19Nov

Bottled water is great because it is convenient, but convenience also comes at a cost. The cost isn’t reflected in the price of bottled water, but someone is covering the bill, and that is the environment. Bottled water has continued to become cheaper over the years. We can easily find bottled water for less than $1 in many places. High end brands may add a premium for “added value” and even then, it is not too expensive, but what are the real cost?

When calculating the true price of bottled water, we must consider many things beyond how much it cost to put the water in the bottle. One of the first factors to consider is the amount of oil used in production, and transportation. Oil is a non-renewable resource, meaning we have a limited supply. With the production and distribution of every bottle we come closer to the day we no longer have oil deposits. Just supplying Americans with plastic water bottles for one year consumes more than 17 million barrels of oil, that is about the amount of oil used in 1.3 million cars annually!

Another thing to consider when calculating the actual price of bottled water is its long-term effect on the environment. Plastic water bottles are considered single-use plastics. Single-use plastics are plastic products used only used once before they are thrown away or recycled. In America people are consuming nearly 50 billion bottles of water every year, and less than 25% are being recycled. That leaves about 37 billion plastic bottles in the trash where they end up in landfills or in the ocean. Even in landfills plastics takes more than 200 years to degrade, and as they break down, toxic substances are released into the soil and waterways and enter the food chain.

When bottles are not even properly thrown away, they end up in the environment, and the price to clean-up is high. Millions of dollars are spent annually to remove single-use plastics from the environment. California alone spends an estimated $25 million annually to landfill discarded plastics, and public agencies spend more than $500 million annually in litter cleanup.

When plastics are left in the environment, they can be detrimental to plants and wildlife. Impacts of marine debris have been reported for 663 marine wildlife species. For example, researchers have found that 50%-80% of dead sea turtles have ingested plastic.

These are just some of the things to consider when calculating the real price of a water bottle. There are many studies that suggest bottled water has affects on human health as well. When you begin to consider all these factors you begin to realize the cost of bottled water is a lot higher than we are paying. Is the convenience worth the long-term affect to our health and the environment? Is it sustainable to spend billions on clean ups around the world each year?

Its already proven that bottled water is more expensive, and isn’t healthier than tap water, so why do we continue to use them? We continue to pay the cost of each water bottle long after it has been thrown away.  A simple solution to this problem is to switch to reusable water bottles and using home filtration systems. This will not only save the consumer money when purchasing water, but it will also reduce the price the environment is paying.

16Oct

We have always been told we should drink water. The recommended amounts vary based on who you are talking to, but the thing that’s never really explain is why. Why is it important for us to drink water every day? What happens if we don’t drink enough water? The simple answer is “we get dehydrated,” but do you really know what that means? For the most part the average person does not.

By definition dehydration is when your body doesn’t have enough fluid and electrolytes to work properly. So how do we know when we are dehydrated or becoming dehydrated? Our bodies give us several warning signs.

In the first stages of dehydration; mild dehydration (a 3% to 5% loss of water), the body’s initial response is to preserve the amount of fluid still in the body by conserving water. This leads to various symptoms like thirst, dry mouth, and bad breath. As the body continues to preserve its water supplies dry eyes begin to occur due to insufficient tears to nourish the eye, and tears are necessary for providing clear vision. This will lead to eye strain, tired eyes, blurred vision, headaches and double vision. A decrease in urine output, muscle cramps, headache, lightheartedness, sleepiness are all other symptoms of mild dehydration.
Some other symptoms include:
• Dry skin
• Tiredness and fatigue
• Joint pain

In the 2nd stage of dehydration; moderate dehydration (a 6% to 9% loss of water), is when you begin to see even more serious effects from the lack of proper hydration. Migraine headaches are a common symptom of moderate hydration. In this stage it is not uncommon for the body to confuse the feeling of thirst with hunger, meaning that you may feel hungry when all you really need is water. You may also begin to crave sweets because your body may be having trouble breaking down glycogen to release glucose into the bloodstream to use as fuel.
Some other symptoms include:

