Critical Steps to Manage Your Home’s Water Usage

Residents in the southeast are struggling with unprecedented drought and water shortages. Normally those of us in this part of the US have lots of rain and more worries about flooding than drought. The rain deficits that have been the norm for the past couple of years have dried up wells, killed trees, lawns and landscaping, wiped out agricultural crops and changed everything for residents of this usually verdant area. You might have noticed your grocery bill is higher because of it, too.

A certain amount of conflict has existed between the large cities and more agriculturally oriented communities down river from densely populated north Georgia and Alabama for some years. But now the conflict is getting hotter because of extreme drought. Some even characterize it as a “water war”. Many Alabama and Georgia communities are concerned about running out of water completely.

Water resources can no longer be taken for granted. A house without water is not livable or marketable, after all. Even before the current water shortages Atlanta’s creeks and rivers had so many lawn and garden chemicals in them that if your pet took just a few sips of creek water it wouldn’t just make him sick, it could kill him! These chemicals make all those water-hogging golf courses and lawns look a lot less picturesque than they would like us to think. The chemical runoff from golf courses and lawns is amazingly toxic for humans, too.

A company in Belgium now owns Carolina Water in western North Carolina. They doubled NC residents’ water bills in the past few years. They own and operate many private water services in the US. Local owners did not notify any customers before they sold the water rights to an overseas company, a practice we believe should be illegal. After all, nothing is of more strategic importance than water. The public service commission rolled over again and again, giving them whatever they want for very poor service and water with lead in it.

Water resources are of so much importance that we have been taking steps to conserve water in our home. We also filter out pollutants the water service misses the best we can. Here are some suggestions you can implement to manage your homes water usage.

1. Try going to a landscape that requires fewer chemicals and less watering. We have a clear corridor around our house for fire safety. There are two small areas of lawn, berries in raised beds that blend into the hill, flowers and herbs in pots, and the rest is given to natural landscaping that grows well in our area without the need for chemicals, pesticides, a lawn tractor or watering.

2. Let your congressmen and state representatives know ownership of water in the US should be ours by law, with no foreign ownership possible.

3. Capture gray water from tubs and showers. This is possible, especially for upper floor baths with a storage tank and a few plumbing changes.

4. Capture and store rain from your roof in a cistern, barrels or a storage tank. This water can be used to flush toilets to regular drains, to wash cars, in drip irrigation for your landscape or for water features.

5. Instead of draining air conditioners and dehumidifiers to a drain, catch the water for drip irrigation or potted plants. Treat the water with a little bleach to kill germs. The plants won’t mind if it’s not too strong.

6. Make sure your plumbing is in good repair. A toilet that runs between flushes can cost you serious money in water bills. We had a toilet that was running imperceptibly that raised our bill one month ten fold. Wow! It would have been cheaper to buy a new toilet. So keep a close watch on usage. Read your own meter a couple of times a month. No plumbing should be leaking. Appliances like toilets, dishwashers and clothes washers come in versions that use less water. Better versions of these necessities could pay for themselves rather quickly.

7. Save water by taking shorter showers, turning off faucets while brushing teeth or shaving, and by not using any more water than it takes to do the myriad of tasks we all do each day.

Water is one of those things we have to have to sustain life. We have to have it to grow food and to live. It’s VERY IMPORTANT for all of us. Be sure everyone in your home treats it like the most important thing there is besides love for sustaining life.

Industrial Water Treatment Generates Bottom Line Returns

Water is an increasingly expensive commodity for manufacturers and others in the industrial sectors. But industrial water treatment can help make that important resource much more affordable. There are many cost-effective ways to treat industrial water, and there are multiple benefits to be derived from various approaches.

Cost Reduction – Water, Chemicals and Energy

Operators of high pressure boilers have relied on demineralizers to prevent excursions of very stringent contaminant limits such as silica and sodium which would rapidly cause failure of turbines. In the last decade, many have added reverse osmosis pretreatment upstream of the demineralizers to significantly extend cycle time between chemical regenerations, thus saving chemicals and water. Now more and more companies are realizing that reverse osmosis pretreatment to low pressure boilers (with or without softening), can increase cycles from 10 to 50, sometimes cutting energy by 60% due to reduced blowdown. Such treatment also cuts boiler chemical consumption drastically.

