Category Archives: Water Quality

5 Ways To Wise Up Your Water Usage During National Water Quality Month

Fix Leaky Faucet During National Water Quality MonthFor years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized August as National Water Quality Month, a time for us all to think about both the positive and negative impact we have on this resource.

We love the occasion, for obvious reasons, but oftentimes can find ourselves overwhelmed with seemingly endless ideas for how we can make and encourage positive change. In fact, this post comes at the midway point of the month, as it took just that long to whittle down our original list of 1,000 to a more manageable list of the five items below.

With that, here are five ways you can more effectively use water during the back half of National Water Quality Month:

1. Find & Fix Even The Smallest Leaks
If there has ever been a home immune to leaks, drips, and drops – we have yet to see it. And while the leaks may be small, as little as one drip per minute, from one faucet per day, can waste away more than 100 gallons yearly. To see how quickly this can get out of hand when multiplied by multiple homes, faucets and drips – check out this calculator from the US Geological Survey (USGS.) If we all commit to fixing those tiny leaks in our individual homes, our world as a whole will be in much better shape.

Matt Lauer Takes Ice Bucket Challenge2. Order All The Replacement Air & Fridge Filters You’ll Need In One Fell Swoop
In September, the kids head back to school. October we spend winterizing our yard and home. November and December, of course, are a holiday blur. This makes August the perfect time to buy those air filters and fridge filters you’ll need to carry you through the balance of the year. Get it done now and you won’t need to think about reordering again until we hit 2015!

3. Nominate Someone Close For The Ice Bucket Challenge…With One Caveat
Will the ice bucket challenge ever stop? Probably. But certainly not by the end of National Water Quality Month. While gimmicky, this challenge – launched in support of the ALS Foundation – is also an example of a viral charitable campaign that has unequivocally worked. Through today, this challenge has raised more than $41 million for ALS research, with no signs of stopping. So while the getting’s good, nominate someone close to you, but include one caveat. In addition to accepting the challenge of being covered in freezing cold water, make the nominee share one hot tip for conserving an equal amount of water. A tip, like, fixing a leaky faucet.

Downton Abbey Promotional Shot With Errant Water Bottle4. Keep A Water Bottle Close By…No Matter What…
Whatever you do this month, whether it’s enjoying the final few summer nights, heading out for that one final summer road trip, or even taking promotional photos for that British costume drama from the early 1900s that you’re starring in, always have that bottle of water close-by.

5…But Always Strive For The Most Eco-Friendly Option
We love both pictures of the Downton Abbey cast, including the oopsies with the water bottle to the left and the self-deprecating version below where the cast had a bit of fun while driving awareness for WaterAid UK. But if we could offer just one suggestion, it would be to replace those plastic water bottles with more eco-friendly versions, including those found at our online store.Stars of Downton Abbey Pose With Water Bottles For WaterAid UK  Not only will eco-friendly water bottles pay for themselves almost instantly, they’ll help to reduce the risk of spent plastic bottles winding up in oceans and landfills!

What ideas do you have for wising up water usage during the back half of National Water Quality Month? I invite you to share via a comment below.

I also invite you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or +1 us on Google+ to stay up to date on our latest ideas for improving water quality, in addition to being among the first to see our fridge filter sales and discounts!

Are you a veteran, currently serving in the Armed Forces, or are you placing an order on behalf of a veteran or soldier?

Use the discount code ‘SOLDIER’ at checkout to take 10% off your entire order at FridgeFilters.com!

Is The Safety Of My Fridge Water Impacted By Floods?

Flood Waters Impact Drinking Water SafetySeveral parts of the country, including our home state of Minnesota, have recently been deluged by rainstorms leading to significant issues with flooding. Part of the coverage related to this flooding, including stories published in both Minnesota and Missouri, has centered on the impact flood waters have on the safety of local drinking water.

This leads to perhaps the most important question of all, and one that we’ve heard from some FridgeFilters.com customers, is my drinking water safe?

In answering this question, we first need to determine where the drinking water dispensed by your fridge first originates from.

