Culligan Blog

Keep Track of Your Drinking Water Intake throughout the Entire Year

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As May comes to an end, we must say so long to our May is Drinking Water Month celebration. We hope you had as much fun, and learned as much, as we did! Drinking water really is more than what comes from your tap, pitcher or water cooler – it is essential to keeping up your health and hydration. And what better to celebrate than that?

If you are like us, this celebration has encouraged you to create goals to drink more water throughout the entire year. Our parting gift to you this May is to let you in on these nifty apps for keeping up with how much water you are going to drink now that you know how important it is! We find these applications useful, because we can enjoy the benefits of drinking water without the paperwork of keeping track of the amount we drink.

  1. Waterlogged. This app lets you set up drinking water goals, record your intake, set up reminders and updates you on how much water you have left to drink. The best part? It’s free. http://goo.gl/q5Ede
  2. iDrated. You can customize your water goals with simple swipes in either ounces or liters. You can also receive medals for reaching your goals or see your hydration stats for the past seven days. Accidently recorded a glass of water you didn’t drink? Just shake your device to undo the last drink recorded. http://goo.gl/gnZuM
  3. Water Your Body. This app suggests how much water you should drink based on your weight and gives you a daily or overall grade to show you how you are doing. Other cool features include reminders to drink water, a graph of your consumed water and useful facts on the benefits of water and human health. http://goo.gl/AGrXV

Do you keep track of your water intake with an app? Tell us in the comments or head over to our Facebook or Twitter page to share how you keep track of how much water you consume.

If you want to start drinking more water but do not like the taste of your drinking water, you can always call your Culligan Man! He’ll set you up with a water test and create a custom water treatment solution just for you.

Build Your Own Drinking Water System with the Culligan Aqua-Cleer®

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by Michael McFarland, Culligan Regional Sales Director

As we draw near to the end of May is Drinking Water Month, we have learned a lot about the importance of drinking water, its health benefits and how to stay hydrated. We have also learned that what we all have in common is that water is essential to everyone and that Culligan can make it taste better.

But did you know that the water we drink can taste different from place to place? Each person, each house, each neighborhood and each town has its own unique water. One neighborhood could have traces of chlorine in water from a municipal supply where the next town could have total dissolved solids in the water from a well water supply. An older home could have older pipes leading to lead in the water while the neighboring home could have iron in their drinking water. Because each person can have unique water problems, Culligan created a solution that gives you the ability to enhance the water you have.

Culligan’s Aqua-Cleer® Advanced Drinking Water System gives consumers the ability to design a drinking water unit that fits their needs with 14 interchangeable filters. This versatility is unsurpassed in the water industry and provides solutions to many issues homeowners face in providing better quality drinking water for their families. It is not the typical one-size-fits-all solution that you find in the industry today.

Taste and odor are two primary areas where the Aqua-Cleer Water Filter System excels. Your family will enjoy drinking great tasting water from this simple to install and maintain unit. The best thing is that the Aqua-Cleer Drinking Water Filter System is installed under the kitchen sink and, if possible, connected to your refrigerator. Now when you turn on your faucet or go to your fridge, you will get filtered, better water every time.

If your water changes and further water filtration is needed, you just install one of the convenient cartridges that suits your water’s needs.

The Aqua-Cleer Drinking Water System eliminates the need for cases of single serve water bottles that just end up in the landfill. It also frees up space in your refrigerator or storage space by removing water bottles or pitchers.

If you want customized water filtration, contact your Culligan Man today. He can test your water to determine exactly what is in it and what types of water filtration you may need to obtain better water.

Michael has 15 years in the water treatment industry and holds a Class III Residential Water Treatment License with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.He is also a member of the Texas Water Quality Association and Water Quality Association.

Staying Hydrated During the Summer Heat

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There’s nothing better than a sunny warm day to lift your spirits. Summer is fast approaching, and as is the case for many households, this means spending a lot of time outside—riding bikes, taking walks, carting the kids to and from sports practices and games, working in the yard, even just sitting and people watching and soaking up the sun’s rays. The hotter the weather gets, the greater toll it takes on your body—specifically your hydration levels. Staying hydrated in hot weather is just as important as staying cool no matter if you’re working out for health reasons or simply going about your usual workday business.