• Water Retention (bloating)
• Weight gain
• Loss of cognitive function (brain power)
• Constipation
• Lack of nutrients

Severe dehydration (at least 10% loss of water); the last stage, can cause in increase in the risk of a stroke. It may also lead to kidney infections and stones, shock, coma, organ failure and can even result in death. Symptoms include feeling confused or lethargic, not urinating for eight hours, rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure, a weak pulse, the inability to sweat and sunken eyes. Fever, and chills; common in hyperthermia, are also symptoms of severe dehydration.
Some other symptoms include:
• A weak pulse
• Bloody or black stools
• Fits (seizures)
• Inability to keep down fluids
• Moderate to severe diarrhea for more than 24 hours

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms seek medical attention. To prevent dehydration, it important to include drinking water into your daily routine. Keeping a water bottle close is always a good start. It is especially important to intake fluid before, during and after exercise to replenish the water lost through sweating. Other tips for preventing dehydration include removing excess salt from your diet and reducing intake of alcohol, caffeine and high-protein foods. Ultimately, listen to your body it will tell you when you need water.

drink more water dehydration

 

 

19Sep

It is great that you are using a UV system, but are you keeping up with the maintenance? It is critical to maintain your system, and replace the lamps to ensure the safety of your water. When replacing parts for your Viqua system it is important to use genuine Viqua products. Using any other replacement parts compromises the safety of your water.

These are some of the risk of using non-genuine Viqua Parts

  • Fire Risk
  • Health Risk
  • Equipment Damage or Failure Risk
  • Lack Of Reliability Risk
  • Loss Of Certification

The video below will show how to spot fakes, and further explain the risk of using non genuine parts.
 

  When shopping with BetterAqua we ensure that we will be providing you with genuine Viqua products.
 

14Aug

People love bottled water. According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, the average American consumed 32.0 gallons of it in 2013 — more than either beer or milk. Many consumers reach for bottled water because they think it’s a healthier and/or tastier alternative to the water from their tap. But let’s look at the facts. In both the U.S. and Canada, bottled water is regulated as a food product, not as drinking water. This means that bottled water doesn’t have to undergo the same rigorous testing as your tap water. Many popular brands of bottled water are simply municipal tap water that has gone through extra filtration and sterilization steps.

According to the FDA regulations, bottled water must be tested for microbiological contaminants on a weekly basis. Once a year, it must be tested for physical, chemical and radiological contaminants. In Canada, bottled water plants are inspected by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency an average of once every three years. Compare that to municipal tap water. New York City runs more than a thousand tests a day on its drinking water. In Toronto, the water is tested for bacteria every four to six hours.

Why bother with bottled when you can get the same quality — or better — right from your tap?

With the right home treatment system, your tap water can be just as safe and taste just as good as bottled water, at a fraction of the price. And when it comes to the environmental costs, the choice is clear: home treatment wins hands down. An ultraviolet (UV) disinfection system will kill harmful microorganisms in your water, even dangerous organisms like Cryptosporidium and Giardia. If you combine the UV disinfection with a carbon filter pre-treatment system, you can get rid of unpleasant tastes and odors, including the chlorine smell and taste you find in municipal tap water. Carbon pre-treatment can also remove pesticides, pharmaceuticals and a slew of other organic contaminants.

If you rely on your own well for your drinking water, it’s up to you to make sure it’s safe to drink. A UV disinfection system protects you and your family from harmful bacteria, viruses and other disease causing organisms. That means you no longer have to worry about nasty things from your neighbor’s septic tank or the farm down the road contaminating the water you drink. Meanwhile, carbon pre-treatment will remove pesticides and other undesirable contaminants.

Save Money!

