Testing your home drinking water is a crucial part of home safety for your family and loved ones. It is important to test your water once per year. The good news is this can be done quickly and easily with our home water do it yourself testing kits. Learn more about the numerous chemicals that may be present in your drinking water.
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Whether its organic herbs and spices you seek or are seeking the finest in all natural sea salt, pure undiluted essential oils, ionic liquid minerals, pure beeswax, loose leaf teas, herbal healing tinctures, or one of our home health test kits; Florida Herb House can help you. Shop over 2000 products online at http://www.sharpweblabs.com/ or http://www.floridaherbhouse.com/ or visit our retail store in Port Orange, Florida for all your health and nutrition needs. Shhhh.......Use this online coupon code for an instant 10-20% savings upon checkout. Coupon Code = FLORIDAHERB
July 2, 2011 (Daytona Beach, FL) - Many may be reading this thinking that any lawn given the term "killer lawn" deserves a beautification award not much unlike that of a 1st place "killer pie" in a bake off contest. But the "killer" we are talking about is the one you don't want to hear about. In fact, we were so shocked when we read the statistics that we felt obligated to write about it in this month's edition of Green Gossip by the folks at Florida Herb House.
According to a group of world renown scientists from the United Nations Climate Change Convention, if our planet's current greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced by at least fifty percent within the next thirty years then our planet will crash just like a virus infected desktop. Luckily, many a folk are aware of the environmental dilemmas that plague our once healthy planet and thus have stepped up and made significant steps towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Some of these changes have included trading in the gas guzzler for a greener type hybrid vehicle, installing a solar hot water heater, and choosing to buy more organic and all natural products. But the one topic that seems to slide under the radar all too often is our lawn. That beautifully manicured, fresh cut, lush green, insect free, weed free, "killer lawn".
The truth is a staggering seven billion gallons of water per day is depleted from our water sheds for landscaping needs. Even more shocking is the 800 million gallons of fuel that is burned each year powering all the lawn mowers and weed whackers so desperately needed for maintaining those killer lawns. Now for the shocker - this one will make you go hmmm… and trumps all the rest. In the United States alone, not ten, not twenty, not thirty, but over forty billion dollars are spent every year on pesticides, fertilizers and other deadly lawn chemicals! It is no wonder that the average American has over three times the amount of pesticide toxins built up in his/her body compared to levels from only thirty years ago. It's time to think and be responsible, responsible for the well being of our children if nothing else and put a stop to this madness.
But what can we do? For starters, we, as concerned citizens have to start saying no to pesticides and fertilizers that are not organic or naturally manufactured. Not only will organic lawn products keep your lawn just as pretty as before but they will help solve the ever growing problem of chemically polluted water sheds and so many other health hazards. Additionally, as an added bonus children will have a safer environment to frolic and play in. While organic lawn products are slightly higher in cost, the benefits outweigh the costs easily in so many ways.
Next are the mowers and other gas powered equipment used for lawn care. When it is time to upgrade or replace your equipment opt for a more eco-friendly electric mower or even a self powered push mower like the one grandma used to use. Electric lawn mowers and weed whackers have come a long way in reliability and have cordless options that can meet the needs of the most demanding lawns. An electric mower costs only $10 per year to operate and will help cut into the millions of gallons of fuel that is exhausted annually in grass cutting machines.
For those searching for even more extreme eco-friendly options for their lawns, the kind that make tree huggers around the world smile, then do a search on Google for imitation and biodegradable lawns. They are available and gaining in popularity in the United States. Artificial lawns, while somewhat costly (an average size lawn would cost $5000-$10,000), will save the average homeowner hundreds of dollars per year in water and fuel costs. The real savings though will be in the reduction of greenhouse emissions and other pollutants. Another option for those concerned about the future of our planet would be to hire a company who paints lawns. While this sounds strange, there are several entrepreneurs earning living with this service. They come to your house every so often and treat your lawn with an eco-friendly, bio-degradeable lawn paint that matches your lawn's natural color and keeps it looking full and healthy all year round. For the most part this eliminates the need for constant watering and fertilizing and saves more than money – it saves our planet. Choosing one of these two options will reduce your carbon footprint more than if you traded in your SUV for that hybrid alternative - think about that. Whatever one decides for the future of their lawn, making just one small step per year to save our planet is surely better than doing nothing.
Green Gossip by Florida Herb House
The answer to this question depends on several factors. It concerns your health and the health of your family, so you need to know some basic facts.