Our bodies are made up of primarily water—about 66% to be exact. Life-giving organs such as the brain (75% water), muscles (70% water), and our blood (83% water) depend on a steady flow of water into our systems in order to function properly. Of the many things water provides us, it helps:

  • regulate body temperature
  • detoxify our systems
  • supply nutrients to tissue
  • burn fat
  • increase metabolism

To put it in stark terms, you can survive many weeks without food, but your body cannot survive more than a week without water.

So how much water do we need to drink during the hot months?

According to the Mayo Clinic, men need to drink approximately 13 cups of water per day and women should get 9 cups. If you are exercising or strongly exerting yourself, you’ll sweat like a maniac—so you’ll need to increase the amount of water you take in.

Another way to think about it is more mathematical. Use the following equation to estimate how much water to drink per day:

Total body weight ÷ 2 = _____ ounces of water per day

So if you weigh 160 pounds, you’ll want to drink 80 ounces of water per day (about 10 cups)

To help maintain proper hydration during the summer months, the following is a handy list of helpful tips. Please print this list and slap it on your refrigerator as a reminder.

Tips for Staying Hydrated During the Summer

Exercise, Sports & Extreme Exertion

  • Drink plenty of water or other non-sweetened beverages before you begin exercising. A minimum of two cups (16 oz.) of water one to two hours before exertion is recommended.
  • Drink plenty of water during exercise or sports activities. It is estimated that you take in 1 cup of fluid for every 20 minutes of exercise.
  • Drink plenty of water after exercising or playing a sport. Depending on how much you sweat and how much weight you lose, try to drink at least 2 cups of water or more after exercising or playing a sport.
  • If you feel yourself getting dehydrated or woozy, get out of the heat and into a cool environment, taking care to sip plenty of cool liquids.
  • Watermelon, cantaloupe, citrus (oranges, lemons, limes), and other fruits are rich in water and can help rehydrate you quickly along with water.

Everyday

  • Always have water with you. Keep of good-sized water bottle with you in the summer at all times. At home, in the office, in your car—when it’s hot, try to keep a bottle of water nearby and remember to drink from it. Even lukewarm water helps keep you hydrated.
  • Drink a glass of water before and between each meal. Not only does it keep you hydrated, but water is also an excellent way to suppress hunger.
  • Every time you use the bathroom, be sure to have a drink of water afterward to replenish the liquids you’ve eliminated.
  • Minimize your caffeine and alcohol intake. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea and soda, and all are diuretics, which means that they increase your urine output. Alcohol is the same—in warm weather months, you want to decrease any diuretic fluids.
  • Increase your fruit intake. Many fruits provide healthy doses of fluid, including: pineapple, pear, watermelon, cantaloupe, mango, apples and peaches. The added bonus is that these fruits are high in fiber and low in calories!
  • Don’t forget the veggies! Increased consumption of certain vegetables can help keep you hydrated in addition to the obvious benefits of healthy food. Cucumber, eggplant and bell peppers (you pick the color) are all good hydrators.

Be sure that your body is getting enough clean and healthy water during these toasty summer months. The best way to ensure that the water you and your family are imbibing to maintain proper hydration is the best it can be, contact your local Culligan Man to test and assess the water that comes into your house. Your Culligan Man can also recommend the best solution to get you great-tasting water – whether it’s an Aqua-Cleer® Advanced Drinking Water Filtration System installed under your sink or bottled water delivery.

If you’re going to be conscientious enough to make sure everyone in your household stays well hydrated this summer, why not make sure the water they depend on is the best it can be?