Avoiding Unexpected Industrial Setbacks

Many facilities also have to comply with state and / or municipal regulations regarding wastewater treatment. When industrial water treatment is out of compliance, companies can be fined and suffer adverse publicity. There is also the risk of lawsuits if a manufacturing facility inadvertently contributes to the presence of contaminants in industrial water discharged into a municipal sewer system, or a river or stream.

NPDES and POTW restrictions are becoming stricter, and companies need to stay informed and have the technology necessary to follow official guidelines. There are water engineering companies with the expertise, the equipment, the experience, and the tactical agility to proactively address all of these issues before they become problems. Contracting with an industrial water treatment services company can, therefore, potentially save a company from financial liability and unexpected and costly downtime.

Alternatives to Infrastructure Investment

Of course some companies cannot afford to install sophisticated industrial water treatment systems. Or, in this environment of running leaner and leaner, they have neither the manpower nor expertise to operate sophisticated and critical water or wastewater treatment systems. But that doesn’t have to be an obstacle. There are professional industrial water service providers who can offer a lease-purchase program with tax-friendly terms Or provide a “vendor-owned, vendor-maintained” system under a long term agreement. Either avoids the need for capital dollars and the complexity and time constraints in getting capital approved.

It is also possible to rent equipment or contract for services on an as-needed basis. Moreover, emergency services are available on short notice to help resolve problems when old water systems fail or there is a special project that requires unique types of industrial water treatment.

There are pros who will design, construct, oversee, and maintain systems when a company does decide to make that infrastructure investment. This avoids the necessity to hire specially trained and highly paid water engineers or plant operators as full time employees. Instead they can simply contract with a professional treatment provider and realize the benefits of capital-free, turn- key installation and operation.

Storing Survival Water Makes Good Sense

Storing emergency survival water may be a possibility you never considered until recently. In America, thanks to two hundred years of hard work and ingenuity, when we turn on a tap in our home a dependable abundance of clean water flows into our sinks and showers. We run dishwashers and washing machines, or flush our toilets, certain that gallons will be available to do the job. As populations increase and urbanization expands around the world, the availability of potable water has become a serious issue. Here in the US we are facing a number of diverse problems which threaten to disrupt our reliable supply of clean water.

The global financial crisis is hitting hard at home causing cut backs in local services, and contributing to a crumbling infrastructure as many states struggle to manage their budgets. We can no longer take these services for granted. One of the most common reasons for an outage is a water main break. In North America, due to our aging and poorly maintained sewer and water systems, there are over 850 water main breaks each day creating an annual repair bill of over three billion dollars.

Another cause for an outage is a contamination of the water supply with E. Coli, arsenic, radioactive substances, or some other contaminant. This may be the result of a one time event, such as a storm, or due to errors and mismanagement by a water company. Violations of E.P.A. safe drinking water laws have been reported at water companies around the country. You may want to check on the quality of the water being provided by your municipality. Finally, a prolonged power outage may cut off your water. It takes electricity to pump water into your home, so once you have used up the supply already in the pipes, no more can enter your home until the power is restored.

Even more serious and dramatic disruptions in our water service may occur. During the last several years, the US has experienced record levels of violent weather including earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and droughts. The resulting prolonged water outages and shortages can compound the devastation by causing additional suffering and death. Recall the difficulties encountered by the Red Cross, F.E.M.A. and other emergency responders as they struggled to get clean water and other necessities to the victims of Katrina. Sadly, financial and political upheaval, or natural disasters could spark civil unrest causing further disruption. In any emergency which causes a water outage, it is safest to consider all water contaminated even if it comes out of your own tap or well.

The Red Cross and F.E.M.A. recommend a three-day supply of one gallon for each person as an absolute minimum. Storing one gallon per person per day to last for at least a week, or preferably, one month would be much safer. If your household consists of one or more healthy adults, a brief water outage may be endured with only discomfort. Family members with higher water requirements such as children, or the ailing and elderly, may find a disruption more difficult or even impossible to bear. You must also consider the needs of your pets. A growing number of Americans have begun stockpiling staples and buying an emergency supply of dehydrated foods which can be stored long-term. Unfortunately many are overlooking the fact that they will be unable to prepare and cook these foods without an adequate supply of clean water.