In addition to illness, a variety of less serious problems such as taste, color, odor and staining of clothes or fixtures are signs of possible water quality problems. Other things to think about include the nearness of your water well to septic systems and the composition of your home’s plumbing materials.
This fact sheet provides information to help you decide whether or not to have your water tested, and if so, suggested tests for your situation. Regardless of your water source, here are two situations that may require testing:
Do you suspect lead may be in some of your household plumbing materials and water service lines?
Most water systems test for lead as a regular part of water monitoring. These tests give a system-wide picture, but do not reflect conditions at a specific household faucet.
If you want to know if your home’s drinking water contains unsafe levels of lead, have your water tested. Testing is the only way to confirm if lead is present or absent.
Some faucet and pitcher fi lters can remove lead from drinking water. If you use a filter to remove lead, be sure you get one that is certified to remove lead by NSF International.
As many of use are already aware the water we drink is most likely from a town supply or delivered from a well. Whether or not your water comes from a well or town tap then it is important to test your drinking water once per year especially if you have children that drink the water! If your water is supplied by a well then the importance goes up two fold. See town water sterilization plants are required to test their water every so often and send a report to each customer with the results. Although this is one safeguard against contaminated water it is still important to check your water right at the pipes in your house as there are many factors that can poison water between the water plant and your faucet. But if your water is supplied by a well there is no periodic testing done and you must conduct this your self. We can not stress the importance of testing your water!! We sell dozens of simple to use "Do It Yourself" water test kits every month at our stores. To purchase one online simply go to www.SharpWebLabs.com or www.FloridaHerbHouse.com and type in - WATER QUALITY TEST - in the search box.
WHAT IS A WELL? Simply stated, a well is a hole drilled into the earth to obtain water. Slotted plastic or metal well casing is placed in the hole and a pump is installed to pump the water out. Properly constructed wells have a seal installed to reduce the chance of surface water entering the well. Improperly constructed wells including hand-dug wells and some older wells may allow contaminants to enter the well.The types of businesses and activities in your neighborhood could affect groundwater. Are you located near any of the activities mentioned in the next section? Look around your community for any possible contamination threats to your water quality.
HOW CAN I PROTECT MY WATER? Periodically inspect exposed parts of the well for damaged casing, broken or missing well cap, or cracked seals. Slope the area around your well to drain surface runoff away from the well. Avoid mixing or storing pesticides, fertilizers, fuels or other Pump and inspect your sewage disposal system regularly. Never dispose of toxic chemicals down household drains. Hire a licensed well driller for any new well construction, modification, abandonment, or closure. Most types of water contamination can be treated. Water softeners or filters do not guarantee water safety. Different contaminants may require specific treatment systems.
HOW DO WELLS BECOME CONTAMINATED? Some groundwater naturally contains dissolved elements such as arsenic, boron, selenium, or radon. Whether these natural contaminants can cause health problems depends on the amount of the substance present, how long you have been exposed to the substance and on your overall health. In addition to natural substances, groundwater is often polluted by human activities generating contaminants such as:
Microorganisms (agricultural operations, sewage treatment ponds, septic systems) Fuels - gasoline & diesel (gas stations, auto body shops, maintenance yards, industrial facilities) Solvents – Volatile Organic Compounds such as PCE (dry cleaners, industrial facilities, auto repair shops, chemical storage facilities, landfills) Nitrates (agricultural operations, sewage treatment ponds,septic systems) Pesticides (agricultural operations, suburban yards) Metals - lead, arsenic & copper (mining, old agricultural operations, industrial operations, leaded fuel, household plumbing)
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY WATER IS SAFE? Although your water may taste and smell fine, the only way to know for sure that your water is safe is by testing it. Harmful bacteria or chemicals that you cannot see, smell or taste could be present. Water testing is important because it:
Helps you identify if contaminants are present! Tells you how much contaminant is present!
Having your water tested regularly will help you become aware of a potential problem early so that you can take steps to address it. Buy a water quality test kit today!
All of us here at Florida Herb House work hard to give you peace of mind with our large selection of "Do It Yourself" home health tests. If you are concerned with mercury in your water supply please buy a mercury test kit. They are simply to use and give fast accurate results as to any mercury poisining your water supply. If you can not find one we do have these in stock always. You can click below to order online at our herb store.
What is mercury? Mercury is a naturally occurring metal which has several forms. The metallic mercury is a shiny, silver-white, odorless liquid. If heated, it is a colorless, odorless gas.