How do you keep hydrated in the summer months? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

Sources:

  • http://www.energyfirst.com/site/newsletter/07-09-Warm.html
  • http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/water/NU00283
  • http://hydrateandrecover.com/staying-hydrated-why-water-is-important/
  • http://www.nutritionmd.org/nutrition_tips/nutrition_tips_athletes/hydrated.html
  • http://hydrateandrecover.com/best-hydrating-foods/

Symptoms of Dehydration

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Now that spring has sprung and summer is nearly upon us, most of us will spend more time outside enjoying the great weather and the warmth of summer’s sun. With sun and higher temperatures comes sweat, more sweat, and profuse sweating—our body’s way of regulating our internal heat levels. This is precisely when we need to take care to keep our bodies properly hydrated.

If proper hydration isn’t something you normally think about, consider this story. Feeling the effects of dehydration could happen at any point during the summer.

It was a gorgeous June day—85 degrees, sunshine, and not a cloud in the sky. My son’s U12 soccer team was competing in a day-long tournament. I was the coach. The team parents had brought plenty of fuel to keep the boys fed and hydrated: lots of fruit, many coolers of water and ice, and plenty of healthy snacks. Eight hours after the tournament started, with only seconds left in the game, our team scored the only goal of the final game to nab the annual championship. The boys were tired but ecstatic, and their parents were equally elated. Myself, the coach, shared in their joy—I was dizzy with excitement. And that’s the problem: I was actually dizzy, my head ached, and I felt horrible. Despite the many bottles of water I drank during the championship game, I wasn’t sweating.

I was dehydrated—to the point of heat exhaustion. While so concerned that the boys on the team kept well-hydrated throughout the day, I had neglected to take care of myself.

Dehydration occurs when we expend more fluid from our bodies than we take in. We’ve all experienced what happens when we are active doing exercises, running, riding bikes or playing sports: we sweat and we need to drink water to keep our bodies properly hydrated. But you can become dehydrated even if you aren’t physically exerting yourself—especially in hot weather.

There are number of things that can cause dehydration:

  • a fever (especially 103 degrees or higher)
  • excessive heat exposure
  • exercise/activity
  • vomiting or diarrhea due to illness

In cases of high fevers or vomiting/diarrhea, people are rarely active, and your doctor will usually treat your symptoms and urge you to keep well-hydrated with water and natural juices.

When illness is not at issue and you’re a reasonably healthy person, it’s excessive heat and exercise that can cause dehydration. Runners, bikers and sportsmen and women are particularly susceptible and should be aware of the classic signs of dehydration:

  • excessive thirst
  • dizziness or lightheadedness (especially when standing up quickly)
  • dry mouth or swollen tongue
  • headache
  • extreme sluggishness
  • confusion
  • heart palpitations
  • lack of sweat

That last sign—not sweating—is a sure sign of dehydration on a hot day, especially if you’re involved in any kind of physical activity. Sweating is the way the body regulates its internal temperature. If you’re dehydrated, your body cannot afford to let any fluid leave the system, so you don’t sweat. So if you’ve been active on a hot day and you stop sweating, that’s your body letting you know it’s not getting enough water to keep running smoothly.

Should you experience any of the classic signs of dehydration, there are some easy ways to remedy the situation:

  • sip small amounts of water over an extended period of time
  • suck on ice chips
  • sip electrolyte-rich drinks (such as sports drinks—though avoid high sugar content)
  • eat natural juice popsicles
  • wear light clothing
  • rest in an air-conditioned area or sit in front of a fan
  • if outside, rest in a shaded area away from the sun
  • mist your face and skin

The key to remaining properly hydrated is making sure your body has enough water to do what it needs to do to maintain all of its essential functions. Be confident that the water you and your family are relying on for proper hydration is the best it can be by contacting your local Culligan Man. He can perform a water test for the water that comes into your home. He can then recommend the best water treatment system, such as the Culligan Aqua-Cleer® Advanced Drinking Water System or bottled water delivery service, for you and your family to stay hydrated all summer long.

Enjoy the too few days of glorious summer—but remember to keep that essential water flowing into your precious body.

