Culligan Blog

Culligan High Efficiency Water Softener Video Explains How to Reduce Hard Water Problems

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by Zach Schroeck, Director, Residential Products

Hard water can create a number of problems in your home, such as film on your glassware or scale deposits in your sink and shower walls. A water softener may be the best way to solve hard water problems. However, not all water softeners are equal, and not all water softener providers are backed by a local Culligan Man.

Did you know that Culligan offers the world’s most efficient water softener? Culligan’s High-Efficiency or HE Water Softener is 46% more efficient than time clock regeneration softeners and was recently named a Consumers Digest® Best Buy™. Check out this short video to learn how the Culligan HE Water Softener can solve hard water issues while also saving energy, salt and water usage! Make an appointment with your local Culligan Man to get an efficient water softener installed today.

If you are unable to view the video on the blog, you can view the High Efficiency Water Softener here.

The Hydrological Cycle: Following the Cycle of Water Around the Earth

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You turn on your washing machine or jump into the shower or grab a quick glass of water from your kitchen sink—who really thinks much about how that water came to be? It’s water—turn the faucet knob and there it is, right?

The water we use and depend on travels a rather remarkable journey before it ever gets to us.

The hydrological cycle, or water cycle, is what keeps the planet and all of us hydrated. The cycle starts with the sun, which heats the oceans and evaporates water that rises into the atmosphere as vapor, creating clouds. This moisture moves across the earth until it becomes precipitation (rain, snow, sleet, etc), which falls to Earth and then forms runoff, streams, lakes, and ultimately the ocean. Some of this water also penetrates the surface to become groundwater, feeding underground aquifers that can be larger than the largest freshwater lakes in the world (2). Pretty amazing system, isn’t it?

So why should you be at all concerned with the Earth’s hydrological cycle? Simple: because everything water touches in the cycle affects the water you ultimately ingest.

Porous rocks, granite, soil, rivers and lakes and oceans, even the air that water passes through makes an impact. Magnesium, calcium, mercury, iron, lead, arsenic, acids, and other elements are absorbed by water as it travels through its cycle (4). If there is chemical runoff from a nearby manufacturing plant—those chemicals can get into your water (4). Agricultural runoff from farms can add pesticides and fertilizers to the groundwater or nearby rivers and lakes (4). As remarkable as the hydrological cycle is, Mother Nature and human beings can affect the quality of your water.

The vast majority of water delivered in North America is from municipal water supplies, which are regularly tested, and provide safe drinking water (6). You can contact your local municipal water supplier, or visit their webpage, to get a report of water testing. However, you may also want to know more about the quality of the water as it arrives in your home, or know more about other contaminants not tested for by the EPA. These might have aesthetic impacts on your home. Or you may be on a private well, which the EPA recommends performing an annual water test (5).

Your local Culligan Man will be familiar with the water conditions where you live and will be able to test the quality of the water coming into your house. Based on the status of your water, your Culligan Man can suggest the appropriate expert solutions to make sure you have the best water possible in your home.

View the Hydrological Cycle infographic to see how the cycle of water is effected by nature and human activities.

Sources:

  1. http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycle.html
  2. http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gh)/guides/mtr/hyd/smry.rxml
  3. http://water.epa.gov/drink/local/
  4. http://www.epa.gov/region1/students/pdfs/gwc1.pdf
  5. http://water.epa.gov/drink/info/upload/2005_09_14_faq_fs_homewatertesting.pdf
  6. http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/drinkingwater/pws/index.cfm

World Water Day 2013: Celebrating International Year of Water Cooperation & Freshwater for All

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World Water Day 2013

Happy World Water Day 2013!

Every year on March 22, UN-Water, an inter-agency of the United Nations, organizes a day of water recognition to bring the importance of freshwater and the use of its resources to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.

In reflection of International Year of Water Cooperation, this year’s World Water Day is dedicated to freshwater cooperation around the world. Water cooperation is effective cooperation between multiple players for any action involving water management (1). It means getting everyone together – scientists, policy makers, government, civil society – to ensure that fresh water best serves everyone’s needs (1). In many areas of the world, rivers and groundwater sources cross political boundaries (1). In these cases, international cooperation is vital in order to share freshwater sources across borders (1).

UN-Water has provided an infographic to help explain the importance of freshwater, how vital it is to cooperate for unified water management, and how you can participate in this global initiative. For ways to get involved in your local area check out the map of local World Water Day events on unwater.org or submit your own!

Culligan would like to know ways that you celebrate World Water Day. Share your stories on Facebook, Twitter or here on the blog in the comments section.

Check out the Freshwater for All Infographic now!

Sources:

1. http://www.unwater.org

Water Testing Made Easy With Culligan

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by Rick Cook, Manager of the Culligan Analytical Laboratory

Do you want to know what is in your water? Let Culligan help with that!

The design and maintenance of a proper water treatment system, from basic filtration to advanced chemical treatments, depends heavily upon identifying if and which contaminants may be present in your water and the concentration of that contaminant.

Several common water contaminants leave obvious signs of their presence, like rust stains from iron, or a rotten egg odor from hydrogen sulfide. Other water contaminants you cannot see, smell or taste. In order to properly treat problem water and maintain the water treatment system, you must understand what contaminants exist in your water source. And the only way to completely understand what contaminants are in your water is to perform a water test.