There are simple, effective and affordable ways to store water in your home. You could buy bottled water, or store tap, well or purified harvested water. Take the first step and start creating your supply of survival water right away. Not since the earliest days of our country has there been a time when individual responsibility and emergency preparedness were more prudent. You can survive for weeks without food but not long at all without water. A supply of survival water for you and your family can provide real peace of mind.

Why Use a Water Treatment System?

A water treatment system plays a vital role in managing water safely and effectively and is an ideal solution for businesses, homes and even for entire cities. The right kind of water management helps ensure that, for example, a business will be able to operate at least cost and with minimal risks which not only helps to make the business more profitable but it gives everyone concerned greater peace of mind.

For a business to operate efficiently it needs to optimize its water volume and lower its costs of heating as well as must not suffer from water systems being disrupted. All this requires that the business maintains its infrastructure in the best possible manner as only this will ensure that water is treated in the best manner possible.

A good water treatment system will help in removing dangerous chemicals as well as contaminants from the water. These systems are widely used everywhere including in cities and in homes as well as in businesses. They will effectively eliminate dangerous metals and chemicals that could give rise to diseases, when allowed to remain in the drinking water.

It is however important to realize that all water treatment solutions are not the same, and that each has notable differences. What’s more, an expensive water treatment system may not always prove to be the best. The best systems will however be those that make use of the best technologies with which to get rid of contaminants that can severely compromise the quality of water.

Among the best technologies, those such as using chemical/physical bonding, sub micron filter elements, double stages of filtration are worth looking at in more detail.

Removing contaminants by physical/chemical bonding is a very effective method. Such methods will in fact completely remove organic chemicals of which pesticides and herbicides are good example. On the other hand, ion exchange helps in removing metals from the water.

Using sub micron filter elements can prove to be very advantageous as this technology ensures that cysts in the water that are disease carriers can easily be removed. These cysts happen to be very tiny and so can only be got rid of through using a sub micron filter element whose small size (of pores) can help in filtering out sediments and chlorine from the water supply.

Double stages of filtration help to provide outstanding results by combining unique processes that each addresses removal of various kinds of contamination.

In order to ensure that a water treatment system is effective, it is also important to independently test the systems performance. This can be done by dealing with organizations that specialize in conducting such tests. After the system has been certified, it is reasonable to believe that the system will in fact provide the purest drinking water to a home, office and even to an entire city.

Other useful treatment regimes include those such as chemical formulations that help in sterilizing the water and which protects the system from corrosion and scaling. In order to identify the best water treatment system it pays to consult experts that can advise regarding which approach is best in terms of different treatment options.

A Financial Analysis of American States Water Co

The utility sector is a typically unheard one. With only one company, Aqua America Inc, over one billion in terms of market capitalization, there may be some risk involved in purchasing some of these short-cap equities. Nevertheless, along with the likes of California Water Service Group and SJW Corp, one company, American States Water Co (AWR), has the solid fundamental base and business strategy to produce capital gains for your portfolio.

Relative to the information provided by Reuters, American States Water “is the parent company of Golden State Water Company (GSWC), American States Utility Services, Inc. (ASUS) and its subsidiaries, and Chaparral City Water Company (CCWC).” GSWC “is a public utility engaged principally in the purchase, production, distribution and sale of water in California.” As illustrated, this company controls most of the business life cycle, allowing for a strong vertical control over its entire process. The one area which really stands out for me is its presence in California. With raging wildfires continuing to burn acres of land out there in the West Coast, along with meteorologists’ predictions that 2007 will be the warmest year on record, water is going to be highly desired for the Golden State, and American States Water will be a huge component of trying to fulfill this need. In addition, the other break offs of this company such as American States Utility focuses on other dry states such as Arizona. And, because unusually high temperatures and drought conditions are not going to be restricted to only California, there is going to be high potential for these spin-offs to perform quite well in the next year. Furthermore, because AWR has grown share price wise in linear fashion since its IPO days in the early 1990s, further business will mean further growth opportunities and a continuation of a higher share price.