Sources:

  • http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/dehydration-adults
  • http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/tc/dehydration-topic-overview
  • http://www.foxnews.com/health/slideshow/2012/09/08/signs-youre-dehydrated-askmencom/#slide=9

Thirsty? 6 Health Benefits from Drinking Water

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We’ve all heard since we were kids that you need to drink water to keep your body hydrated, but did you know there are additional health benefits to drinking clean water everyday beyond simply quenching your thirst?

Our bodies use up large amounts of water everyday, even if we’re not doing any heavy physical activity. Making sure to replenish that water loss is essential to maintaining good physical health. Whether you’ve considered the following or not, here are some ways that water aids your body everyday:

Muscle Energy

While it’s imperative to be well hydrated before and during exercise, your muscles need water everyday to stay in good condition. Lack of fluids can deplete your muscles’ ability to perform, even if you’re only going about your usual daily business.

Kidney Care

Our kidneys are remarkable machines—they serve as something of fluid central for our bodies. One of the key functions the kidneys serve is cleaning toxins from our bodies, and the more water the kidneys have to do that, the better. If your water intake is too low, the kidneys have to hold onto as much fluid to regulate the body as they can—and that’s when problems can arise. Drinking plenty of water helps keep your kidneys working properly—even if it means additional trips to the bathroom.

Joint and Tissue Lubrication

Like a door hinge or a bicycle chain, our joints need to keep well lubricated to function properly. Cartilage, which is the tissue at the end of bones that aids in movement, is made up of about 85% water (this decreases as we age). If your body isn’t getting enough water, your cartilage can’t maintain the slippery state that makes movement easy.

Calorie Control

No magic diet trick here—drinking water rather than soda or other highly caloric beverages helps reduce your calorie intake. Foods that have high water content, like most vegetables, fruit, and broth soups, work similarly by reducing your total calorie consumption, providing your body with healthy fuel, and supplying your system with much needed water.

Healthy Skin

Water is a key component of our skin, so in order to keep it in excellent health - and looking good to boot - it's important to make sure your body is getting plenty of water. A contributing factor to dry skin is lack of hydration. So while we may sweat and look flushed when the weather’s hot, it’s important to maintain healthy water levels. And when it’s cold and dry? Same thing—in fact, it may be even more important during the cold weather season to drink water to keep your skin in tip-top shape.

Regularity (And Yes, You Know What That Refers To)

Getting enough water into your system every day will go a long way in keeping your bowels doing exactly what they’re supposed to do. Water is essential to keeping most of our body’s systems and functions running smoothly. Not enough water everyday can affect the proper functioning of your gastrointestinal system, which can result in uncomfortable bouts of constipation. ‘Nuf said?

Of course, you’ll want to make sure the water you and your family rely on everyday is the best it can be. Your local Culligan Man can perform a water test to make sure that the all-important fluid that keeps your body running is providing the greatest benefit.

Sources:

  1. http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/osteoarthritis/print.html
  2. http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/nutrition/index.html
  3. http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/6-reasons-to-drink-water?page=2

Culligan Partners with Convoy of Hope for Oklahoma Tornado Relief

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Culligan is spread all over the country but today our hearts are in Oklahoma. In response to the devastating tornadoes, Culligan is partnering with Convoy of Hope, a first responder in times of natural disasters, to bring water to the Oklahoma area. Convoy of Hope has been working nonstop to bring food, water and supplies since the tornadoes struck and will continue to do so in the weeks and months to come.

Convoy of Hope delivered the first truckload of Culligan water to Moore, Oklahoma last night along with food and other supplies. Culligan is preparing to send an additional truckload of water today and one at the end of the week.

If you wish to donate to the Oklahoma tornado relief, you can make a secure online donation through Convoy of Hope. For more details, visit https://donate.convoyofhope.org/okc-midwest-tornado-response.

