The Water Quality Association Addresses Frequently Asked Questions about Lead in Water

 Because of the ongoing problem of lead in the water of Flint, Michigan, the Water Quality Association of America (WQA), a not-for-profit organization of water treatment dealers, prepared a concise FAQ to help answer the many questions about lead. Below, we’ve excerpted the highlights.

What are potential health effects from lead?

Lead poisoning often displays no outward symptoms; however, irritability, weight loss, vomiting, constipation, and stomach pain are possible signs to look for. Young children and pregnant women are at the greatest risk, even from short-term exposure. Reduced cognitive development and neurobehavioral deficits are associated with blood levels less than 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood in children. Therefore, there is no safe level for lead to be present in the blood of children. Individuals will adsorb more lead if they have poor nutrition than those with better diets. (more…)

Pure Water Products Urges Safe Shopping Practices at Groundhog Day Sale

In spite of signs throughout the stores urging observance of the store’s “Safe Shopping” policies, the big Pure Water Products Groundhog Day sale at its Denton, TX store can be dangerous.  At last year’s event, the shopper  pictured above in the foreground slipped in the Reverse Osmosis Parts aisle and skidded, getting a nasty bruise on her hip and breaking the index finger on her left hand.

PWP’s  Groundhog Day Sale has been a big event in North Texas for a number of years, pulling shoppers from the the Dallas/Ft.Worth area into the company’s Denton location in record numbers. Its popularity is attributed to not only to low prices but to the fact that Groundhog Day is the first big shopping event of the year.

Store manager Katey Shannon says, “People have recovered from Christmas and ready to get going again. When we open the doors at 2:00 AM on Groundhog morning, they’re lined up and ready.”

Shannon says that low prices are the key. “Our everyday prices are so low that when we apply the 15% store-wide Groundhog markdown, some products actually come out below zero. With quick-connect fittings, for example, we actually pay people to take them. John Guest reducing tube tees this year are going for -$o.21–that’s a negative 21 cents each. No wonder people are lining up.” Shannon added that shoppers with a practical turn of mind take advantage of the sale to stock up on items they may need down the road, like dry pellet chlorinators, seal and spacer kits for iron filters,  and vacuum breakers for retention tanks.

“So please,” says Shannon, “come early and stay late, but most of all observe the rules given on the Safe Shopping signs displayed throughout the store. Most shopping injuries can be avoided by common sense.”

An Easy Do-it-yourself Bypass for Water Filters

The compact whole house filter pictured above is a decade and a half old.  While age may have taken its toll on its appearance, the unit has functioned flawlessly over the years with no more care than an annual cartridge replacement.  The filter is protected from freezing in winter by a removable cover.

A bypass valve is a handy addition to a filter. It allows sending water to the home even if the filter has to be taken out of service for repair or replacement. In this installer-built bypass system,  water enters from the right. The filter is shown in service position. The top valve is closed and the two lower valves are open. To bypass the filter, close the lower right valve and open the top valve. With both lower valves closed, water (unfiltered) can be sent to the home even if the filter is disabled or removed.


 The Pure Water Occasional for January 25, 2016

In this mid-Winter Occasional, you’ll get bad news about water-powered sump pumps, failure of the maize and coffee crops, problems with the Ganges and Mosul Dams, sick bass, pipe corrosion, dying cattle in Zimbabwe, pollution from fish farms, PFOA in Hoosick Falls water, lead in Flint, MI, chocolate-colored water in St. Joseph, LA, and coal ash pollution that plagues the poor. However, there is good news about tardigrades (aka “water bears”), and there is now abundant water in Folsom Lake.  You’ll meet LeeAnn Walters, learn why you should go to bed with your tummy full of water, and hear for the hundredth time someone’s advice about how much water you should drink.  Finally, Pure Water Annie tells you how to get lead out of your drinking water, and, as always, there is much, much more.

The Pure Water Occasional is a project of Pure Water Products and the Pure Water Gazette.

We have so many water treatment products to choose from that you’ll be totally confused!

To read this issue on the Pure Water Gazette’s website,  please go here.  (Recommended! When you read online you get the added advantage of the Gazette’s sidebar feed of the very latest world water news.)

You’ll sing better. (more…)

Getting the Lead Out

by Pure Water Annie

Gazette tech wizard Pure Water Annie tells you how to protect your drinking water from lead.


The most common advice for removing lead from drinking water tells you to remove the source of lead. This is excellent advice, but unfortunately home owners have no control over lead entering the home from external sources. Lead most often comes from piping. If the water supplier still has lead pipes in service, or if your home has old copper pipes with lead solder joints, that is probably your source of lead. “Removing” the lead in this case involves corrosion control through pH and alkalinity adjustment, adding calcium (e. g. with a calcite filter) to the water line, or using a phosphate-based corrosion inhibitor.