If your water comes from your municipality, ie ‘city water,’ the answer is very likely ‘yes.’ In the event of any contamination issues with local drinking water, cities will issue a boil water alert or advisory. Fortunately, most municipalities are quite good at being overly cautious in issuing these alerts if there is even a small chance of bacteria entering into a water supply (ie due to a sudden loss of water pressure or work on a water main.)

That said, there are notable recent exceptions, in both Portland, Oregon and Wake Forest, North Carolina where alerts were not issued quickly enough – leading to some residents reporting sickness and nausea.WellSafe Well Water Test Kit

The lesson that can be taken from this is that if there is ever a question on the safety of your municipal water, or worse, an ‘off’ taste or odor – boiling water prior to consuming or drinking only bottled water is advisable until a test can be conducted. Affordable DIY water test kits, available on our site here, can provide much of the data you need to make an initial determination.

If your fridge water originates from a private well, the issue is a little bit more involved, simply because every private well is different.

The stories linked to at the top of this post discuss the primary issue with well water safety as it relates to flooding: flood waters carry with them any number of contaminants, impurities and pathogens. As flood waters transform into run-off, they can quickly infiltrate wells, carrying all of these impurities with them.

If the water dispensed by your fridge is contaminated with pathogenic impurities, and face only the carbon filter in your fridge prior to pouring into your glass, these pathogens will still be present – for the simple reason that carbon filters are typically not designed to reduce bacteria.

Our advice for anyone living in flooded areas is this:

–          If you are a city water user, monitor the water news or reports in your area closely. Boil water alerts will typically be communicated through major news outlets.

–          If you are a well water user, test your water with a DIY well water kit as soon as possible. Even if your water test indicates that it is safe, our recommendation is still to flush your filtration systems and replace any filters in your home after all flood waters have subsided, to reduce any risk of being exposed to pathogens that may be trapped somewhere in your filters or system.

–          If there is even the smallest question related to the safety of your water, or any off flavor or odors, boil your water or use bottled water until a test can be completed. Alerting a rep from your local water company to your concerns may help expedite a formal lab test.

We also invite you to contact us directly with any additional questions at 1-800-683-8353 or to leave a question via a comment below.

Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or +1 us on Google+ to be the first to learn about exclusive deals and new products.

Are you a veteran, currently serving in the Armed Forces, or are you placing an order on behalf of a veteran or soldier?

Use the discount code ‘SOLDIER’ at checkout to take 10% off your entire order at FridgeFilters.com!

 

How We Ensure You Have The Cleanest Drinking Water In Every Room & Wherever You Roam

Clean Water EverywhereLooking at the name of our store, you could assume that we are in the refrigerator water filters business.  Your assumption would be both right AND wrong.

While we do offer one of the largest online selections of refrigerator filters, we are happy to offer so much more, ensuring you have clean drinking water (and clean air) in nearly every room of your home and in the faraway destinations you may travel.

To celebrate this week’s distinction as Drinking Water Week, see how we help ensure you have the cleanest drinking water everywhere – not just from your fridge.

[As a Drinking Water Week bonus, take 10% off any order on our site through Monday, May 12th – either on the products below or on the replacement fridge filters you need – by using the code ‘WaterWeek’ at checkout.]

We Help You Test Your Drinking Water:
Whether they live in the country and drink well water, or the city and drink municipal water, our customers care deeply about the quality and the safety of their source of hydration.WellSafe Well Water Test Kit

We are happy to help ensure our customers are always at ease when it comes to the safety of their drinking water by offering a variety of water test kits on our site, including the well water test kit pictured.  Check out our full selection here.

We Help You Serve Clean Drinking Water From Anywhere In Your Kitchen:
Your refrigerator water dispenser is just one point-of-use where we ensure you serve the cleanest tasting drinking water.  On our site, we are happy to offer water filters that can be attached to your faucet, installed beneath your sink or fitted onto your water line.

We are even happy to offer replacement filters for the whole house systems that ensure clean water is served from every faucet in your home, rather than just the kitchen!

