Category Archives: Contaminants

What the Frack is Fracking?

 Admit it. The first time you heard the term "fracking" you immediately pictured Yosemite Sam: 

Sounds like Yosemite Sam knew all along that fracking was bad!

In the natural gas business, fracking is slang for hydraulic fracturing.

What the rootin' tootin' heck is hydraulic fracturing? 

 In short, it's a way to get fuel out of rock by drilling deep into the earth and releasing natural gas by EXPLODING THE ROCKS IN THE SHALE LAYER. 

Boom
BOOM!

Are you picturing a full-on Michael Bay Transformers explosion? Oh. Well, it's not quite that awesome. There's no dynamite involved-just a mixture of water, sand, and toxic chemicals pumped underground with enough force to shatter shale rock. The process actually looks like this:

Shale_50833618_shale_extraction_diagram_464(image via the BBC)

 

So what's the big frackin' deal?

 Earthquakes. No, this is not a fangirl/film geek Michael Bay reference–turns out the fracking process can create small tremors. Man. Made. Earthquakes. Eleven in Ohio alone last year. Yeah, Ohio. (Not really an earthquake state.)

Methane Leaks. The process of extracting gas from shale also causes a good deal of methane leakage.  Methane leakage is problematic because a) stinky, b) major planet-warming greenhouse gas, and c) WATER! ON! FIRE!

 

Air Pollution. Those chemicals used in the fracking process? Turns out they're not so healthy to breathe… ok we're kidding they're totally poisonous. People who live near fracking sites are more likely to suffer from eye and skin irritation, headaches and nervous system damage, asthma, kidney and liver problems, and oh yeah-leukemia. 

Groundwater Contamination. How about a splash of benzine in your glass of water? No? Radioactive ice cubes? No?  Here in North Carolina (home of your favorite water filter company), our natural gas reserves are pretty frackin' close to our groundwater. That layer of rock between our water and our natural gas–it's not actually watertight. Which means those toxic fracking chemicals pumped deep underground could migrate upward and contaminate our water. The water we use for drinking, bathing, cooking, and growing food.

Say it with me: FREAKIN FRACKIN RACKAFRACKIN RASSAFRASSIN HAMMER HEADED HALIBUTS.

Waste. Today, nearly one billion people don't have access to clean water, while fracking injects trillions (repeat–trillions) of gallons of (now poisonous) fresh water in. To. The. Ground. 

Makes you want to go Megatron on somebody, right?

The Good News. Is there any? You bet your Shia LaBeouff there is. All across the country communities have banned fracking in response to grassroots groups committed to clean water.  A little education and a lot of passion go along way! Says activist Sandra Steingrabbler, "[My kids] are made of water. They are made of the food that is grown in the county that I live in. And they are made of air. We inhale a pint of atmosphere with every breath we take… And when you poison these things, you poison us."

 

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www.fridgefilters.com

 

 

 

 


 



 

 

 

Contaminant Showdown: C8 vs Tap Water Shrimp

Forget Pacquiao-Mayweather…  All the best fights are happening right here at Fridge Filters as we put our favorite contaminants head to head in a Showdown For The Ages…The Slaughter in the Water!

This week, LIVE from Fridge Filters, it's an epic battle between two legends-

Industrial Contaminant C8

C8

 

and…

 

These invisible shrimp in New York City's tap water!

Bigtinyshrimp

image via Gizmodo 

 

(Crowd cheers wildly / cue Rocky theme song)

Introducing first: fighting out of the red corner is C "perfluorooctanic acid" 8. C8 is an carboxylic acid found in industrial waste, stain resistant carpets, Teflon cookware, and now–your water!  Weighing in at 414.07 g/mol, C8 is a toxicant and a carcinogen! A previously unregulated contaminant, C8 just made the news as one of 30 new contaminants the EPA monitors in public water systems across the country. Water soluble, this contaminant is best removed with a Reverse Osmosis sytem.

771px-Carboxylic-acid-group-3D

Fighting out of the blue corner is the current, reigning, and defending Eww!Champion, Teeny "Tiny"


SHRIMP!
Found in New York City's water supply, this microscopic crustacean stands at a whopping 1-2
millimeters long. Not to be confused with Sea Monkeys, this little bugger is completely harmless–unless you're a vegan or Orthodox Jew. Though it reigns supreme based on ick factor alone, just about any water filter will TKO Teeny Shrimp. (Sorry, little guys!)

10-unusual-may-holidays-sea-monkey-day-ss
image courtesy of Readers Digest

The title's on the line, folks! Who will be the winner? You can judge the match right here on the Fridge Filters' Facebook page. 

LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!  

Charity Spotlight: Cary-Kildaire Rotary Club

By Megan Vick

 

Mussoorie-Water-Project

In December, our Charity Spotlight was on the Rotary Foundation and Rotary International. In Cary, North Carolina, the Rotary Club of Cary-Kildaire collaborated with the Rotary Club of Mussoorie, India. These two clubs collaborated to provide sanitation and pure drinking water facilities to three schools in India. I was able to ask Scott Rossi a bit more about the completion of the project.