This video from Culligan illustrates how easy it is to get your water tested. Your Culligan Man can provide basic water testing in your home or you can receive advanced water testing with a mail-in water test from Culligan’s certified water analysis laboratory. Watch the video to learn more about Culligan water testing, and go make an appointment for your water test today! Let us know if you have any comments or questions in the comments section of this blog, or on our Facebook page at facebook.com/culligan. We look forward to hearing from you!

If you are unable to view the video in this blog, click here to view the water testing video in a new window.

Well Water Users - National Groundwater Awareness Week March 10-16, 2013

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Odds are if you’re reading this, you rely on groundwater or well water as a primary source for the water you use in your daily life. Nearly 50% of all American households and businesses depend on groundwater, which is why it is important to be informed about the quality of the water you drink, cook and wash with, or utilize in all manner of municipal and manufacturing activities.

Groundwater is a renewable natural resource (1). The term refers specifically to the water that is absorbed into the soil from rain, snow, and other forms of precipitation in the Earth’s hydrologic cycle (1). This also means that anything else that gets into the soil—chemicals, contaminants, industrial gasses, insecticides and herbicides—ultimately may get into the groundwater drawn from that soil. Whether you are a homeowner, business owner, or public official charged with protecting and monitoring water for your municipality, it is important that you are aware of the quality of the groundwater you so depend on—and know what to do to treat water affected by industrial and agricultural runoff.

Consider these important facts about groundwater from the National Groundwater Awareness Association (1):

  • 90% of our freshwater resources are underground groundwater
  • Americans use 79 billion gallons of groundwater per day
  • more than 13 million households rely on private groundwater wells
  • approximately 500,000 new residential wells are created each year
  • 44% of Americans rely on groundwater for its drinking water supply
  • irrigation accounts for 67% of all groundwater used each day

The Ogallala aquifer, which stretches underground 250 thousand square miles from Texas to North Dakota, is the largest aquifer in the U.S. If you took all the water in the Ogallala and released across the country, it would cover the entire continental U.S. in 1.5 feet of water (1)! About 90% of the groundwater in the Ogallala is used for irrigation of crops (1). Anything that runs off from those crops—like insecticides and herbicides—can make its way back into the groundwater that constitutes the Ogallala aquifer. If you are a homeowner with a private well or a municipality that draws residential water from the Ogallala, it is essential that you know what chemicals and contaminants are in the groundwater your families use and ingest every day.

Culligan celebrates the importance of National Groundwater Awareness Week because for more than 75 years now, we have been pioneering innovation in water treatment and filtration for homeowners and commercial entities. The best way to know what is in the groundwater your family or business relies on everyday is to have your water tested by a professional. Your area Culligan Man is familiar with the water conditions in your community and will be able to test the water coming into your house for all manner of runoff and other contaminants. Your Culligan Man can suggest the most appropriate solutions to ensure you have the best water possible.

So during National Groundwater Awareness week, Culligan urges you to make knowing what’s in your water a priority. You can learn more about National Groundwater Awareness Week by visiting the National Ground Water Association website or visit the United States Geological Survey’s Groundwater Education Page.

Sources:

  1. http://www.ngwa.org/Events-Education/awareness/Pages/About-groundwater.aspx

Problem Water Infographic: Arsenic

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Arsenic is sneaky. You can’t see it. You can’t taste it. But if high levels of arsenic reside in your water, it may cause both short and long term detrimental health effects to you and your family (1).

Arsenic is a naturally occurring semi-metal element found in rocks, soil, water, plants, and even animals (2). It is more prevalent in ground water sources like wells rather than lakes and rivers (2). What compounds the levels of arsenic in ground water are things like industrial, manufacturing, and agricultural runoff (2). Industrial gases, paints, insecticides and herbicides, and burned fossil fuels can all increase the level of arsenic in the well water that comes out of your kitchen and bathroom faucet (3). But you wouldn’t know it because, well, arsenic is sneaky.

It’s estimated that 15% of American households rely on privately owned water sources like wells, cisterns, and springs, and most household wells are located in rural communities. Private wells are not governed by federal water safety regulations, and some are rarely monitored by state agencies either. This means the well owner—perhaps that’s you—is ultimately responsible for the water. And wouldn’t you want to know what potentially harmful elements are in the water your family relies on?

The best defense against exposing yourself and your family to water containing high levels of arsenic is to have your water tested by a professional. Your area Culligan Man will be familiar with the water conditions where you live and will be able to test the water coming into your house for arsenic and other contaminants. Based on the status of your water, your Culligan Man can suggest the most appropriate solution to keep your tap water clean and free from hazardous sneaky elements like arsenic.

View the entire infographic here to learn more about arsenic in ground water.

Find out how arsenic gets into your water in this infographic from Culligan.

*Arsenic and other impurities are not necessarily in your water.

Sources:

  1. http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/rulesregs/sdwa/arsenic/index.cfm
  2. http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/rulesregs/sdwa/arsenic/Basic-Information.cfm
  3. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/csem/arsenic/docs/arsenic.pdf
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