Top 5 Ways to Enjoy Culligan Water This Memorial Day

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Memorial Day is right around the corner and we can’t wait for the first holiday weekend of the summer! With barbecues, the lake and family traditions, it just may be one of our favorite holidays of the year. That’s why we can’t leave our favorite beverage out of the equation. Here are 5 ways you can enhance your Memorial Day experience with better water:

  1. Great-tasting, Refreshing, Ice Cold water. With so many fun beverages to drink on Memorial Day, don’t forget your faithful friend – an ice cold, tall glass of water. It’s always a good idea to alternate whatever you are drinking with a glass of water so you stay hydrated and feel fresh all weekend. The Culligan Aqua-Cleer® Drinking Water System will filter any sediment and impurities that give your water a bad taste. You can also choose Culligan bottled water delivery service to have better tasting water delivered right to your door. However you choose to get better tasting water, you’ll thank us next Tuesday morning.

  2. Brew Better Beverages. Whether you enjoy your tea sweet or not, this favorite summer beverage can taste better with better water. Consider making tea with filtered water instead of using plain tap water. You can use the water from your bottled water cooler, or your in-home water filter. Either will provide you great water as a base for making even better tea.

  3. Wash Your Veggies. A staple in a Memorial Day cookout is veggies, both grilled and served raw with a dip. But if you don’t like the taste of your water, you may be transferring some of that taste to your food by washing your vegetables in it. The next time you think about rinsing your food, consider using better water than what comes out of your tap.

  4. Free Up Space for a Watermelon. Not enough room in the refrigerator or cooler for the watermelon? Get the bottles of water or the filtration pitcher out of your fridge, and use a Culligan bottled water dispenser, or have a chiller installed with your drinking water system. Both are great and now you have room for two watermelons. Best Memorial Day ever!

  5. Don’t Forget the Ice! During a hot summer cookout, you could consume more ice than you think. You can make the crystal clear ice cubes you get from the store right at home by using water purified by a Culligan reverse osmosis system installed under your sink by the Culligan Man. Or you can make ice cubes with filtered water brought right to your door with Culligan's water bottle delivery service.

If you want to get the most out of your water this Memorial Day Weekend, call your local Culligan Man. He will set you up with what you need for better drinking water, better ice and more room in your fridge!

We at Culligan wish you a Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Stay safe and hydrated.

Make the Time to Replace Water Filters in Your Home

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by Timothy Heidemann, Product Technical Support Specialist

Whether it’s for drinking, or just for general use (cleaning, cooking, showering, etc.), we want the best water possible, plain and simple. When the quality of that water, or its source, comes in to question, the do-it-yourselfers of the world want to take matters into their own hands. After carefully picking out a Culligan water filtration product for your home and installing it, you kick back, relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor (great-tasting water that is). Don’t you wish your water would taste just like that for years and years to come? Well, with a little bit of maintenance, it can. Just like changing the oil in your car, your new water filtration product requires a little maintenance for you to enjoy its full benefits.

But, let’s be honest. Nobody likes a chore, especially one that stands in the way of your favorite beverage. So let’s go over the basics so you can see just how simple and easy it is to maintain your drinking water filter system whether it’s a drinking water pitcher or an under-the-sink water filtration system.

Most filter maintenance includes replacing the filter cartridge. The cartridge element of a water filter is manufactured to have an approximate lifespan measured in both gallons and months. Cartridge life varies in accordance with two key factors: the quality of the water that is being filtered, and the amount of water that is being consumed on a daily basis. However, this raises a very good question. Unless you have your own in-home water lab, what determines when it’s time to replace the cartridge? The rate of water flow is a key indicator. As sediment and particulate matter accumulate, the cartridge will clog and the water pressure will drop. For drinking water filters using carbon (GAC) media, a change in the taste/odor of the water is another key indicator. But those changes typically occur slowly, making it more likely that you will gradually become accustomed to the change, rather than notice it. Be sure to mark your calendar at each cartridge change – the date you replaced the cartridge and its expiration date as indicated on the product box. That way you will know exactly when you need to replace it. Be careful not to excessively stretch the life of the filter past its estimated life span as it may alter the quality of your water.

