Culligan Blog

Flint, MI Water Crisis

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Flint Water CrisisWe’re dedicated to helping the people of Flint access safe water, quickly. Find a summary of events and resources for help if you’re affected by the situation, or would like to help those in the midst of it.

The Situation in Flint

In April 2014, the city of Flint, MI stopped sourcing its water from Lake Huron and began instead using water from the Flint River in an attempt to save money. Historically known for its contamination, the river water would be problem enough, but potentially dangerous levels of lead have also leached into the supply. About half of Flint’s water supply is thought to be contaminated by lead at present.   

Signs Your Water May Be Contaminated:

Residents of Flint, MI and surrounding Genesee County are most likely to be at risk from contaminated water. If you’re unsure about the water where you live, look for the following signs that your water has problems:

  • Appearance – Water has a brown or reddish tint; water has started staining sinks and fixtures.
  • Odor – Water smells dirty, metallic, or has any noticeable odor.
  • Taste – Water tastes metallic, dirty, or “off” in any way.

If you have any concerns about your water, stop drinking and using all tap water immediately and contact your local water utility. If you have a home water filter, that may offer some protection, but we recommend contacting your local Culligan Man to collect a sample and have it lab-tested.

The Response

Culligan International, along with Culligan of Flint, joined relief efforts to help get residents safe drinking water. So far, they’ve donated two truckloads of bottled water and 1,000 faucet-mount filters. In collaboration with United Way, Culligan of Flint is distributing bottled water at local schools and through United Way distribution centers. Federal support began arriving after President Obama declared a State of Emergency on January 16, 2016, authorizing the federal distribution of disaster relief efforts. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been ordered to, and is in the process of, delivering filtered water, water test kits, and other filtering supplies to residents.    

Managing Water in and Around the Area

Do not drink or use the water if you live in or around Genesee County. This extends to cooking with the water, using it in beverages and ice, and washing with it. Officials also recommend avoiding bathing or showering with the city’s tap water.

Visit the Flint Water Information Center to find out where you can get clean water for drinking and showering, water testing kits, filtration supplies, and other resources for dealing with contaminated tap water. FEMA will be able to provide water testing kits and resources to help you determine whether or not you need to be relying on bottled water.

How You Can Help

Culligan Cares, The Red Cross, and United Way, among other organizations, are supporting relief efforts as FEMA manages the situation. Donations to these organizations will support and expedite the process:

Stay tuned, as we’ll continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as they become available.

New Years Water Resolutions

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New Year Water ResolutionsThis year, why not make a resolution you can stick to? Resolve to make things easier on your home, and the people and appliances in it that depend on water every day. It may not be as obvious, but a new water treatment system is really a bunch of resolutions cleverly disguised as one simple purchase.

A Healthier, More Hydrated You

Maybe you made a resolution around your health, dropping some extra weight or spending more time exercising. Water is a key part of maintaining a healthy, more active lifestyle. A new drinking water system or water filtration system can make drinking the extra water that supports both of those resolutions much easier.

After all, when fresh, filtered water is readily accessible at the touch of a button, you’re more likely to drink it. And when it tastes great too, we think you’ll find it a win-win for all kinds of resolutions. Products like our Culligan Water Dispenser help keep drinking plenty of water top of mind, no matter what kind of resolutions you’ve made for 2016.

Save Money When Your Appliances Last Longer  

Got your mind on your finances this year? Maybe you’re focused on finding a more sustainable balance in your home ­­– with whole-home water treatment systems, your resolutions can benefit on several fronts, from saving your major appliances the wear and tear that so often comes with hard water, to sparing plumbing and appliances. Your dishwasher, washing machine, hot water heater - even your coffee pot will thank you. Making the switch to total home water treatment can also hep you reduce your utility bills thanks to all that added appliance efficiency. You'll also be able to cut back your monthly spend on essentials like dish soap, laundry detergent, and soaps and shampoos since you'll need to use less with softer water.