Now, while the foreseeable future looks very promising for AWR, the water situation will not be exclusive to only California and Arizona, but will have impacts across the entire United States. As a result, other water utility companies such as SJW and Aqua America will also benefit from the upcoming events. Nevertheless, what separate these companies from AWR are the fundamentals. Examining revenue, AWR has had increasing gross profit margins over the past three fiscal years. This has lead to a revenue per share of 15.86 according to Capital IQ which handily beats competitors Aqua America’s 4.08 and SJW’s 10.36. Furthermore, one of the most important indicators I look at, quarterly revenue growth, year over year, AWR has posted near 21% quarterly growth. This astonishing number easily beats out Aqua America’s 11.30, SJW’s 2.20, and California Water Service’s 3.60%. Looking more down the line, this revenue number quickly changes to a net income level related to earnings which AWR seems to have a stronghold as well. Its forward P/E ratio of 24.5 easily beats out the industry’s 28.3 and also beats out Aqua Water’s 26.3 and SJW’s 26.2 (SJW’s forward multiple is actually up from its trailing ratio). This undervaluation can also be found with AWR’s price to sales multiple of 2.5, enterprise value to revenue number of 3.6, and enterprise value to EBIDTA figure of 11.53. While these numbers may seem a bit high relative to the general market, comparing them to the industry, Aqua Water’s respective numbers are only 5.69, 7.67, and 14.40, SJW’s respective figures are 3.85, 4.78, and 13.28, and California Water Service’s has a respective 2.51, 3.22, and 12.49. With the industry’s price to sales multiple much higher a 3.4, there is some clear indication that the share price for AWR is too low for the given fundamentals.

The one area where there may be a bit of concern related to this company can be found to its ROE. With only a number close to 8.5%, a bit below the industry’s average of 9.3%, it may seem that the company is not using the shares bought most efficiently. In addition, there also may be some concern regarding the below industry ROI of 2.8% and the same lagging ROA indicator of 2.55%. Nevertheless, AWR’s main competitor California Water Service only as a ROE close to 7.6%, and the market leader of this industry, Aqua Water’s ROE is only slightly higher at 10.6%. If AWR continues to see favorable weather patterns and continues to find growing sales year over year, Mr. Floyd Wicks and his near 570 employees should have no trouble continuing to be one of the main leaders, share price growth wise, in this industry. In addition, looking a bit more obscure but still relevant figures, AWR may have a bit of a liability to asset debate, with a current ratio of 0.75, but the long term debt to equity ratio of about 1, still illustrates that this company can take on debt, produce quite well, and still be considered undervalued. While it’s true that some of the other companies in this industry have more solvency to their respective system, with a near positive linear growth pattern over the past 17 years, there should be not much reason to doubt this company–especially considering the industry it’s in.

Therefore, with the solid business plan and secure fundamental attributes, there should be no reason to not consider committing some capital into this company. With a beta close to one, and a solid reason to believe the benchmark, the S&P 500, will do quite well in 2007, even with a current share price above the 50 and 200 day SMA, AWR is a solid, safe company to be involved with.

Water Conservation – One Leak Can Make a Difference

Water conservation may feel to some like a gargantuan issue that is beyond one’s control. But the truth of the matter is, water conservation is really about doing a lot of little things that add up to make a significant difference. And there really are many small things that we can do to make a difference in conserving our planet’s water supply. So, If you are one of the naysayers who feel like your actions are just a tiny, insignificant drop in the ocean, this article is for you. To illustrate the point, let’s take a look at the impact of something that may seem inconsequential at first glance but isn’t, a dripping faucet.

A small drip from a faucet, something that at first blush may seem like a trivial issue, can add up to make a huge impact either positive or negative depending on whether people take appropriate action. Unfortunately, most people never give a second thought to conservation until they hear about water restrictions on the local news.

Most people are very surprised to find out that households in the United States waste over a trillion gallons of water every year due to leaks in our homes. To many people, this just sounds like a big number, but let’s put this in perspective. A leak at your home can waste in excess of 10,000 gallons of water in a single year. This is enough water to fill up a swimming pool.