This sounds complicated, and it is. Most of these strategies must be done by the supplier and are outside the control of the individual home owner. (more…)


What Water Does for You

Drinking water at bedtime does more than make you pee


Drinking a glass of water before bedtime helps the body replenish the fluids it loses during the day. The human body is mostly water, and it is vital to keep it hydrated so it works properly. The body doesn’t need to excrete a lot of fluid during sleep so providing it with water before bedtime helps it to maintain hydration.

  Water helps the body burn calories efficiently

Keeping your body well hydrated increases its metabolic efficiency and helps it maintain an ideal weight. Water is a natural calorie-burner. Many people sip ice water to burn calories and help lose weight. The belief is that cool water makes the body work double time to keep warm and this burns calories. Clearly, if you drink a lot of cold water at bedtime you will burn extra calories making trips to the bathroom.  That’s our theory, anyway.

Water helps you sleep

Drinking water naturally balances the body’s vitamins, nutrients and minerals, replenishing what it burns up during the day. Drinking water before bed balances the body’s hormones, energy levels, muscles and joints, which relaxes the body. During sleep, water has time to reach and replenish every part of the body. Many people feel that they sleep more soundly and consistently by drinking water before bed, leaving muscles, vitamins and minerals in harmony. (more…)

How much water should you drink in a day?

The advice you’ve heard for years may no longer hold true.

by Chanie Kirschner


I know. The Gazette has already put up half a dozen “how much water should you drink” articles, but they keep writing them so we reprint one now and then. This article is helpful if you want to know how much water someone at the Mayo Clinic who has never seen you and knows nothing about you thinks you should drink if you are pregnant and how much you should drink if you aren’t pregnant. The Gazette’s advice on the topic, and we’ve been consistent on this since they started writing ” how much water” articles, is get a drink whenever you’re thirsty. –Hardly Waite.

Everyone’s heard the old refrain — drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Turns out that’s not entirely accurate. The Mayo Clinic recommends about 13 cups a day for an average male and about nine cups a day for the average female. But the actual amount of water a person should drink in a day can vary based on where you live, how much you weigh, and what kind of lifestyle you lead.

Water makes up 60 percent of our body’s weight and is absolutely imperative for our organs to function. Since we are constantly losing water through sweat, urine and even our breath, drinking enough water is crucial. If you become dehydrated, you will lose energy and become nauseated, headache-y, and tired. Severe dehydration can even send you to the hospital so drinking an adequate amount of water is crucial to maintaining your health on a daily basis. (more…)

Water Powered Sump Pumps Can Be Major Water Wasters

In thousands and thousands of homes across the United States a plumbing product lurks, capable of carelessly wasting hundreds of gallons of water, when it’s completely unnecessary for these products to be installed.

The product is called a “water-powered sump pump.”  It is installed primarily as a backup device to a primary sump pump. In a heavy rain – flood situation – ground water under a house rises and pours into a sump pit where an electric sump pump pumps this dirty rainwater out of the basement, keeping it dry.

If the power goes out and the primary sump pump is inoperative, that’s when these water wasters kick in. They can draw up to 600 gallons of fresh drinking water per hour, pumping rising ground water up and out of the sump pit. Most water-powered sump pumps use 1 gallon of fresh water for every gallon of dirty ground water they pump out.

Based on an estimated population of 50,000 to 100,000 water-powered sump pumps in the U.S., the total fresh water consumption is estimated to be 795 million to 1.5 billion gallons per year!

It’s easy to see the completely un-necessary waste of fresh
drinking-water through the use of water-powered sump pumps.

Water powered backup pumps are unnecessary because battery powered pumps are readily available.



Hurricane Joaquin-enhanced moisture combined with another storm system and delivered more than 20 inches of rain across some parts of South Carolina in early October, 2015. More than a dozen people were killed as a result and thousands were evacuated out of flooded neighborhoods. The vast majority of locations in South Carolina experienced a once-in-50-years to once-in-200-years event over a three-day period.

Soda Ash and Caustic Soda Raise the pH of Acidic Waters:  Which Should You Use?

Two water treatment chemicals are commonly dissolved in water and fed into the residential water stream to increase pH.  They can be fed by the same equipment — a standard chemical feed pump, drawing out of a solution tank.

Here are some issues that commonly come up when deciding which to use, or when switching from one to the other.

Caustic soda is stronger than soda ash.  Ten pounds of caustic soda does the work of 13.5 pounds of soda ash.  Put another way, if you’re mix a solution using 10 gallons of water, you would need to a 5 lbs. of soda ash or 3.7  lbs. of caustic soda.

Caustic soda has the advantage of mixing to a clear solution, but it costs more than soda ash and generates a considerable amount of heat when it’s mixed with water. Soda ash always leaves a residue at the bottom of the container.  In general, soda ash is more readily available from water treatment dealers, but caustic soda can be found at pool supply stores.