider what a wildfire destroys, we obviously think of the land and the threat to aquatic animals. There is also the increased danger from flooding and mudslides during the immediate post-fire period. While these immediate impacts are important for officials to address, residents also need to know that there are often problems in water systems that don’t necessarily manifest in the days and weeks immediately after a fire. It’s often the months or even years afterward that highlight the vulnerability of water systems. For example, quickly after the 2010 Fourmile Canyon fire in Colorado, researchers found a small increase of contaminants in the community’s water sources. Researchers then recorded large spikes in contaminants as heavy rain months later pulled in residue from the fire. Even today, research is still taking place to truly determine all of the impact that wildfires have on community water systems.
A wildfire could damage the structure and integrity of the community water treatment facility, which could put residents at risk when not addressed. But it is the contaminants that can get through these water treatment services and to our taps or into our private wells that has experts trying to inform residents and find ways to protect the quality of the drinking water. At the household level, our drinking water systems can add an extra layer of protection to your home’s water contaminants should your water be affected post-wildfire. Whether the impact is immediate or long-term, you can feel good knowing that our drinking water filters are effective and efficient, removing harmful contaminants one by one so that your water is safe and pure. Whether it’s phosphorous, nitrates, parasites, chemicals or any other type of contaminant, installing our drinking water system will take care of it for you.
26 Jul 16
There is a plethora of contaminates that can find their way into our drinking water, however, lead is one of the worst offenders. Why? Well the simple answer is because it is highly toxic, especially to young children. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) there is no safe level of lead in drinking water due to the fact that not only does it bioaccumulate in the body over time, it can cause health concerns even at low exposure levels.
Children and young infants who are exposed to lead can develop damage to the central and peripheral nervous system, hearing loss, stunted growth, learning disabilities, hyperactivity and anemia as well as abnormal formation and function of blood cells. In severe cases, lead poisoning can cause seizures, coma and death. If a mom is exposed to lead during pregnancy, it can cross the placental barrier and expose the fetus as well. This can cause premature birth and slowed growth rate.
While children are exceptionally susceptible to lead exposure, adults can also suffer some serious health consequences. Adults who are exposed to lead can develop cardiovascular problems, such as hypertension, reproductive issues and decreased kidney function. While lead exposure can come from the soil, paint, dust, air and food, the EPA estimates that drinking water can account for up to 20 percent or more of an individual’s total lead exposure. That number increases up to 60 percent for infants who drink formula mixed with lead contaminated water.
There are ways to reduce the lead in drinking water, such as flushing the pipes before cooking or drinking with the water. Allowing the water to run until it is as cold as possible does help reduce lead levels, however it is an inaccurate process. Depending on the lead levels and water usage, it could take anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes of running the water to significantly reduce the lead levels. On the other hand, if your water has an exceptionally high lead content to begin with, even proper flushing won’t be enough to make it safe to drink.
The only way to definitively ensure acceptable lead removal from your drinking water, is with a water filtration system. There is no guesswork involved, and even if the lead content fluctuates over time, a water filtration system will continue to filter it out. Our LINX Drinking Water System, for example, is able to remove 99 percent of the lead content in drinking water. There are other water filtration systems able to reduce lead levels, but even reverse osmosis filtration systems can’t beat the 99 percent removal rate. Lead contamination is a serious health concern and should not be taken lightly. If you suspect you could have lead in your drinking water, have it tested as soon as possible.
25 May 16
Drinking water systems are a must in many areas these days, especially where the widespread risk of water contamination is a serious concern. From naturally occurring chemicals such as arsenic and iron to manmade ones such as pharmaceuticals, nitrates, lead and pesticides, many homeowners feel the risk is just too great to ignore. But once the decision is made to install a water filtration system, and the type of system needed for maximum protection and water quality, the question is often asked, which is better – purchasing a system or leasing it?
There is no right or wrong answer here. The decision to purchase or lease a water filtration system usually boils down to a couple things – cost and whether you are looking for a short term or long term solution. Purchasing a system outright gives some homeowners “sticker shock” and the up-front investment can seem a bit overwhelming. Renting alleviates this huge up-front outlay of cash and breaks down the cost into much easier to manage monthly payments. While renting can be an easier to handle initial outlay, if you are thinking of keeping your water filtration system for many years, you may be paying more in the long run to rent instead of purchasing.
Another thing to consider is the length of time you are going to be in your home. If you own your home, but are thinking of selling it within a few years, owning a water filtration system can be a big selling feature and will add value to your home. Even if you plan on staying long term, owning a system will pay itself off over time. One drawback to that however, is that you are responsible for maintenance and repairs to the system. Pionetics does offer a limited lifetime warranty on all of our LINX drinking water systems though, which will help alleviate any repair costs associated with your unit.
Renting a water filtration system makes more sense if you are in a temporary location, such as renting your home or in a short term living situation. For less than what you pay for your cable bill, you have the opportunity to enjoy safe, healthy drinking water right at your faucet without having to worry about contamination or unwanted byproducts in your water. As an added bonus, you won’t have to worry about any maintenance or repair services because they are typically included with your rental agreement. When you move out, all you need to do is cancel your rental agreement and you are free of any obligation.
Both purchasing and leasing have their benefits, but the greatest benefit is that either one affords you the ability to enjoy quality drinking water in your home. We would be happy to go over the costs of both options with you and help you choose what is right for your situation – give us a call at (866) 611 – 8624 to get started.