The Environmental Impact of Bottled Water

Bottled water is more than just an overpriced alternative to a home water solution from EcoWater — it’s a devastating environmental problem. And while the U.S. population mostly understands the need to recycle, it doesn’t happen as frequently as it should. And even if we were successful in recycling 100% of all water bottles, there are still a whole host of issues many of us never think about. So as you consider having an EcoWater home water solution installed in your home to ensure your family always has clean tap water, let’s take a minute to examine the environmental issues to which you contribute when you buy bottled water.

The truth about recycling

When we recycle a water bottle, we experience a nice-but-short-lived feeling of accomplishment. We feel like we’ve done a good deed. And while recycling is important, few of us do it with any real regularity. Only about one in every five water bottles is actually sent to a recycling bin. That means eighty percent of all water bottles we purchase end up in a landfill.

U.S. landfills are already overflowing with more than 2 million tons of unrecycled water bottles, and taking up valuable space that should be used for different forms of refuse. And once they’re in a landfill, there are two options for their disposal:

  1. Wait for them to biodegrade – If you choose this route, you better get comfortable, because you’re going to be waiting for a long time. For a water bottle to biodegrade, it takes about 1,000 years. Those water bottles will live longer than you and the next 10 generations of your family.

  2. Incinerate them – This solution eliminates the longevity problem, but it creates a new one: toxic fumes. When plastic is burned, harmful dioxins are released and can leak into the environment, further poisoning groundwater.
Credit: Alba_alioth/Shutterstock
Credit: Alba_alioth/Shutterstock

An unseen oil problem

The production of plastic water bottles requires oil — an already-dwindling natural resource. And the amount of oil necessary to make the bottles is not inconsequential: to meet the U.S. demand for bottled water, it takes more than 1.5 million barrels of oil. With that amount of oil, you could create enough power for 100,000 people that would last an entire year.

Using oil to produce plastic bottles only adds to our environmental crisis. You also have to consider the harmful emissions caused by using fossils fuels to transport water bottles from production facilities to retail stores. An unfathomable amount of greenhouse gases is released
into the air just to be able to keep water stored in a plastic bottle.

Water bought, water wasted

Another fact often missed when discussing the issues surrounding bottled water is that it actually wastes water during production. It requires (and wastes) water to make the bottle itself. It is estimated that for every single-use water bottle you buy, it took 1.4 gallons of water to make. As the world is facing a water crisis, it makes no sense to waste this precious resource as a way to sell the very resource that is being wasted.

What can I do about it?

  The best solution is to rely on tap water. And to ensure your tap water is as safe as possible, people consistently turn to the home water solution experts at EcoWater. If you’re interested in minimizing your carbon footprint, the professional EcoWater team can help you eliminate  bottled water from your life and replace it with fresh, clean, safe and delicious water, right from your faucet. Simply give us a call at 760-754-1960, and we’ll tell you about the options that make the most sense for your home.

Arsenic in Drinking Water: A Tasteless, Odorless, Invisible Danger

Arsenic exists in a variety of forms, and it can be found naturally in the environment, including air, land and water. Plus, it’s a common byproduct of industry and agriculture. It also happens to be a highly dangerous poison. If it were to leach into your drinking water, you and your family could be facing a whole host of serious (and possibly deadly) health problems. In fact, the World Health Organization has even noted that arsenic from contaminated groundwater presents a very real threat to public health.

So how do you know if you have it? What can you do about it? Are there precautions that can be taken to ensure it never reaches your home? We talked to the crew around the EcoWater office, and they put together some extremely helpful advice.

What can arsenic to do people?

Arsenic is a nasty substance, and it’s no wonder it was the choice of assassins in aristocratic Europe in the 1800s. When you’re exposed to arsenic, you could develop any number of cancers (including skin, lung and kidney). You may notice changes in the look and feel of your skin. Other problems include stomach issues, heart and brain impairments, and, of course, death.

Obviously, arsenic’s biggest threat comes from high-dose levels, which you will mostly likely never find in your drinking water (unless you have a serious enemy!). No, the worry with drinking water is what can happen as you ingest low levels of arsenic over a long, extended
period of time. The Environmental Protection Agency has placed a legal limit of 0.01 ppm— meaning it’s even legal for your municipal water to contain a very small amount of arsenic.

Where in the U.S. is arsenic in drinking water most common?

Arsenic can be found in drinking water just about anywhere in the U.S. (and the world, for that matter); however, arsenic occurs naturally — and in high concentrations — in the Midwest, the Northeast, parts of Texas and in the West. Its level often rises when the local groundwater is near mining operations, farming, energy production facilities and certain industries.