Start the year off right to make sure you keep your water resolutions all year long. Give your local Culligan Man a call to set up an appointment today to find out which Culligan water treatment system will work best in your home. 

How Water Affects the Taste of Your Holiday Food & Drinks

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And one thing that almost everyone looks forward to during the holidays is all the decadent holiday foods and beverages. Before you indulge, make sure your water is holiday-ready and won’t leave a bad taste despite your diligent preparation.

Bad-Tasting Water Makes for Bad-Tasting Food  

Have you been noticing some unintended – and unpleasant – tastes in your food or drinks that seem a little too earthy or musty? Although many edibles originate in the ground, this type of earthy flavor shouldn’t be sneaking into your home-cooked meals.

This could be because your water is carrying compounds from decaying vegetation or algae that can be common in groundwater supplies. The contamination creates an earthy or musty flavor in your water that carries over into your food and drinks – anything prepared with water from the tap.

Another common complaint is water that tastes metallic, which as you can imagine means your water may contain metal contaminants like iron, copper, manganese, or zinc. Although these minerals are naturally occurring, they can leave behind an unpleasant taste if left untreated.

Keep Unpleasant Odors Out of the Kitchen  

Did something go bad and get left in the fridge? Nope, but it could be your water eking into your favorite dishes. Sulfur in water presents itself as a foul odor, often described as similar to rotten eggs.

Although sulfur can occur naturally in your water supply, there are water treatment solutions that can rid you of the problem.

Keep your favorite holiday dishes tasting like you’ve always remembered this season, and all year long, by having your water tested to make sure no contaminants will ruin its taste. Your local Culligan Man can perform an extensive examination of your water and suggest the right solution for the needs of your home.

What Does Iron In Water Look Like?

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The presence of iron in water is common in certain areas. Depending on where you live, and where your water comes from, you may have noticed some unpleasant and unsightly clues around your home hinting at the presence of iron in your water.

Iron can make it into your water through one of two ways: seepage from groundwater containing trace amounts of iron or corrosion of pipes as water travels from well to tap. So how can you tell that the problems you notice with your water are in fact related to the presence of iron?

Stained Laundry and More

Iron in water will make itself known in the form of red, yellow, and brown stains on laundry, dishes, and pretty much any surface that frequently comes into contact with your water, like sinks and tubs.

Clogged Appliances

When iron is present in water, trace amounts will often collect in appliances. These trace amounts of iron can build up over time, eventually clogging your laundry machine, dishwasher, sprinkler system – any mechanism that relies on water to function.

Metallic Taste in Food and Beverages

Iron is known to cause a metallic taste in both food and beverages made with contaminated water. In addition to the poor taste, you’ll notice beverages and food prepared with iron-rich water will appear inky or dark.

Getting Rid of Iron in Your Water

To be sure your problem water is caused by iron, your water can be tested for mineral content. The most common and effective way of dealing with iron in your home’s water is with a water softening or filtration system.

Your local Culligan Man can perform a comprehensive water test to determine what is causing your water problem and recommend the right solution to get fresher, cleaner water in your home – schedule an appointment today.

Holiday Home: For Soft Water That’s One Step Ahead

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In addition to strings of lights and steady streams of baked goods, the holidays often mean one other thing: out-of-town guests.

Whether it’s Aunt Nellie coming all the way from Nebraska or your favorite cousins and their dog(s), this time of year sees some taxing times for your home’s water appliances. With those extra people come a lot of other extras, like more showers, dishwasher cycles, and laundry loads, to name a few.

We’re here to help make sure your home is up to the added water challenges ahead, so you can focus on the important things, like learning Granny’s famous cookie recipe, creatively regifting that fruitcake, or just kicking back with a cup of cocoa.