Katadyn Vario Microfilter Water FilterWe Help Ensure You Have Clean Water On The Road & In The Great Outdoors:
How relaxing can getting away from it all truly be if you can’t depend on the clean drinking water we’ve helped you become accustomed to?  Fortunately, whether your vacation involves a journey into the unknown in your boat or RV, or a night sleeping under the stars surrounded only by the gentle sounds of nature, we can ensure you can still count on the cleanest tasting water imaginable!

Check out our selection of RV water filters and camping water filters, here and here.

Are there other types of water filters you’ve always had trouble finding?  If so, we invite you to leave a comment below or call our customer service team at 800-683-8353 and we’ll help you find it!  And once we do, remember to use the code ‘WaterWeek’ (before May 12th) to get it for 10% off!

We also invite you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or +1 us on Google+ to be the first to learn about exclusive deals and new products.

What Pete Seeger Meant To Clean Water

Pete Seeger At Farm Aid 2013This week marked the passing of Pete Seeger, a folk-singer and activist, that reached the impressive age of 94.

In an obituary published by Bloomberg, Seeger’s influence on artists ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Bob Dylan – along with his overwhelming role in the emergence of folk music – are prominently cited.  Seeger’s life and accomplishments could, and have, stretched across several volumes – with his voice booming through more than 100 albums and thousands of concerts & hootenannies.  Seeger even performed at President Obama’s 2009 inauguration where he was joined in a performance of This Land Is Your Land by Bruce Springsteen.

When we at FridgeFilters.com remember Seeger, what will resonate most strongly is what he meant to the clean water movement.

In 1966, Seeger and his wife founded the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, an organization dedicated to protecting the Hudson River and surrounding wetlands.  Clearwater, known for its hard-to-miss boat and impromptu concerts by Seeger and his banjo, was instrumental in supporting the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972.  Seeger was named a Clean Water Hero in 2002, in fact, for his efforts in support of this major initiative.

Seeger’s influence on the cleanliness of the Hudson River is difficult to sum up in just a few words, but this quote from writer Michelle Nijhuis perhaps comes the closest:

The river was dirty, and now it’s cleaner. What’s wrong is being righted. What’s impossible is possible.

As recently as this year, Seeger took on another clean water issue by becoming a vocal opponent against fracking – a controversial practice where thousands of gallons of highly pressured water are pumped into the ground to extract natural gas.  Seeger joined the likes of Neil Young and Dave Matthews to protest this practice at Willie Nelson’s Farm Aid just this September.

When we think of Pete Seeger going forward, we’ll remember the lifetime of music and activism dedicated to the well-being of so many that depend on clean drinking water.  Fortunately, the video below that will play out this post – a clip of Seeger well into his 90’s playing This Land Is Your Land at an anti-fracking protest – allow us to remember everything this man encompassed all at once.

An RIP and a thank you to Pete Seeger, a true clean water hero, on behalf of all of us at FridgeFilters.com.

We invite you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or +1 us on Google+ to be the first to learn about exclusive deals on our refrigerator water filters and furnace air filters.

Are you a veteran, currently serving in the Armed Forces, or are you buying a gift for a veteran or soldier?  Use the discount code ‘SOLDIER’ at checkout to take 10% off your entire order!

Free Refrigerator Water Filters Are Being Sent To Our West Virginia Customers

Maytag UKF8001 - Comparable Refrigerator Water Filter by Tier1

Maytag UKF8001 – Comparable Refrigerator Water Filter by Tier1

On January 10th, residents of Charleston, West Virginia awoke to find that their tap water was undrinkable and unusable.

An unprecedented chemical spill from a storage facility managed by Freedom Enterprises leaked up to 7,500 gallons of MCHM (4-Methylcyclohexanemethanol) – an industrial chemical used to separate coal from rock – into the Elk River, just under two miles from the area’s water treatment plant.

This week, residents are striving to get back to normal as tap water has been declared safe again in most areas.  But after-effects, from odor to discoloration present in drinking water, persist in many homes.  In addition to dealing with these after-effects, residents are also instructed, by the CDC and West Virginia American Water authorities, to flush their lines and replace all water filters – including refrigerator water filters.