Without repairing the leak, that is a swimming pool of water wasted year after year. So why do people often ignore the leaks? Probably because they have not been informed of the impact. When one sees a dripping faucet, they see a few drops of water, not an entire swimming pool filled from their leaking faucet or tap. This is an area where knowledge truly is powerful. Imagine if everyone fixed all of the leaks in their homes. The impact would be phenomenal. The next time you are visiting a friend or neighbor and see a dripping faucet, do not ignore the problem, take a moment to educate your friends, neighbors, and family about the environmental impact.

If you need a little more incentive to get those dripping faucets repaired, some estimates put an annual cost of up to $100 on the water cost of each and every leak in a home. Now the true cost is variable depending on the severity of the leak and the cost of water service in your local area, but we can all agree that the cost is significant in both dollars and environmental impact.

Now that you have read this article, there are no more excuses. Get your leaks repaired and educate others when you see leaky faucets in your friend’s and family’s homes. There are any number of articles and videos out there on the internet that can show one how to perform these repairs, or there is always the option of using a local plumbing contractor. If you choose to use a plumber to make these repairs, be sure to use one that is licensed and insured!

Why Many Homeowners Opt For Hot Water Installation

The use of warm water in many households has always been a preferred choice for most homeowners. Even during the summer, most people would still prefer to take hot showers and go about household tasks, such as doing the dishes and laundry, using hot water. This isn’t baffling at all, considering that warm water offers more benefits than cold water especially when it comes to household use. However, frequent use of hot water can definitely create a huge dent on the budget. Not only does water consumption cost a lot, but heating expenses can also really stack up.

It’s actually hard to save at all on water heating, unless you intend to boil water using wood fire which, by the way, takes a much longer time. It’s such a big production to start fire using wood and it takes an even much longer time to get the fire hot enough to fully boil water. When you’re done boiling, cleaning the pot is another hassle. The soot is such a mess to tackle even if you use strong dishwashing liquid and scouring pad; typically, what happens is that the soot comes off of the container and then transfers to the scour pad, your hands, and the sink.

So, after cleaning the container, you would still have to clean the scour pad and the sink. It definitely will provide you hot water, but do you really want to go through all that trouble? Fortunately, heating water using wood fire is not the only option; for those who need this all the time but want to secure long-term savings, it’s worth considering solar hot water installation.

Most installation services claim that while the initial investment for the water units most companies offer may be much more expensive than an electric hot water service, homeowners can definitely reap great benefits from using this alternative provision, such as listed below.

They can help households save on electricity costs for a lifetime; heating implements are some of the biggest consumers of electricity, and as long as the solar hot water units work, households can be sure to keep their heating expenses low. There are rebates and incentives available to those who’ll make the switch to this system.

Solar powered features are known to increase home value. They make use of renewable energy resources. The system has no (or low) greenhouse gas emissions once installed; these are big advantages, especially for those who take environmental responsibility seriously.

Fixing Your Water Supply Issues With a Personal Well

Depending on where you live – or where do your work at – water might not always be a readily available commodity like it is for most other people. Of course, you can always call your local water services to discuss running a line to your location, but sometimes this might be prohibitively expensive. In those cases, you should look into alternative solutions if you want to still have access to water and yet not have to pay too much for it.

Getting your own well drilled is always an adequate option, although it also comes with a bit of a steep initial price. But while it’s true that it’s going to cost you a significant amount of money to have your well drilled, this is definitely a solid investment into your future. You’ll not only have a steady water supply, you’ll also be completely independent from your local water services, and you’ll know that your livelihood is entirely in your control.

Of course, it’s a bit of a silly idea to think about drilling a professional grade well on your own. That’s why certain companies exist, to provide this exact service to people who need it. If you contact a well drilling company, they should quickly give you a quote after evaluating your location, and let you know how soon they can commence drilling.

Keep in mind that drilling a well is not an easy task by any means, and you should be prepared to see some serious work on your premises. You might need to help out in some cases, although you’d usually be better off not getting in anyone’s way.

How long it’s going to take to drill your well depends on a variety of factors, but in most cases the process will last for a few days, maybe up to a week. Difficult conditions and a harsh environment can make this more complicated and time-consuming, so make sure you discuss the plan carefully with the drilling company before you even get started. You don’t want to find yourself stuck in the middle of a well drilling project and suddenly in need of a steady water supply!