How do I know if there’s arsenic in my drinking water?

Well, you’re not going to be able to smell it, taste it or see it — that’s why it’s such an effective and deadly poison. That means you need to have your water tested every year by a trained professional (especially if you get your water from a private well). Your local water department
should help you be able to find the right person; of course, you can always call an EcoWater professional!

Reverse osmosis: an effective method for eliminating arsenic from drinking water

When you get a reverse osmosis water filter from EcoWater, it works hard to remove a wide variety of contaminants from your drinking water. As the water passes through a variety of different filters and sheds in these specialty home water solutions, dangerous metals, sediments and toxins are stripped from the water, leaving you with safe, delicious water. With a reverse osmosis filter system, you can rest easy knowing you and your family are protected from a variety of toxic compounds, including arsenic.

The risk just isn’t worth it.

 If you’re ready to add an extra level of protection to your home’s water, just reach out to EcoWater at 760-754-1960. We’ll be happy to walk you through your options and answer any questions you have about reverse osmosis water home water solutions, and we can even set up a time to show you how it would work in your home.

Monitor Your Water System from Anywhere with HydroLink® Technology

Healthier water delivered through a home water solution does require some minor monitoring. And while what needs to be monitored isn’t difficult, water softeners and refinement systems are intentionally placed in out-of-the-way areas, like a basement or a garage. As a result, a lot of people often forget to check on them for long periods of time — out of sight, out of mind, right? But if your salt levels get low, or if you experience bridging or blockages, your appliance can become damaged. …That’s why EcoWater customers love our uniquely advanced HydroLink® technology.

Remote monitoring for anytime reassurance

With HydroLink from EcoWater, you can easily have all the information you need to monitor your home water solution with ease. And it’s more than monitoring — you can actually control your water treatment system too.

For example, with the HydroLink patented, remote-connected condition/refiner, you get two-way remote technology to control and monitor our Series 3700 products (including the optional reverse osmosis system) from within your own home. It can do so many things: warn you about low salt levels, alert you when there’s an error code in your system, remind you when your conditioner/refiner should be serviced and more. The remote can be connected to up to four systems, and you can even initiate regeneration!

Stop problems before they start

HydroLink’s monitoring capabilities help you observe potential issues before they become expensive problems. This will add longevity to your home water solution equipment, saving you time and money while avoiding hassles. You purchased your conditioner/refinement products to ensure you and your family had access to the best water — don’t risk damaging them through inaction.

The HydroLink Plus® system:
take monitoring even further

Like the original HydroLink technology, HydroLink Plus enables you to monitor your water with ease. Because this advanced version works with WiFi-connected conditioners, refiners and filters, your monitoring capabilities extend to anywhere you happen to have WiFi or a signal for your smartphone. It is designed alert you in a variety of ways, such as through email, text, our secure website or through our convenient app.

What’s more, HydroLink Plus can be programmed to send alerts and important diagnostic information directly to your local EcoWater professional. This way, you know you have the most knowledgeable people in the business keeping tabs on your home water system, ready to spring into action to provide the appropriate service or maintenance whenever they’re needed.

It is designed to notify you of a variety of situations that need to be addressed. You’ll know if there’s too much water going to drain, if you need to add more salt to your conditioner/refiner, if your water has flowed for an oddly long amount of time, if there’s a system error, if your system needs servicing and more. It even has a water meter that allows for chemical feed dosing, flow switch operation and water use information.

...So how do I take advantage of the HydroLink technology?

That’s the easy part! If you’re interested in being able to monitor your home water solutions with HydroLink or HydroLink Plus, simply get in touch with the pros at EcoWater (760-754-1960). We’ll dispatch one of our expert team members to walk you through the different home water solutions we offer that come with HydroLink technology built right in.

Softened Water: What it is and Why It’s a Good Investment

Softened water is a type of water we often hear about, but few people really understand what it is. For areas prone to or afflicted by hard water, soft water can be a saving grace. Free from the harsh minerals found in hard water, softened water is easier to drink, better for your home and comes with a variety of benefits. With a little help from our team of water experts at EcoWater, we’ve put together a quick, helpful read to educate you on exactly what softened water is and why you should look into it as a solution for your home.

What is the purpose of softened water?

Well, to explain softened water, we first have to start with describing hard water. Hard water is water that flows into your home with a high mineral content. These minerals generally consist of calcium, magnesium, bicarbonates and sulfates. Aside from drinking in a lot of potential toxins, hard water also is the culprit behind soap scum and spotting on glassware, and it makes washing yourself and the items in your home difficult. Softened water refers to water that has gone through a process to remove the metals, making the water safer to drink, reducing the speed with which soap scum builds up and easing the washing process.