Along with replacing filters, you will also want to perform regular filter maintenance. At the very least, scheduled maintenance should include the inspection of the O-Ring gaskets, which are used to prevent leakage, to ensure that they are properly lubricated. Always use silicone lubricant, and not petroleum jelly. While petroleum jelly works in a pinch, the petroleum corrodes the O-Ring over time. Regular sanitization of the inside of the filter housing is also a good idea. Housing sumps should be regularly disinfected with bleach. It doesn’t hurt to put some bleach in the housing and run water through it to disinfect the entire housing, cap assembly, line, and water dispenser. Take this opportunity to look for signs of wear or stress marks that could lead to cracks. Cracks in the system can lead to leaks which can be a tough clean up. Remember to regularly check your unit once it is installed. Make the time to do the maintenance in order to maintain water quality. If you have questions about filter maintenance, your local Culligan Man is a trusted professional that knows about the product and your area’s water quality. He’ll be the perfect person to help you out.

Alas, nothing lasts forever. DIY water filtration systems should be replaced every 5-10 years depending on the application and the quality of the water. Water changes constantly as municipal water treatment facilities try to keep up with growing populations, property development, and aging infrastructures. Adverse weather can also provoke drastic water treatment measures that can wreak havoc on a water filter. A good way to make sure your water filter is meeting your specific needs is to have your water tested every one to two years. That way you will know exactly what is in your water and if your water filter is providing the type and amount of filtration you need. As is true with many of life’s mundane activities, it simply boils down to making the time to get educated and assume responsibility of the situation.

If you have any questions about water filtration and your specific needs, contact your local Culligan Man.

Timothy has been a member of the Culligan International team since 2009 in the Tech Services – Retail Products Division.

When to Replace Filters on Culligan Drinking Water Filtration Systems

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Pop quiz. What is the best way to keep your water tasting great all the time – from the minute you install a drinking water system to months or years later? Well, if you were paying attention in class yesterday here on the Culligan blog, NSF talked about water filtration maintenance and how important it is to replace your water filter according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. If you wait long past the manufacturer recommended time frame to replace your water filter, you run the risk of the water filter not functioning as intended, possibly lessening the water quality.

In order to maintain quality water long after you have installed a drinking water system, manufacturers recommend a time frame for replacing water filters. This is usually based on water usage – but that can vary between families and households and keeping up with how much water has passed through your water filter can be a chore that is easily forgotten. To make it easier to remember when to change your water filters, our Culligan engineers have determined time frames on our water filtration products so that you know exactly when to replace them. These recommendations will always come with your Owner’s Guide – so that is a good thing to keep tucked away in your catch-all drawer. Your local Culligan Man also has inside knowledge on your local water conditions, and will work with you to recommend a schedule based upon your water and how much you use.

Culligan product engineers recommend the following for Culligan water filtration products:

Culligan Aqua-Cleer® Advanced Drinking Water System

This customizable drinking water filter requires regular replacement of all filters (there are 14 to choose from). It is recommended to replace the carbon and particulate filters once a year. The reverse osmosis membrane should be replaced every 3-5 years. Your local Culligan Man can include your home as part of his route and change the water filters on your system upon your request. Contact your Culligan Man today to learn how to get the most from your drinking water systems.

Culligan AC-30 Good Water Machine®

The Culligan AC-30 is a three-filters-in-one water filtration system. It’s recommended that you replace the particle filter, the activated carbon filter, and the polishing filter once a year. You will also want to check on the system’s reverse osmosis filter annually. We recommend letting your Culligan Man take care of replacing the water filters on the Good Water Machine. You can trust his knowledge and experience to keep the system operating properly.

Culligan Preferred Series

This advanced water filtration series uses different sizes of filters to remove bad odor and taste from your water. Replacing these water filters depends on the water filter size and the amount of water you are using:

  • Preferred 150 – every 750 gallons or one year
  • Preferred 250 – every 1000 gallons or one year
  • Preferred 350 – every 300 gallons or one year

Of course, if you notice a change in taste or odor in your water before the recommended replacement time in any water filter system, you should go ahead and replace the filter. Varying levels of contaminants and water usage can affect how often you will need to replace your filter. If you notice a significant shorter than expected filter life, check the quality of the water that is coming through your filter. You can have your water tested or request a municipal water quality report to determine if there has been a change in your water that could affect the life of the filter.