Also remember that your well will be an ongoing investment, as it will need maintenance and the occasional repair done. Make sure that the company covers you adequately in the long run in this regard, and discuss their support plans thoroughly before signing the contract. If you have added risk factors due to your environment, you may need to pay more for your well’s maintenance or certain types of repairs, but this should be outlined specifically in the initial proposal.

And on that note, keep in mind that your well’s maintenance will depend on you to some extent – you’ll want to make sure that you treat the well right, avoiding certain operations on it and always keeping an eye out for potential problems that might be the indication of an upcoming failure. By noticing these things early on, you can prevent a lot of damage (and costly repairs).

Tankless Water Heater Installation Is a “Green” Opportunity

Tankless hot water heaters are an on-immediate hot water source that can be very efficient to use. The standard water heater today is a 40 to 50 gallon constant heater is in use predominately.

If you turn the furnace or heater off in your house when you away from it why would you keep wasting energy with a water heater that is kept at a constant temperature on idle while you are gone. Unlike traditional storage heaters the tankless just heats as is needed.With the tankless system cold water entering the pipe at the entry to a tankless system is heated immediately when you call for it by turning on your tap in either the kitchen or the bathroom. If your unit is gas fired, a gas burner heats the water. If it is electric, an electric element heats the water.

This produces a constant source of hot water as needed at about 2 to 5 gallons per minute A gas fired tankless unit will produce a higher flow rate than one powered by electricity. However the immediate demand system is not the universal choice for heating water.This is due to an inability to produce the immediate hot water for a large family at the same time with baths and showers and kitchen cleanup being done.Simultaneous use of different water services quickly reaches a limit where it cannot deliver.

Perhaps your local plumber did not explain all of the alternatives and facts to you when your system was installed. You could have the option of running two tankless devices in parallel at the same time this increasing the output capacity at peak draw times.The other opportunity that your favoured plumber could recommend is to run the bathrooms and dishwashers on one circuit and the laundry room services on a different circuit using the two tankless heaters.The latter provides that there is hot water for everyone when they want it.

Talk to your licensed and insured plumber and see what alternative or mix they would suggest to you for your satisfaction. Once you have the tankless water system your contribution to the green movement and rapid hot water will warm your head and your heart

I would invite you now to consider the benefits of tankless and find out more by visiting your Waterloo plumber []. Put your foot in the water and test it out. you can find more information on a tankless hot water heater installation [] in your home and increasing your energy efficiency.

Water Damage Restoration Clean Up

Water damage restoration can be a complicated assignment. It is vital to have the proper tools for a successful project. If you are not familiar with this type of work perhaps employing the services of water damage professionals is a better choice. Certainly, tackling a project without the proper knowledge is a recipe for failure. Naturally, you will want to hire a service company that has ample experience in water damage restoration. Before hiring any company should research their reputation.

When the service company arrives at the work-site the first thing they do is assess the damage. Once their starting point is determined, they gather the needed tools, and their course of action begins. If you have experience in this area, offer to assist them where you can. By observing the water damage team you will know whether they are a trustworthy firm, or not. Make sure you wear the necessary protective gear if you do lend a hand.

Once they start their work, query the Foreman so you understand their plan. In addition switch off the main power switch. Safety should always be considered before starting any construction project. Indeed, this is a vital consideration since combining water and electricity can be a deadly mix.

Certainly, you can assist them in locating water damaged items, like furniture, antiques, and anything else of value. Check with your insurance carrier to determine if you are covered for water damage. If you are, all damaged pieces should be listed so a claim can be sent to your insurance company. Family heirlooms especially should be found and inspected for water damage. Obviously, their monetary worth might not be high, but the sentimental value cannot be replaced. Ask the water service company technicians for advice on restoring these treasured pieces.

Once the water has been removed, the next phase is the clean up. The walls and floors of each room must be cleaned with disinfectant, and dried out to prevent mold problems. Also, ask the service to check for structural damage, and if found remedy as soon as possible. This is important to avoid any costly repairs down the road.

Finally, once the water damage project is completed survey the site with the Foreman. Ask questions and be sure everything has been completed. If you are satisfied with their work, pay the company for their services. It wise to inquire before the job starts of the guarantee they offer, in case a return trip is needed.