The benefits of softened water, in detail

EMThere are a number of health and practical benefits to having softened water in your home. We spoke with some of our water experts here at EcoWater, and here’s what we learned from them:

Improved Kidney Function

Our kidneys are constantly working to filter out toxins and other unnecessary substances from our bodies. Hard water, with its excess of minerals, forces your kidneys to work overtime. All those carbonates and sulfate salts found in hard water go right into your system, which can lead to abnormally high levels of calcium and magnesium in your urine. This greatly increases the chances of forming kidney or urinary stones. When you’re drinking softened water, these
issues are far less likely to occur.

Better Hair and Skin

As we mentioned above, hard water makes it difficult to clean things, and that includes our own bodies. The heavy mineral count found in hard water makes it hard to even attain a lather with your soap or shampoo. It can cause your hair to dry out and increases the prevalence of dandruff. With softened water, your hair can more easily shine while your scalp maintains its health.

Hard water also gives your skin a beating. When working with soap, instead of producing suds, in creates more of a film-like substance that can actually build up on your skin, increasing the potential for a variety of skin issues, like blocked pores (and therefore breakouts), scaliness and outright eczema. Softened water gives you that rich lather you need for a true clean.

Greater Fertility in Men

Studies have shown that the heavy mineral count in hard water can alter the production and appropriate levels of reproductive hormones in men. Plus, excessive dietary calcium can lower a man’s overall sperm count. So softened water isn’t just healthy for men — it’s a great way to improve the odds of starting a family.

Reduces your Cleaning efforts

Soap scum and spotting on glassware are just some of the issues that come with hard water. This buildup of excess minerals is easily seen on your fixtures, dishes and glassware, making it hard for them to ever be truly clean. Hard water can also wreak havoc on your laundry, as it can dull the color of your clothes and make your whites look dingy. With softened water, your detergent dissolves with far greater ease, protecting your clothing and reducing the amount of detergent you need to use in the process. 

Increases the Lifespan of your Water-Fed Appliances

You know that soap scum that can accumulate around the drains of your showers, tubs and sinks? That same residue can form inside the water lines leading to your fridge, dishwasher, washing machine and any other appliance that uses water as part of its functionality. As the minerals build up inside your machines, they become less and less effective at doing their jobs, and they have to be serviced or replaced more often. Softened water removes this hazard, ensuring cleaner water is flowing through them and making them last longer.

I think I need a water softener. What should I do?

If your house’s water supply is fed by a private system, you have a one in two chance that the water is contaminated. In fact, a recent Penn State study shows that fifty percent of private water systems cannot pass at least one drinking water safety standard. Routine testing can help ensure that your private water system is providing you with clean, potable water.

Make the Switch to Soft

If you want a water-softening system into your home, or if you would more information about water softeners, click here or give us a call at 760-754-1960 to talk with one of our softened water specialists.

Can Your Water Pass the Test?

Do you know what’s in your water? Down to a scientific level? Whether your water comes from a municipal source or you get well water, it’s a good idea to have your water tested every so often by a professional water company like EcoWater. It’s not hard for water to become contaminated from any number of pollutants or microorganisms, so if you test your water on a regular schedule, you can always be assured that your water is safe to drink. And if it isn’t, you can start taking measures to rectify the situation. Let’s take a moment to examine the reasons for testing in greater detail.

Chemicals are a part of our lives.

We live in a world dominated by chemicals. Even if you strive to live an all-natural existence, the same certainly isn’t true of everyone in your area who shares the same water source. If these chemicals permeate the ground and end up in your tap water, then you end up ingesting them, which can be hazardous to your health, depending on quantity and frequency. Get the peace of mind you deserve by testing your water to ensure it is safe to drink. 

Low local government safety thresholds.

Most local governments have a minimum water safety level, but what they consider safe may not correspond to your own personal feelings on the matter. They most likely allow for an “acceptable” level of different metals, minerals, chemicals and microorganisms. When you get your water tested by someone like the pros at EcoWater, you can clearly see if your water fails, meets or exceeds the minimum standards set by your local government. 

Contamination isn’t always obvious.

It might seem like your water is safe when you smell it or taste it. But most of the pollutants you have to worry about don’t have a smell or taste that is immediately obvious. As a result, you could find yourself drinking glass after glass — day after day — of water that may not be truly safe for you. So don’t just assume your water is fine based on its sight, taste and odor— have your water professionally tested to ensure the safety of everyone in your home.

Half of private water wells are contaminated.