One of the biggest benefits of a home treatment system is the amount of money you’ll save. According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, bottled water costs an average of US$1.21/gallon in 2013 — and that’s wholesale pricing. If you’re buying a 24-pack of single-serve bottles, you’re going to pay even more. The average American uses two gallons of water a day for drinking  and cooking. If you’ve got four people in your household, that’s eight gallons a day, 365 days a year. Multiply that by $1.21 a gallon and you’re looking at more than $3,500 a year. The electricity required to run a UV & Carbon filtration system is about the same amount it takes to run a 40-Watt light bulb, while replacing most UV lamps (done once a year) and carbon filters will set you back around $3 per week.

Save the Environment!

Switching to home filtration systems will help save the environment. Each year, Americans buy roughly 29 billion bottles of water. Think of all the energy and resources that go into making those plastic bottles — and all the fuel that gets burned delivering them to your door. Altogether, the Pacific Institute estimates that America’s bottled water habit consumes up to 53 million barrels of oil annually. That’s enough to fuel more than three million cars for an entire year. The environmental damage doesn’t end there. According to the Container Recycling Institute, nearly two out of every three beverage containers end up in landfills or incinerators, rather than being recycled. Data from the United Nations Environment Program found that plastic waste causes approximately $13 billion in damage to beaches and marine life habitat, killing animals, poisoning the food chain, and smothering the sea bed. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch covers an area six times the size of the U.K. Located in the Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and California, this floating island of plastic sits on the migration route for populations of humpback whales. These whales are literally swimming through a sea of plastic and eating the waste that we discard.

Switching from bottle watered to water you filter yourself is an easy choice.

 

 

17Jul

Your water could be causing problems!

There are many microorganisms that can make their way into your water. Some of these will cause you and your family to fall ill, or ruin the taste of your food or drinks. There are many factors that lead to the contamination of water. If your water comes from a private well there are greater chances that it may become contaminated. Even if your water is treated by local and governmental municipalities there is always a chance that it may not be safe. Ken Cook of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) stated “Just because your tap water gets a passing grade from the government doesn’t always mean it’s safe.”

There are many ways to find out if these may be present in your water. You can check our “Better Life” section to learn more about the water where ever you are. In the United States you can also check the Environmental Working Group (EWG) for their searchable online Tap Water Database, that allows anyone in the US to see the quality of their drinking water by entering their zip code or local utility’s name online.

 

14Jun

As you can’t see, smell, or taste microbes in water, a water test is all the more critical. But with microbiological contaminants, the water test is simply a snapshot in time. With hard or iron-containing waters, the level of these minerals is less likely to change over time. Microbiological contamination, however, can change unexpectedly. A sudden thaw, a torrential downpour, a septic tank that develops a leak – any of these can cause sudden microbiological contamination. Because bacterial contamination is not a constant, the water test result is often reported as not detected. FOR NOW. That can change tomorrow, which is why the public health recommendation for regular testing is at least annually.

For disinfection, it is not just about selling to the need. It’s about selling to the risk. Both constant chlorination and ultraviolet (UV) disinfection are recognized by authorities like the EPA and Health Canada as effective means of disinfection. UV adoption, though, is on the rise, because under normal operating conditions, it’s effective against a broader range of microorganisms, including protozoa, like Cryptosporidium and Giardia. It’s also a chemical-free, environmentally-friendly solution.

UV disinfection is not new!

Chlorine has been widely used for public water treatment in the USA since the early 1900s, which speaks to the fundamental need for disinfection to protect health. But disinfection with sunlight has been recognized for centuries. The germicidal properties of sunlight were demonstrated by Downes and Blunt in 1877. Once it was understood that specific UV-C wavelengths are responsible for this germicidal activity, the technology was developed so that UV light could be used in a controlled and meaningful way. UV disinfection has been widely adopted in Europe and Canada for municipal and private water treatment. Advancements have continued making UV systems more compact and even more energy efficient over the years. Many municipalities around the world have overhauled their primary disinfection from chlorine-based to UV.

UV technology is easy to explain!

Ultraviolet light is a sophisticated disinfection solution, but it doesn’t require an overly technical explanation. Light of a specific wavelength is passed through the water, inactivating any pathogens that are present. Because they are inactivated, microbes can no longer multiply, which means they can’t cause infection.

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