Set Your Water Softener Up for Holiday Success

Sometimes setting yourself and your loved ones up for a nice, relaxing holiday is as simple as taking advantage of the great perks already included in your water softener. For instance, many of our models have features like these:

  • Guest Cycle recharge option makes providing an additional supply of softer water for your houseguests as easy as pushing a button. Now if only everything else about entertaining during the holidays were this easy.
  • Aqua-Sensor® Technology adjusts to changing water conditions in the home, regenerating only when needed (saving you extra money for all those little extras you need this holiday season).
  • Automatic monitoring keeps you in the loop so you know exactly how many days you have left before you need to plan on refilling salt.
  • Soft-Minder Meter® provides daily monitoring of water usage, making it easy to keep tabs on your expenses and your system’s performance.
  • Dial-a-Softness® lets you anticipate your guests’ needs, so you can pump up the softness for Grandma or scale it back for your father-in-law.

These are designed to help eliminate, as much as possible, any extra planning or problem-solving you might have to do regarding your water softener. You’ll also be able to enjoy your holidays that much more knowing your water softener is easing the stress on major appliances like the water heater, dishwasher, and washing machine. So take a deep breath if one of the uncles is on minute 20 of his shower – your softener is doing its part to curb those ballooning utility bills.

If you don’t yet have a water softener, maybe it’s time to use Grandma’s comfort or an aging dishwasher as the excuse to add one to your home. Your local Culligan Man will help you find the right model of softener or treatment system for your home just in time for the doorbell to start ringing.

What Do Hard Water Stains Look Like

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Hard water stains are known by many names - limescale, mineral deposits, mineral buildup, hard water deposits - but the meaning is the same. Hard water stains appear as chalky white residue that results from buildup of excess minerals present in hard water.

You might have noticed these unsightly hard water stains building up on your shower doors, faucets, showerheads, and other places where water is used throughout your home.

How Do Hard Water Stains Form?

These hard water stains are left behind after the water evaporates, leaving only minerals like magnesium and calcium that are the culprit of hard water. Not only is it unpleasant to look at, it's even tougher to remove - it often takes harsh cleaners with bleach and other chemicals, as well as some serious elbow grease.

This is especially troublesome in the bathroom, because when mineral scales combine with soap scum, you're left with increased buildup that forms faster with continued use.

Get Rid of Hard Water Stains 

If you already have limescale and soap scum building up around your house, it's not too late to fix the problem. Sure, you might spend a day over the weekend rigorously cleaning the gunk off your bathroom fixtures and kitchen sink, but a solution from Culligan can keep your entire home stain-free.

Our water softening systems are designed to help reduce the contaminants that lead to scale buildup, extend the life of your appliances, and use less electricity. Contact your local Culligan Man today to schedule an appointment and find out what solution will work best in your home.



What Is Safe Drinking Water?

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Whats in your waterDo you really know what’s in your water? It may be treated at a treatment center to ensure safety, but that doesn’t mean the water you drink at home every day doesn’t contain some contaminants.

Before making it to your home, your water travels a great distance. Depending on the source of your water, it can pick up contaminants that lead to hard water problems, dissolved minerals, sediment, and more that can leave your water with a foul odor and poor taste, and create lime scale and soap scum around your faucets and appliances – and that’s just the beginning.

What’s in your water?

Culligan’s water testing lab can perform extensive analytical testing on your water to determine what’s lurking under the surface. Sure, if your water is discolored or smells like rotten eggs that’s an obvious sign something isn’t right. But what you can’t see could be arsenic, chlorine, magnesium, or other contaminants tainting your drinking water.

While most water contaminants aren’t necessarily harmful to your health, they’re not pleasant to drink.

No matter what the root of your problem water is, Culligan sets the standard for custom, at-home drinking water systems with innovative reverse osmosis technology and multi-level interchangeable filters, so you get a customized water treatment solution that will turn your problem water into fresh, clean drinking water.

Your local Culligan Man is an expert at diagnosing water problems unique to where you live. Because all water is different, your water will require a unique solution – contact your local Culligan Man to schedule an appointment today.