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Archive for March, 2011

Water Waste and Overuse Costs More than Just Money

Posted by Rayne Water

The livelihood of the Imperial Valley in Southern California – and a large portion of our enjoyment of fresh fruits and vegetables in the winter – depends on the crops that grow there and the water they use to grow these vegetables. The Imperial Valley, according to one article from National Public Radio, produces about 80% of the nation’s winter vegetables. These crops grow from the same water source as the residents’ drinking water – the only water source – Lake Mead and the Imperial Dam filled by the once-mighty Colorado River. When the river was flowing years ago, an agricultural giant emerged as the water from the river was sent to the Imperial Valley’s dry, desert lands. The amount of water needed for these crops, combined with population trends on the rise and recent years of drought, has put a very serious warning from climate researchers on the area. They say that Lake Mead (which feeds the Imperial Valley and most of the southwest), “has a 50 percent chance of drying up in as few as ten years.”

This recent claim has sparked a lot of interest in the area among local governments, cities, residents, farmers, and business owners in how to preserve the water so that their crops and livelihood will continue to flourish for many years to come. Without these crops, food prices would affect the rest of the country, local economies like fertilizer or tractor companies, as well as the Imperial farmers themselves. In an already unsteady economy, the Imperial Valley needs this water to keep farms going but to also preserve low prices for these winter vegetables for the rest of the country.

Water usage and water waste is to be addressed and some areas are regulating the water allowed for the residents and farmers. The farmers aren’t keeping all of their water there, as they are pressured to sell some to bigger area cities by officials. They know, however, that the water is necessary for growing their crops. Lake Mead, a reservoir that holds the Colorado River water for the Imperial Valley, needs to have a fundamental change.

So researchers predict that if the trends continue, there will not be sufficient water in the source to provide both drinking water and agricultural water, both needing the other to survive. Many residents are encouraged to save water as well. One way in doing this is to look into drinking water systems that will use less water than traditional reverse osmosis. In today’s economy and climate, residents need to find a drinking water system that is both affordable and eco-friendly. Changes on every level are necessary before the water source in that area is no longer available.

We have many Southern California locations in most major metropolitan areas. We have many SoCal locations and can provide water softeners in Santa Barbara all the way down to San Diego. Please contact us if you are looking for water filtration or water softener systems in Los Angeles, Orange County, Santa Barbara, or San Diego. We’re here to help!

Huge Savings with Soft Water

Posted by Rayne Water

Hard water can about be the end of a homeowner’s sanity in many cases. It causes buildup on pipes and appliances, can prematurely end the life of water appliances, require extra soap or laundry detergents just to work efficiently, and leaves an annoying film on dishes and pans. But two independent studies, according to one article show that consumers can cut back on dish and laundry detergent use by 50 percent or more and lower washing machine temperatures from hot to cold just by using softened water. “The benefits of softened water in people’s daily lives are significant,” said Peter Censky, executive director of the Water Quality Association. “These studies show how consumers can save money and energy by softening their water.”

Saving money is always something consumers should look into. The detergent savings studies were done by the Scientific Services S/D of NY, and were funded by the Water Quality Research Foundation. The research concluded that in washing machines, detergent can be cut back by 50 percent and energy can be saved by washing clothes in 60 degree F cold water instead of 100 degree F hot water, and the results will still be excellent. In dishwashers, locations with very hard water can also cut detergent use by 50 percent with softened water and will also get the same results.

Censky also explains in the article that consumers could save more than just money with the softened water – they could also be environmentally-friendly. They reduce the reliance on pollutant fuels because of the energy savings which can help to cut back on harmful detergent waste running into the streams and water sources. While not quantified just yet in any of the mentioned studies, any reduction in detergents filling water sources is certainly a positive attribute to using softened water.

Another significant pro for softened water in this article is “with varying levels of hardness and several different name brand detergents in washing machines and dishwashers, it was found that significant savings was noted for all levels of hardness, even hardness as low as 5 grains per gallon.” This means ALL consumers can save money and energy with these findings. softened water with the least amount of detergent and lowest temperature actually provide a higher degree of whiteness compared to increased hardness and both high temperature and large amounts of detergent. This was found to be true for all stains and all the detergents tested. To read more about how water softeners can save you money and energy, click here.