This type of event robs us of our peace of mind.  While we at FridgeFilters.com may not be able to help our customers in the Charleston, West Virginia area fully regain this peace of mind, we do want to do our small part to help.

West Virginia American Water Map Providing The All Clear

West Virginia American Water Map. All Blue = All Tap Water Has Been Declared Safe

This week, we will be sending all of our customers in the Charleston, West Virginia area a free replacement from our Tier1 line of refrigerator water filters*. Tier1 refrigerator water filters are built to fit all major fridge brands and provide the same great tasting water, virtually free of stated contaminants. We are happy to be one of the exclusive distributors of this new line of filters.

If you live in West Virginia and have ordered a refrigerator water filter from us in the last three months, no action is required from you – your filter is already on the way.

We hope this helps to bring some normalcy back into your routine.

If you have friends or family in the Charleston, West Virginia area that have been impacted by the recent chemical spill, we encourage you to refer them to us.  Provide them with the code ‘Facebook10’ to use at check-out, and we’d be happy to offer them 10% off on your behalf.

If you have any questions, please feel free to connect with our customer service department at 1-800-683-8353.

We invite you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or +1 us on Google+.

*Important note: refrigerator water filters from Tier1, or from any brand, are not designed to reduce MCHM, primarily because not enough is known about this chemical. Replacing refrigerator water filters is a necessary reactive step after MCHM has been cleared from the water source.

A Low Cost Filtration System for Africa

Children collecting water

Two students at Penn State’s School of International Affairs developed a low-cost water filtration system which can be used in many parts of Africa. Kory Hansen and Jin Ju Kim are part of the school’s Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) program. Their challenge was to use no more than 2 people and no more than $200 in just 2 days to create a water filter based on resources available in Africa.

When the students tested the filters on campus, it removed 99.9% of bacteria and would drastically help a communty’s water burden if the system could be recreated in Africa. An integral part of the design of the filter was its commitment to local African resources in order to ensure sustainablilty in the future.

Naturally, Kim and Hansen hit obstacles during their quest for clean water, especially once they arrived in Africa. Other than the language barriers, they said the people were warm, welcoming, and very eager to help them with their project. They have both decided to continue their work with this project and other non-profit groups to help those in Africa. Nearly 3.4 million people die each year from lack of access to clean water. Millions more have to walk miles to retrieve water for their family or community, but more often than not, the water is not fit for drinking. Luckily, many people in Africa may have the opportunity to begin filtering their water thanks to these two students from Penn State’s HESE program!

The Global Water Crisis

You've probably been hearing more and more about the growing concern for the global water crisis. Frequently, countries like India, China, and many African nations are mentioned when discussing the need for clean drinking water. Many people don't realize that the water crisis also hits us at home and our neighbor, Canada.

Love the Earth

Climate change and population explosion are just two factors in the global water crisis. Nearly 800 million people worldwide don't have access to clean drinking water and another 2.5 billion are without sanitation. It's expected by the year 2030, the worldwide demand for water will outweigh supply by 40%.

Many people think Canada has one of the most abundant fresh water supplies in the world, however it only has about 2.5% of the world's supply. Unfortunately, due to budget cuts and reduced spending, the Canadian government has done very little to enact federal regulations on conservation and water quality for its citizens. What regulations and standards the Canadian government does have, many people feel it is old and outdated.

 

In America, many regions used to face water restrictions in the hottest parts of the summer. Now, those restrictions are lasting most, if not all of the year. Due to farm waste runoff, septic system discharge, and pesticide residue, one in three US lakes are not fit for swimming. In addition to gross stuff in our lakes and rivers, there are signs on the piers of the San Francisco Bay warning those who fish that the fish eaten from that bay may be hazardous to your health.

 

There are many ways you can do your part to help the global water crisis. It's important to conserve as much water as you can by using filtered water instead of bottled, taking shorter showers, and planting water-saving plants in your yard. Every step you take, no matter how small, will help ensure we have enough fresh water for the world in the future.

Are You Ready for Spring?