What happens to mercury when it enters the environment? •Inorganic mercury (metallic mercury and inorganic mercury compounds) enters the air from mining ore deposits, burning coal and waste, and from manufacturing plants. •It enters the water or soil from natural deposits, disposal of wastes, and volcanic activity. •Methylmercury may be formed in water and soil by small organisms called bacteria. •Methylmercury builds up in the tissues of fish. Larger and older fish tend to have the highest levels of mercury.
How does mercury affect children? Very young children are more sensitive to mercury than adults. Mercury in the mother's body passes to the fetus and may accumulate there. It can also can pass to a nursing infant through breast milk. However, the benefits of breast feeding may be greater than the possible adverse effects of mercury in breast milk. Mercury's harmful effects that may be passed from the mother to the fetus include brain damage, mental retardation, incoordination, blindness, seizures, and inability to speak. Children poisoned by mercury may develop problems of their nervous and digestive systems, and kidney damage.
Inorganic mercury is found in batteries and is used in the chemical industry and it is produced from elemental mercury through the process of oxidation. Inorganic mercury is the most common form that is present in drinking water. Kidney damage may result from exposure to inorganic mercury through other sources. Organic mercury (primarily methyl mercury) is produced by specific bacterial organisms in surface waters that convert inorganic mercury into organic mercury, which is the form of mercury that poses a significant threat to human health. Methyl mercury is ingested typically by fish and bioaccumulates both in the tissues of fish and the humans that eat these fish. Large predatory fish can contain as much as 100,000 times more methyl mercury than the surrounding water medium. This form is rarely present in drinking water but is a very common contaminant in the tissues of fish and causes damage to the nervous system as well as teratogenesis. Both inorganic and organic mercury are considered to have a more detrimental effect on children due to the fact that both forms are more easily absorbed into their system.
In 1974, the EPA established the Safe Drinking Water Act that set specific guidelines on contaminants that are commonly found in drinking water. However, it was not until 1992 that mercury, in particular, became regulated. Both the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal and the Maximum Contaminant Level were set at 2 parts per billion because current technology allows public water suppliers to detect and remove mercury levels that low.
TEST YOUR WATER AT LEAST ONCE PER YEAR!
Stephen A. Sharp Florida Herb House www.FloridaHerbHouse.com www.SharpWebLabs.com
Just a quick note on our water hardness testing kits. Many ask about these and several us know the effects of hard water on our skin and body. It can feel like your shower has not cleaned you at all in extreme cases. This simple to use do it yourself test tells you if you have "Hard Water". No need for the professional water man to come over and leave you with a $75 tab.
We usually always have these in stock at our store in Port Orange, Florida or you can purchase any time online at www.SharpWebLabs.com or www.FloridaHerbHouse.com.
So water hardness huh.... What is it..... Why won't it go away? Hard water is a term used for water with high mineral levels, particularly calcium, manganese and magnesium. When using hard water, you may notice that whitish debris or stain is left behind once the water dries up.
However, it's understandable that you would want to get rid of hard water for good. Hard water doesn't just cause stains, they make bathing and laundry more difficult as well. Hard water is also unsuitable for plants when the soil content is already acidic. You're also likely to be pestered by salespeople who will try to sell you overly complicated machines to treat your water. Learn more about your options and make informed decisions when dealing with hard water with these tips.
When considering your options for treating hard water, you must first determine exactly what mineral levels in your water you're dealing with. You can go visit your water testing lab and have the mineral levels tested. Hard water hardness is determined by grains found per gallon or GPG. The classification goes as thus:
•Soft Water: 0-1 GPG •Slightly Hard Water: 1-3.0 GPG •Moderately Hard Water: 3.0-7.5 •Hard Water: 7.5-10.5 •Very Hard Water: 10.5 and above
The simplest way to get rid of hard water is to get an ion exchange water softener. Water softeners are specific ion exchangers that are designed to remove ions, which are positively charged. Softeners mainly remove calcium (Ca2+) and magnesium (Mg2+) ions. Calcium and magnesium are often referred to as 'hardness minerals'. Softeners are sometimes even applied to remove iron. The softening devices are able to remove up to five milligrams per litre (5 mg/L) of dissolved iron. Softeners can operate automatic, semi-automatic, or manual. Each type is rated on the amount of hardness it can remove before regeneration is necessary.