Fridge Filters:Scott, can you tell us more about the project and its completion?

Scott Rossi: The first phase of the ‘Purified Drinking Water System and Sanitary Facility Project’ undertaken by the clubs was dedicated to the students of MY Saraswati Shishu Vidya Mandir, Gandhi Niwas, Mussoorie on Monday, 27th June 2011. The second phase was dedicated to the students of Mussoorie Girls Inter College, Mussoorie on Thursday, 30th June 2011. The third phase was recently dedicated to the students of Sanatan Dharm Girls Inter College, Mussoorie on Friday, 4th November 2011.

FF: How did your club come to decide on doing such an ambitious project?

SR: Rotary has six areas of focus: peace and conflict prevention/resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, and economic and community development. Our International Service Committee felt that well-planned water projects have the potential to address multiple areas of focus.

FF: What made the club choose India for the clean water project?

SR: Cary-Kildaire Rotary Club was part of three water projects last year. The first project was constructing soak pits or recharge wells in Kolkata City and surrounding rural areas, West Bengal, India. The second project was digging a bore hole well and constructing water storage tanks at a school in Our Lady of Lourdes School, Ozuoba, Rivers State, Nigeria. The third project was providing drinking and sanitation facilities at three schools in India. We chose these projects because of the needs that existed and because their were excellent Rotary partners at each location.

Mussoorie-Water-Project-Speech

FF: How can other groups do something similar?

SR: They can search for water projects that need partners/sponsors on websites www.waterteaminternational.org or www.startwithwater.org (a website run by WASRAG, the Water and Sanitation Rotary Action Group).

FF: What was the best part about being involved in these projects?

SR: It is tremendously uplifting to be able to help people and to contribute to the alleviation of needless suffering.

Special thanks to Scott Rossi and Carl Ryden of the Cary-Kildaire Rotary Club for their information on this topic.

Check out the video for the Cary-Kildaire West Bengal water project!

Rotary Club West Bengal Project

Charity Spotlight: The Rotary Foundation & Rotary International

By Megan Vick

 

What is The Rotary Foundation?

Rotary began over 100 years ago in Illinois and now has approximately 1.2 million members in over 200 countries. Since its creation in 1917, The Rotary Foundation has grown into a global force for good, thanks to the generosity of Rotarians and friends of Rotary who share our vision for a better world. Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders. Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.

What do they do? How does it help?

The mission of the Rotary Foundation and Rotary International is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education and the alleviation of poverty. Rotary's main objective is service – in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world.

The Rotary Foundation and Rotary International have many programs set up throughout the world. The programs are funded through grants; most notably the PolioPlus program. PolioPlus is a worldwide initiative to eradicate polio by providing vaccines to those who may not other be able to receive the vaccine. Rotary Foundation and Rotary International also help with eliminating fluoride from water in areas whose people are prone to fluorosis- a debilitating degenerative condition found in parts of India, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Rotarians worldwide also help with Disaster Recovery efforts when an area is struck with a natural disaster.

Rotary-Clean-Water

Who does it help?

Rotarians help anyone and everyone. The Rotary Foundation has volunteers to help provide clean water, support education , eliminate hunger issues, and improve health and sanitation both in American and throughout the world. Rotarians are your friends, family, and neighbors who help friends, family, and neighbors.

How can I help?

 

Visit the site for information on volunteering your time.

You can also visit for ways to donate.

You might also see charitable donation collections all around your town in convenient stores, restaurants, and shops. Please feel free to donate anything you can.

Charity Spotlight: charity: water

Clean Well in Rwanda

By Megan Vick

What is charity: water?
charity: water is a non-profit foundation committed to bringing underdeveloped nations a local source of freshwater. They believe in providing clean water to communities and villages, the water-borne illness and disease rate will diminish, increasing the quality of life of the people. charity: water also believes by providing a centralized freshwater source, adults and children do not have to spend many hours traveling long distances to collect dirty, unsafe water. This will help the villagers be able productive citizens and attend work and school.

What do they do? How does it help?
charity: water doesn’t just go to a village and give them water. They partner with local organizations to determine the best way to help the community. Typically, a freshwater well in the middle of town will be created. This helps the people be actively engaged in the well-being of their village.

charity: water also is fundraising for a new drilling rig for their partners in Ethiopia. The new drilling rig can drill an additional 80 wells a year, and serve 40,000 more people with clean water in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia Drill

Who does it help?
charity: water currently works in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Nepal, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Why we love charity: water:
charity: water has passion! We’ve got passion! It’s a great combination. charity: water focuses on the positive outcomes of their work, not the negative circumstances of the people. They are also a great organization because you know where your money goes and you get proof with photos of the work and GPS coordinates of the area that was helped. Pretty cool stuff!

How can I help?