Additionally, if there is a water service interruption to your home, or if there is a “boil advisory” issued for your area, contact your local Culligan dealer for advice on what to do with your filtration system. He will be able to provide you direction as to the best steps to ensure great water.

If you have any questions about water filtration, call your local Culligan Man. You can trust that your system will remain operating in prime condition with him.

Why It’s a Good Idea to Change Your Water Filters

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by Rick Andrew, Global Business Development, NSF International

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every tool and product we bought required absolutely no maintenance and it would work forever? It absolutely would! And while today’s designers and engineers continually work to reduce and simplify the maintenance that we need to perform on all of life’s wonderful gadgets and devices, it is unlikely that maintenance will ever be eliminated. At some point, batteries need to be charged or even changed, systems need to be upgraded, fluids need to be changed, and... filters need to be changed.

No matter what kind of filter, it needs some type of maintenance. Oil filters in automobiles, furnace filters, and yes, the filters in your household water treatment system. One reason for filters needing to be changed is obvious – eventually, filters become clogged. Once they are clogged, then oil, or air, or water does not flow through, at least not easily.

But there is another important reason to change water filters. This one has to do with the functionality of the activated carbon inside them. The activated carbon uses a process called, “adsorption” to attract certain contaminants and reduce their concentrations in water. As the carbon adsorbs more and more of these contaminants, it eventually becomes saturated. And once it is saturated, it will no longer function correctly.

It is important to understand this, because saturation of the activated carbon will not be obvious in any way. This is why it is so important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding replacement frequency. Although it may not be obvious, the filter may no longer be performing its intended function until it is replaced.

By the way, as a side note, the testing and certification of these filters under the NSF/ANSI standards for reduction of contaminants requires that the end point of the testing be based on the manufacturer’s recommended replacement frequency. So, for filters certified by NSF International, you can rest assured that the filter will function as advertised throughout the manufacturer’s recommended life.

Rick Andrew is the Global Business Development Director for NSF International’s Water Programs. He has previously served as General Manager, Operations Manager and Technical Manager for NSF’s Drinking Water Treatment Units (POU/POE) Program. Andrew has a Bachelor’s Degree in chemistry and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He can be reached at (800) NSF-MARK or Andrew@nsf.org.

And the Award for Best Tasting Water in Rural America Goes To… Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin

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Every town has its pride – from sports team colors to sandy beaches to sightseeing skyscrapers where you can view multiple states just by climbing to the top. But we think there is an underdog out there that a town in Wisconsin can now boast: Best Drinking Water in Rural America. Earlier this year, a gold medal was awarded to Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin for having the Best Tasting Water in Rural America. This coveted award was given at the National Rural Water Association’s Water Rally as part of the Great American Water Taste Test. Water samples from across the country were sent in and judged by a panel on clarity, bouquet and taste.

To share the secrets of the award winning water, we reached out to Lorie Coon, General Manager, and Bob Anderson, Water Technician, of Culligan Total Water of Baraboo, Wisconsin.

“Prairie du Sac runs along the Wisconsin River bordering Sauk and Dane County. The city employees who are responsible for the treatment of the city water are well trained to maintain the city water from all contaminants. They do a great job!” said Coon and Anderson.

They then went into more detail about the Prairie du Sac water itself, "The water’s chlorine levels are at just a trace and the TDS (total dissolved solids) level is at about 240.” When water goes through a municipal water treatment plant, a small amount of chlorine is added to disinfect the water to make sure it is appropriately cleaned and maintains EPA standards. Sometimes chlorine can leave a taste in your home’s tap water and it may be necessary to reduce its presence with a water filter. Since Prairie du Sac has only a trace amount, this may not affect the taste of the water. TDS is the level of dissolved ions in your water including lead, iron and calcium which can sometimes leave a salty, bitter, metallic, or overall bad taste in your water.

