Monthly Archives: August 2012

Molecule Cafe & the Art of Water

By Megan
Vick

 

Not too long ago, in a galaxy far, far, away… Wait, wrong
story. 

 
Fresh tap water

Not too long ago, we heard about a café in New York’s East
Village selling tap water for $2.50 per bottle. 
When it comes to water quality, there seem to be two schools of
thought.  The first school of thought is
that water should be municipally treated with certain processes and chemicals
to remove bad things and add good things. 
The second school of thought is that water should be 100% pure and have
no minerals, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, or anything else in there other than
H2O.  There is also a good mix of people
who fall in the middle of these two schools of thought.  The folks at Molecule want
water better than what the city is offering, and now they are offering it to
you. Read More

Rocket Fuel in My Water?!

By Megan Vick

That’s right.  You may have heard about it on the news or seen it online- 26 states have found perchlorate (rocket fuel) in their public water supply. Now the EPA is investigating setting a standard for allowable levels of this chemical in the water supply.

What is Perchlorate?
Perchlorate is derived from perchloric acid and can be both natural and artificial. The most common perchlorate is ammonium perchlorate which is used in pyrotechnics, as well as a component of rocket fuel. Perchlorate can cause numerous health problems both in children and adults.

Rocket
Rocket Launch

Is Perchlorate in Other Things? Read More

What’s in That Sippy Cup? Water Contamination and America’s Children

kids

When it comes to chemical exposure, children aren't just miniature adults. Their developing bodies are especially vulnerable to toxic harm. Common water contaminants can cause a range of diseases in children, including cancer, learning disorders, and gastrointestinal illnesses.

 

Children are particularly sensitive to:

Pathogens

 A number of harmful bacteria, viruses and parasites can enter the drinking water supply from human sewage, animal feces (from both wild and farm animals) or rivers, lakes and streams. Water-borne illnesses include hepatitis (A, B, or C), giardiasis, and Legionnaire’s disease. Pathogens can cause higher miscarriage rates among pregnant women and also affect those with lowered immune systems, such as children. Read More

Filters 202- More FAQs

By Megan Vick

After reading Filters 101, you understand the basics about filters, right? Or, maybe you've thought of more questions to ask! Here are some more answers to those questions.

How many filters are there?

There are dozens, maybe hundreds of filters available.  There are so many filters on the market today, but only a few will fit your refrigerator or filter system.  Even though the local hardware store may have an aisle devoted to filters, you can rest assured you only have a few to choose from.

Are there ways to tell when to change filters?

If you have a refrigerator with a filter, most have an indicator light on the dispenser.  This light is usually on a timer and estimates the amount of life you have left in your filter.  The indicator light is not connected to the filter at all.  Since there are so many different levels of water quality throughout the country, the manufacturer of the refrigerator and of the filter will have recommended guidlines about when to replace your filter.  Once you've changed the filter, you can reset the light timer for another 6 months. 

PRO TIP: Try to coordinate your filter change around Daylight Saving Time.  When you change your clocks, you change your filter.  Easy, right? Read More

Filters 101- FAQs

 By Megan Vick

Over the years, we've gotten a lot of questions about water and air filters over the phone, through email, and through social media.  Most of these questions are common, so we've compiled a list of them for you. 

 1. Do I have a filter? How do I tell?

You most definitely have a filter somewhere in your home.  Most homes have an air filter for the air conditioning unit.  Depending on the type of refrigerator you have, you may have a built in filter for your ice and water dispenser. 

The easiest way to tell if you have a refrigerator filter is to take a look around your fridge. Read More

The Safe Drinking Water Act-What It Means for You

Tap waterLet's be honest-most of us give little thought to the source of our tap water, how safe it is, and who regulates it. We simply rely on the federal government and various state and local agencies to protect our drinking water. We trust that our water is safe and clean.

Thanks to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), we here in the US have some of the safest tap water in the world. Originally passed by Congress in 1974, it protects public health by regulating the nation's public drinking water supply.  In fact, the SDWA is the main federal law that ensures the quality of Americans' drinking water. Read More

We’re Brewing with Water: Filtered Water and the Perfect Cup of Joe

Does filtering water before brewing coffee or tea really improve the taste and quality? You bet it does.

A connoiser will tell you that everything, from the temperature of the water to the method of roasting the coffee beans or tea leaves, will affect the finished pot of coffee or tea.

But even seemingly minor alterations like the quality of the water you use for brewing can have a major impact on brewed beverages. Chemicals commonly used to disinfect water–chlorine is one–can make your cup of Ethipian Harrar taste like you used pool water for coffee creamer.

If you live in a house with old iron or coffee pipes, you might experience a sharp, metallic aftertaste in your cup of Earl Grey. Read More

My Water Smells Like… (An Exercise in Ick)

Fill in the blank: my water smells like_____________. Hopefully you answered "nothing," or maybe "chlorine." 

A quick Google search yielded some far more interesting results:

Water_smells_like
(Poop? Really?)

Unfortunately, most contaminantsgive no off-putting scent or taste to your water. (Wouldn't it be more convenient if we could taste lead in our water? Then we'd know we had a problem!) If you do smell something in your water, though, you might have a problem.

So what does your water smell like? If you answered:

Rotten eggs or sewage. You likely have sulfur in your water.  The presence of sulphur, or rather hydrogen sulfide, in even the smallest amount can make your water smell like sewage and can negatively affect taste. Read More

How Clean Is the Water from My Tap?

Glass of water
While the US has one some of the safest drinking water in the world, drinking water sources are still subject to contamination. Bacteria, industrial pollutants, disinfection byproducts, and even pharmaceuticals can all find their way into the public water supply and ultimately, into the water that flows from your tap. In fact, US water utilities have identified over 300 pollutants in the tap water Americans drink! More than half of these chemicals aren't regulated by the government and can legally be present in any amount. And the chemicals the EPA does regulate? They can still end up in your water supply. In 2010 (the latest data available), 10% of all community water systems sold water to consumers that violated at least one EPA standard for safe drinking water. Read More

What’s in Your Water? Common Contaminants in US Drinking Water

Hands in clear waterPure water is colorless, tasteless, and odorless. But because water becomes contaminated by every substance it comes into contact with, by the time it reaches your tap it’s no longer pure H20.

While the US has one of the safest public drinking water supplies in the world, drinking water sources are still subject to contamination. There are many sources of water contamination, including :

Chlorine and Chlorination By-Products
Chlorine is a type of disinfectant, not a contaminant, that’s added to drinking water to control microbes. In addition to the objectionable taste and odor that can be caused by chlorine, chlorination by-products, such as total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), can form in the water. Read More