Business Water Strategies

Posted by Rayne Water

Small Business Trends recently published an online article that we felt was worthy of being revisited by our readers, particularly those of you who own your own business or are in a decision-making capacity where you work. This article is titled “5 Strategies for Saving Water at Your Business”.

As a business owner or manager, you have many responsibilities and concerns in a day, but how much water is flushed down your drain is probably not something you waste much thought on. Environmental scientists, however, expect worldwide fresh water shortages to be one of the most pressing environmental concerns within the next 50 years. More immediately, many communities are hitting residents and local businesses with higher water and utility rates. What does that mean to you? Hopefully, it means that you do start being concerned about the amount of water that is used in your company.

Every company uses water differently and in different quantities. The most important thing you can do is figure out where your water is going, and then tackle the issue! The five strategies identified in the article are:

  1. Go low-flow in your toilets and faucets. A low-flow faucet aerator emits about 0.7 gallons less per minute than a standard faucet and a low-flow toilet uses less than half of the water to flush as compared to an older toilet.
  2. Get a water audit. A commercial water audit examines how much water a business uses and provides strategies for conservation and cost savings. These audits can also identify water leaks that can be repaired. In some communities, the utility company provides these audits for free.
  3. Reduce landscape watering. Consider planting native landscapes or using mulch or stone instead of grass. You may also find rain-harvesting sufficient.
  4. Engage and inform employees. Every employee plays a role in how much water your business uses. Remind employees to be conscientious of water use and ask for their ideas on how to conserve water.
  5. Purchase water-efficient equipment. Most types of equipment in use today are available in water-efficient models, or have less-water-intensive alternatives. While these alternative products may have somewhat higher upfront costs, they can often pay for themselves quickly through water and water-heating savings.

The most important tool in your attempts at water conservation? Knowledge. Do you know where your water is going? Do you know how many gallons you use each day? Do you know where the waste is? For example, many people would never consider that their drinking water systems could be wasting water. If you have a reverse osmosis system, it has the potential to waste 90% of the water it comes across. Or, if you have a water cooler, do you know how many gallons are used to create the bottles and clean them for reuse? So, do your homework and keep an eye on your water consumption.

California Economy Felt In The Water

Posted by Rayne Water

California’s economy can be felt in a multitude of manners. It doesn’t target a specific group of people or jobs, and for the most part, most people have been affected in one way or another. A recent news article even reminded us that the lack of funding in the state of California has put water cleanup projects (even those in dire need) on hold for the time being.

KFRE 59 of the WB describes the findings of a recent water investigation that show unincorporated valley communities have well water that can make a person sick. East Orosi is a low income community which has between 75 and 100 homes in the neighborhood. The water in the neighborhood is contaminated by nitrates, so much so that one resident can’t cook with the water and is forced to buy bottled water when it needs to be consumed. Pacific Institute has been studying the state’s water and found that in one county, fertilizer, pesticides, and sewage have contaminated the water in the wells.

In Visalia, the Community Water Center states that “By far nitrate is the most common contaminant in the area and it’s also the number one reason for well closure in the state.” They explain that nitrates don’t have a taste or odor so actually it would be safer to drink the browner tap water there. One resident of East Orosi buys ten gallons of bottled water a week. But there’s no replacement water for showering. “Sometimes when you bathe after awhile you feel like your body itches.” His is from just one of ten communities with unsafe drinking water due to nitrates. However, as previously mentioned, the financial situation in California means that the necessary water cleanup projects won’t happen for a long time.

And ten gallons of bottled water each week is hardly wallet-friendly or eco-friendly. Most residents who find themselves in this situation are best off looking into a water treatment system like a water cooler for the home, or a water filtration system like reverse osmosis which will be affordable and safe.

Are you looking for water softener services in SoCal? We have many Southern California locations and can provide water softening systems in Los Angeles & water softeners in Santa Barbara all the way down to San Diego. Give us a call today!