A water softener collects hardness minerals within its conditioning tank and from time to time flushes them away to drain.Ion exchangers are often used for water softening. When an ion exchanger is applied for water softening, it will replace the calcium and magnesium ions in the water with other ions, for instance sodium or potassium. The exchanger ions are added to the ion exchanger reservoir as sodium and potassium salts (NaCl and KCl). There are great deals online for many brands!
Stephen Sharp www.SharpWebLabs.com www.FloridaHerbHouse.com
Happy Tuesday from all of us here at Florida Herb House and .www.SharpWebLabs.com, www.FloridaHerbHouse.com! Here at our herb shop we take water quality seriously. If you are like us then you too test your home drinking water once per year whether it be town or well water. We sell hundreds of water testing kits per year at our retail store in Port Orange, Florida and wish to share some of the basics of water quality testing. If you reading this blog and wish to purchase a water quality test please use this coupon at our store for 10% off! Coupon Code = SHARPSPECIAL and can be used an any of our above online stores.
If you have town supplied tap water then you can get a copy of the most recent quality report. There is still a long ways for your water to travel from the origin to your faucet so we still highly recommend a water test at least once per year. Here is the link to find your local water report.Water Reports
If you use well water then the only way to be sure your water is safe is to test it yourself as there is no required EPA annual testing done. A complete list of the most common types of water test kits can be seen here: Water Tests
There are several tests that, if done periodically, can help owners of private wells determine whether they have safe, clean drinking water. Periodic testing will confirm the quality of your well water. State well construction code requires that new wells be tested before use. You should consider testing anytime you notice a change in odor or taste. The two most important water quality tests are bacteria and nitrates. Other tests can be done for such things as arsenic, water hardness, iron, chlorine, heavy metals, radon, coliform bacteria, ozone, lead etc. etc. We will talk about bacteria and nitrates today. Bacteria Coliform bacteria are microorganisms found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals as well as in soil, on vegetation, and in surface water runoff. Finding coliform bacteria in a water supply is an indication that there is a potential for disease-producing organisms to be present also.
Coliform bacteria washed into the ground by rain or melting snow are usually filtered out as water percolates through the soil. However, poorly-constructed or unsealed wells, fractured rock outcroppings, sinkholes, and quarries may provide a path for coliform bacteria to enter groundwater.
Once in the groundwater, bacteria can easily pollute drinking water used by private well owners. Other bacteria, viruses and parasites, which can cause illness, can be in water containing coliform bacteria.
Drinking water drawn from private wells should be tested for the presence of bacteria at least once a year or any time there is a change in taste, odor, color or appearance of the well water.
Iron and sulfur bacteria may also be present in well water. Although not a health threat, these two types of bacteria can make water smell and taste bad and plug or corrode plumbing equipment. The State Laboratory of Hygiene offers a test to detect iron bacteria. Some private laboratories also test for iron or sulfur bacteria.
Nitrate Although nitrate is found naturally in many types of food, high levels in drinking water pose a serious acute health threat for infants less than six months of age. Nitrate is changed to nitrite in the stomachs of small infants. The nitrite then interferes with the blood's ability to carry oxygen, and symptoms of suffocation or blue baby syndrome can occur. This problem generally does not affect older children or adults. Research is underway to ascertain if nitrate causes chronic illness. Sources of nitrate include fertilizer infiltration in agricultural areas, animal feedlots, sewage absorption fields, municipal and industrial wastewater, urban drainage and decaying plant debris. Underground soil and bedrock structure and the direction of groundwater flow influence when and where nitrate is found. In some areas nitrate contamination may be associated with other groundwater contaminants.
A nitrate test is recommended for all wells and is essential for wells serving infants under six months of age. The State Laboratory of Hygiene as well as private laboratories certified by DNR can test water for the presence of nitrate. If the levels are over 10 mg/l (milligrams per liter or parts per million expressed as "N"), the water should not be fed to infants under six months of age, or used to prepare formula. Nitrate is not believed to be a health concern for a pregnant woman or her fetus. Adults concerned with the yet incomplete and inconclusive research results regarding chronic illness, may wish to reduce consumption of water high in nitrate.
If nitrate levels are less than 5 mg/l, retesting every few years should be adequate. If the results are between 5 and 10 mg/l, more frequent, perhaps annual testing can be considered to monitor fluctuations in nitrate concentration. Concerns about seasonal concentration fluctuations can be satisfied by quarterly testing. If additional sources or amounts of nitrate occur in the nearby area, also consider retesting for nitrate.