“With all of these factors combined, it leads up to great tasting drinking water. They test the water very regularly” to help maintain its gold-medal quality.

If you want even better-tasting water, call your local Culligan Man. He can perform a water test to determine the levels of hardness, TDS and chlorine in your water and can customize a solution to reduce the presence of each in your water.

Do you think your city or town should win Best Drinking Water in Rural America next year? Head over to Facebook or tweet us @CulliganMan to tell us why!

Source:

  • http://blogs.usda.gov/2013/02/14/who-has-the-best-tasting-water-in-rural-america/
  • http://www.wqa.org/sitelogic.cfm?ID=472/

Happy Mother’s Day from Culligan!

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Join Culligan as we toast in celebration of all the moms out there for Mother’s Day this Sunday, May 12! We want to raise a glass of water to you – the super woman who does it all. It seems mothers are always there to give good advice and know how to cure nearly everything from a headache to a fever to a runny nose. How does she know all of that? We think we may have discovered mom’s strongest ally in the fight to proper health and it’s just who you think it is – water.

Just like mom, water may know the cure to a lot of health ailments. Drinking water can help you burn fat, break a fever, improve your complexion, dry a stuffy nose, fight a stomachache, boost your mood and even may help cure headaches (1). According to researchers, about seven glasses of water a day may ease pain and improve the quality of life in those who regularly suffer from headaches (2).

Drinking water is also one of the cheapest and quickest cures when you are feeling sleepy. Fatigue is actually one of the first signs that you may be dehydrated (3). In fact, even a small drop in your body’s water levels can impair your thinking (3).

We’re glad mom had all of the answers, and equally grateful that we can join forces with her by drinking water to help improve the state of our health. We’ll drink (water) to that!

  1. http://healthyliving.msn.com/health-wellness/drinking-water-1
  2. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2186830/Suffering-headaches-Leave-painkillers-just-drink-water.html
  3. http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/how-to-get-more-energy

How to Find a Great Contractor for Home Improvement Projects

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Choosing a contractor for your next home improvement project can seem intimidating. You realize the project will give your home added value or even a fresh new look that could be the envy of the neighborhood. But chances are, you’ve got plenty of contractor options in your area. How do you narrow the choices to find the one that will do a quality job on time and within your budget?

The truth is, even if you’ve never attempted a home improvement project, it’s not difficult to find the right contractor. Use the following tips as a guide to help you do just that.

  • Ask your neighbors, friends and co-workers for referrals. They can tell you who they trust based on their personal experience. (They may also tell you which contractors to avoid.)
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau or your local consumer affairs office. For example, the Better Business Bureau has directories of accredited businesses like contractors, and you can also search for background information on contractors you are considering.
  • Develop a list of potential contractors, making sure they meet the following criteria:
    • They are members of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, or NARI. You can search for a NARI-certified contractor at the association’s website.
    • They are licensed and insured.
    • Most importantly, they specialize in your project’s focus area. For example, if you’re planning to re-side your house, make sure the contractors you’re considering have proof of its expertise in that area.
     
  • Prepare a complete description of the project and your expectations prior to meeting with any contractors. Include as much detail as possible, including budget and timetable.
  • Meet with at least three insured/licensed contractors. Come to those meetings prepared with your project description and questions regarding the contractor’s experience and qualifications, and request estimates based on your project timetable.
  • When you receive your estimates from those contractors, make sure they include everything you requested and that the price is based on the complete project. If not, request a revision.

When you know what to expect, you’ll have peace of mind throughout the project. Plus, prospective contractors will appreciate that you’re well-informed, which will help the project proceed smoothly.

Follow these tips on how to find a great contractor for your next home improvement project.

This post comes from James Hardie Building Products a global leader in fiber cement technology, providing siding, trim and accessory product solutions to homeowners nationwide. Learn more at www.jameshardie.com/guide.

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