Even though Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, and New Years were a short time ago, spring is quietly sneaking up on us. Whether you're ready or not, it will be time to beautify your lawn and yard in just a short time. When you're planting this year, take time to plant water-conserving species to help you save water.

Plants

As more and more states are affected by droughts each year, many cities and towns impose water restrictions on its residents. Because water used for irrigation is good enough to be drinking water in many areas, we are only contributing to the clean water crisis. Two key components in water conservation is planning and management.

 

If your soil has high organic matter, like all the good stuff that comes from compost, it will help keep the soil fluffy rather than compacting. When soil is fluffy, water can travel more easily to the roots of plants to help keep them hydrated. Using mulch,even in the summer,is a great way to help your plants. Mulch keeps soil from losing water during evaporation. 

PRO TIP: Use a two to four inch layer of mulch around the base of your plants. It will also help reduce the amount of weeds that may pop up. 

 

When planning your landscape, stick to native plants which require infrequent waterings. Many plants can still be beautiful, but have evolved and adapted to live in your home's climate. Another characteristic of water-conserving plants are deep roots. Many home and garden centers are now labeling plants as native or water-saving, so be sure to look for these when shopping. Keep in mind that the native plants your cousins grow in Maine probably won't work if you live in Kansas.

 

To further maximize your landscaping efforts, be sure to know your area's hardiness zone and to get plants that can withstand the winters. The last thing you want is have a beautiful, water-conserving landcape in the spring, summer, and fall, only to lose it during the cold winter. 

PRO TIP: Check out the US National Arboretum's Hardiness Zone Map to help. 

 

Now, go start planning and planting! 

Is Your Water Fluoridated? Ask Your Dentist!

When you visit your dentist, it's highly likely he knows if your water is fluoridated. Since America began fluoridating many municipal water supplies, dentists claim to see healthier teeth in their patients. In communities where water is not fluoridated, dentists can quickly pick out a non-native because these patients tend to have fewer fillings and less tooth decay.

Dentist
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has deemed fluoridation to be one of the top 10 greatest public health acheivments of the 20th Century. The EPA also has allowably safe levels of fluoride in the water to minmize the risk of fluoridosis. However, even with the constant monitoring of fluoride levels, many people in the US have a growing concern for the fluoridation of water.

 

 

Whether or not water should be fluoridated is a controversial topic. Many people and organizations claim that the fluoridation of water has reduced the number of cavities seen in a person and has increased overall oral health of the US population. Those on the other side of the issue see fluoride as toxic and site studies linking the ingestion of fluoride to toxicity and many other health problems. These same people are also frustrated with the fluoridation of water because it is a chemical which is not easily removed from water. There is no standard carbon water filter which removes the chemical. Only reverse osmosis and distillation systems can remove fluoride.

 

North Carolina Commission on Fracking

Recently, North Carolina approved the bill to allow fracking (or hydraulic fracturing). In 2013, members of North Carolina's Mining and Energy Commission (NCMEC) are developing regulations for drilling. Drilling could begin as early as 2014.

 

Scientist looking at flask
NCMEC's chairman, Jim Womack, believes North Carolina will require "stringent disclosure laws." Many critics of fracking have shown that natural gas drilling causes earthquakes and water contamination. If North Carolina can obtain full disclosure of all chemicals used in fracking, including the "proprietary" chemicals, it would be a first nation wide.

 

In some situations, environmental regulators may know what chemicals are used in fracking, but there is a question as to allow emergency first responders and medical personnel know the types of chemicals used. Fracking additives can be extremely dangerous and contaminate the ground water. One of the many additives used in fracking is a compound called biocide tributyl tetradecyl phosphonium chloride. In addition to potentially harmful additives, the shale itself can release flammable and toxic chemicals like methane and benzene. These chemicals, since they are being release from the shale, can move more quickly into aquifers and into our groundwater. Hope Taylor, executive director of Clean Wate for North Carolina, says, "This is our public groundwater. The public has a right to know."

 

At this time, there are no water filters that remove the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process. As science learns more about the proprietary chemicals used in fracking, more filters and filter systems will be able to be tested for and remove unwanted pollutants.