If your house’s water supply is fed by a private system, you have a one in two chance that the water is contaminated. In fact, a recent Penn State study shows that fifty percent of private water systems cannot pass at least one drinking water safety standard. Routine testing can help ensure that your private water system is providing you with clean, potable water.

...So how can I get my water tested?

Getting your water tested is an easy, painless process. There are a number of water testing kits available on the consumer market, and some of them are quite good. But for a truly accurate reading of what’s in your water, it’s best to turn to water professionals. At EcoWater, our trained and courteous team will be happy to come by and test your water for you. Based on the readings, we can provide you with a variety of options to mitigate and reverse any problems we uncover. Just give us a call to set up an appointment. 

I got my water tested, and the results aren't good. Now what?

Don’t fret, but don’t drink that water. EcoWater has a variety of solutions that can ensure you get contaminant-free tap water for your home. We carry some of the most state-of-the-art filtering systems available, as well as water softeners, water refiners  water purification systems and more. We even offer technology that allows you to easily monitor your water solutions from the convenience of your smartphone. 

Schedule Your Free Water Test

If you’d like to have your water tested, or you know you need a solution for subpar tap water, just pick up the phone and call EcoWater at 760-754-1960. One of our associates will schedule a time to come take a look at the situation and give you their professional recommendation on how to move forward.

Alkaline Water: What it is, Why it’s Beneficial, and How to Get it

Alkaline water is one of those topics we hear mentioned all the time, but most of us just give it a passing glance before moving on with our lives. And that’s too bad — there are a lot of health benefits to alkaline water that truly deserve our attention. At the same time, there are some in the water community who don’t put a lot of faith in alkaline water, but a string of recent studies have demonstrated several unique benefits that come from this specially treated water. But before we get into that, the team at EcoWater is ready to educate you on exactly what EcoWater is.

You don’t need a PhD to learn about alkaline water. You just need to know about pH.

Alkaline water isn’t all that different from your average drinking water — the look and chemical composition is essentially the same. The “alkaline” in the name is a reference to the overall pH level in the water you drink. So, what is a pH level, anyway?

A pH level is nothing more than a measurement of how acidic or alkaline (i.e., non-acidic). It is represented by a number between zero and 14. Anything below seven is considered acidic, while anything above seven is considered alkaline, or basic.

Water is actually a great way to explain pH. Your average drinking water has a pH level of seven — right there in the middle. But alkaline water is a greater pH — usually somewhere around eight or nine. With that understood, we should be clear that it takes more than a higher pH for water to be truly alkaline. To be labeled as such, alkaline water must also contain specific alkaline mineral (such as potassium salts), as well as something called negative oxidation potential, or ORP. ORP refers to the water’s ability to act as an antioxidant or a prooxidant. So, in the case of Alkaline water, it has to have antioxidizing properties.

So, what are the benefits of alkaline water?

There are a lot of proponents of alkaline water who tout its health benefits. One of the more interesting claims is that, because it features an increased level of hydrogen, it delivers stronger levels of hydration than average drinking water, which is remarkably beneficial after a grueling workout.

Other claims say it can slow down an individual’s aging process due to its antioxidants that absorb more quickly into our bodies. There’s also a lot of discussion about how it gives us colon-cleansing potential, supports our immune systems, can help us on weight loss journeys and even provide resistance to certain cancers.

While the verdict on all of those claims has yet to come, there are several recent studies that suggest there are some very real, measurable, scientifically proven benefits. For example, a 2012 study published in PubMed showed that people who suffer from persistent acid reflux problems would benefit from drinking naturally carbonated, artesian-well alkaline water. With a pH of 8.8, it was able to help deactivate the enzyme pepsin (the main culprit behind acid reflux).

A more recent and promising study, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that people who drank alkaline water saw a significant difference in blood viscosity (a reduction of 6.3 percent) than those who drank standard, purified drinking water (a reduction of just 3.36 percent). What this means is that the people who drank alkaline water experienced more efficient blood flow, which in turn means they received an increase in oxygen delivery throughout their bodies.

Okay, I’m interested. How do I get alkaline water?

EcoWater makes it easy for its customers to hop on the alkaline water train. When you have one of our dependable reverse osmosis drinking water purification systems, you can choose to use an alkaline filter.

This filter changes your drinking water by producing H2O clusters that are smaller than normal, making them easier for your body to digest and absorb. What’s more, a lot of people find the taste of alkaline water to be superior to your average filtered drinking water.

Ready to try alkaline water in your home?

If you’re ready to have great-tasting, healthful alkaline water pour from your taps, the professionals at EcoWater are standing by to help you. If you’re interested in having a reverse osmosis system installed, complete with alkaline filters, or if you’d like more information, talk with one of our experts today.