Visit the site to donate

You can choose to donate to a water project, or choose to donate to a drilling rig. Or both! Thanks for supporting by donating or reading!

Fridge Filters Gives Back

By Megan Vick

 

Fridgefilters gives back

Fridge Filters Cares

Here at Fridge Filters, we believe everyone should have clean, good quality drinking water. Most of us reading this are lucky enough to have it. So what can we do about nearly one billion people on our planet who don’t have access to a source of clean drinking water?

We care! Fridge Filters will be sponsoring a Charity Spotlight to showcase the groups out there bringing clean water to those less fortunate. We will be donating to these charities. Will you?

At Fridge Filters, we have the best customers. Now, we want you to know why we are the best place to get your refrigerator water filters! Thanks for caring!

A season of change

Fall season of change

The cooler weather is finally here! Everything is changing as nature prepares for the upcoming winter months. After a long hot summer I am really excited to feel the temperature drop and see the leaves changing color. Of course, the changing seasons are also a great reminder to check on the little things around the house too. Here’s a little checklist for you with a couple quick home maintenance tips.

  • Inspect and (possibly) clean out your gutters
  • Clean or replace dirty furnace filters
  • Test smoke and CO monitors (especially if you use your fireplace in the winter)
  • Check for gaps in caulk and weather-stripping around windows and doors
  • Check your roof for missing shingles, cracks in flashing and wind damage

While you’re busy preparing your home for the colder weather, go ahead and check on your water filter too. One place you don’t want to see the colors changing is in the water coming from your refrigerator. Most refrigerator filters need to be replaced about every 6 months to insure the best water quality. If you haven’t changed your fridge filter in a while, go ahead and add that to your list. I promise you won’t be disappointed with the results.

A semester of clean water

Backpack, check. iPod, check. Meal plan…maybe, what’s the cafeteria like? Sound familiar? Before you head back to school this Fall make sure you add one more item to your list, a water pitcher. Drinking plenty of water helps you stay healthy and alert. A recent study by researchers at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City that monitored college students found that students who showed mild signs of dehydration also reported they felt less energetic and focused.

Brita Classic Water Pitcher

Drinking water is essential for an active and healthy lifestyle, but how do you make sure to drink enough water every day? One thing that really helps is to make sure you have easy access to clean drinking water. Those old pipes in your dorm may not deliver the best water, but with a Brita Pitcher you can filter out the contaminants and have great tasting water to drink at any time.

Bottled water is expensive and has a negative impact on the planet, but unfiltered tap water often has an unpleasant taste or smell. Brita filters remove bad taste and odor along with lead and other impurities to give you cleaner, better tasting drinking water. Using a Brita Pitcher with a built in water filter is the ideal way to stay hydrated on campus. Be good to your body, drink lots of water!

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Independent Investigation of Bottled Water finds unsavory results

Bottled water

I came across this article from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) where they tested 10 major brands of bottled water and found common chemical pollutants present in some samples. The report claims that bottled water from the Walmart brand (Sam’s Choice) and Giant Foods’ Acadia brand contained trihalomethanes, a disinfectant byproduct, in levels that exceed California standards for safe drinking water. The bottles tested came from manufacturing plants from several states, but some states tested far better than others. So what does it all mean?

First, you should know that the state of California has stricter standards for public drinking water than the rest of the country. This means that a chemical can violate the legal limit for a contaminant in the state of California and still be legal in another state. California also enforces stricter standards than the FDA when it comes to bottled water, which says more about the lack of action from the FDA than it does the state of California. Water that is bottled outside of California doesn’t have to meet the state’s safety standards to be sold there. Though, personally, when it comes to drinking water I want the best water quality possible.

According to the EWG study Walmart representatives acknowledged that Las Vegas tap water was the source for some of their bottled water. This easily explains how disinfection byproducts, like trihalomethanes, were found in their bottled water. Trihalomethanes are the result of a naturally occurring chemical reaction between chlorine and waterborne contaminants, so it isn’t unusual to find the contaminant in tap water that is disinfected with chlorine. Of course, the marketing of bottled water products leads you to believe that the water is more than just ordinary tap water.

Water from the faucet

If you look at the label on bottled water you will usually see a lot of 0′s. 0 grams of sugar, 0 grams of fat, etc. The bottled water industry uses this tactic to make you think their drinking water is more “pure” and safer than tap water. Trihalomethanes are not safe to drink and at higher concentrations have been linked to cancer and birth defects. Not all bottled water is created equal. The EWG believes that the FDA needs to crack down on the misleading labeling and marketing of bottled water as a safer way to drink water. As the article points out “Consumers could have obtained much better drinking water simply by installing a home tap water filter at a fraction of the bottled water cost.”

At the end of the day the message is to make sure you know what’s in your water. Take control of your drinking water quality and consider filtering and bottling your own water (preferably in a reusable bottle). At least this way you can be sure exactly what you are putting in your body when you take that first refreshing sip of water.