What’s the Deal with Humidity, Anyway?

 

 

Have you ever gone outside and felt the air weighing on you? Or maybe you’ve noticed that it feels much hotter than it was yesterday, even though it’s the exact same temperature. How about when you get out of a steaming hot shower and dry off with a towel, only for your skin to still feel damp? 

 

Often, these strange sensations are the results of humidity. You may not be able to see it, but it is happening right in front of us in all climates!

 

What is humidity?

 

Humidity is simply the concentration of water vapor in the air. It’s not always as obvious as rain, and it’s usually invisible. Think of it as the difference between a hot, dry desert, and a tropical rainforest. 

 

There are different types of humidity and ways to measure how humid the air is. The most common forms are relative humidity and dew point. Relative humidityis theamount of moisture in the air relative to the temperature. This is what you hear about when you watch weather forecasts. It tells us the likeliness of precipitation, dew, or fog.

 

A measurement that you may be more familiar with is dew point. This is the temperature the air must be for water to condense and evaporate at the same rate. The higher the dew point, the more humid it is outside. This way is much easier for those of us who are not weather professionals to predict how we will feel when we step outside.

 

 

How does it work?

 

 

We know that through the water cycle, water evaporates and turns into water vapor. As the temperature rises, more water evaporates. At the point of saturation, the amount of water vapor is the highest it can be in the air. Because of all this water vapor, the air feels incredibly thick, stuffy, and humid.

 

 

How does humidity affect us?

 

The higher the relative humidity and dew point outside, the hotter it feels for us humans, because our sweat evaporates slower due to the already omnipresent moisture in the air. This kind of heat can also leave us dehydrated as it messes with our cooling mechanisms, so make sure you hydrate well and keep your body cool on humid days!

 

Humidity can have several effects indoors as well. Make sure you keep an eye on the humidity levels in your house as high levels can damage electronics and cause mold due to trapped water. Hot and humid climates are also more likely to be prone to hurricanes and flooding.


While humidity does sometimes have negative effects, it is still a necessary part of the water cycle. Without it, we wouldn’t have clouds, rain, or rainbows. And who wants that? Now that you know the science of it all, enjoy the outdoors this summer—but stay healthy and hydrated!

 

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Let’s Talk Safety

 

In recognition of National Safety Month, we’re talking about some of the new safety initiatives we’re rolling out across Essential Utilities.

When Aqua and Peoples became divisions of Essential Utilities in March 2020, it was evident out of the gate that our commitment to safety was one of our shared strengths.

With that in mind, Essential Utilities announced Ruth Werne as the new National Safety Director of Essential. The goal of this new position is to work closely with the high performing operations safety teams to coordinate and standardize the employee safety programs for the combined companies.

“We all live safety every day,” says Werne. “It’s continuously part of our planning and thought process at Aqua, Peoples, and Delta. Even though we have a lot of communication and participation in safety, the full scope of our safety efforts may not be entirely visible. If a safety process and program is going well, it may not always be front page news.”

Ruth’s goal – and the goal of our respective safety teams – is to align our safety strategies and, when appropriate, determine where we can leverage strengths and experience across Essential Utilities.

“We’re asking ourselves, where is there overlap? Where can we align our safety strategies and continue to grow them cohesively?” Werne adds.

To identify those growth opportunities for our internal safety culture, Essential Utilities created a safety-focused work group to develop a “Safety Strategy Road Map.” This group, comprised of employees at Aqua, Peoples and Essential, is focused on reviewing our existing safety programs and policies, then identifying opportunities to align and improve those plans.

“Policies and procedures allow us to be thoughtful about safety,” Werne says. “They’re in place to help us anticipate risks and protect our employees. Where our two companies overlap, we can leverage our combined expertise and ensure that we’re taking the most thoughtful, effective approach to safety.”

As Essential Utilities put together this collaborative work group, the team also identified three “Field Safety Champions” from Aqua and Peoples to join this safety group and assist in implementing the Safety Strategy Road Map. Werne illustrates how it was critical to bring in a field perspective when discussing our future safety strategy.

“We knew we needed employees in the working group who have field-facing responsibilities who also “get” safety,” she says. “We discussed this Field Safety Champion concept with each safety team leader and with senior leadership. To get us started, three individuals were chosen to join the group to offer that field perspective – Mark Smith, Lead Supervisor of Gas Operations in Butler, PA, Dave Marozzi, Plant Manager for Aqua Pennsylvania, and Jay Divers, Area Supervisor for Aqua Virginia. Mark, Dave, and Jay have exceptional track records when it comes to safety.”

“Mark has 30 years’ experience in the natural gas industry, Dave has 42 years’ experience in water industry, and Jay has been with Aqua for 20 years,” Werne says. “Even though many of the responsibilities overlap, there are still crucial differences, and we wanted to make sure the field perspectives from both industries are represented.”

Mark, Dave, and Jay are all excited to join this project and lend their expertise and their perspective.

“I’m honored to be one of the first two Field Safety Champions,” Mark says, “but I’m even prouder of all the people I have working for me. They make “safety first” a part of every day.”

Dave echoes this sentiment. “I’m also honored to be one of the Field Safety Champions for Essential Utilities,” Dave says. “Safety has always been an important issue at Aqua. Being able to interact with this new group, including Peoples employees, will be a great way to showcase everything we do at Aqua concerning safety, and also see what things we can learn from each other.”

Jay adds that he also feels a sense of accomplishment for being recognized as a Field Safety Champion. “Maintaining a safe work environment and being committed to safety is the best way to approach each day,” Jay says. “As leaders, we also have to be accountable for ourselves and instill that in our employees.”

Werne notes that Essential will continue to add additional Field Safety Champions to this safety working group in future months, to ensure we hear unique perspectives from across Essential Utilities’ 10 states. She reiterates that pulling in experts from across our companies in a collaborative approach is always best practice. A sound safety strategy considers what could potentially go wrong, then supports us in taking proactive steps to mitigate those risks.

 “We try not to think of safety in a silo,” she adds. “If we’re talking about employee safety, we’re also talking about customer safety and environmental safety. The same policies that protect our employees are working to protect our customers and communities.”

That, Werne stresses, is the key takeaway for all employees at Aqua, Peoples and Essential.

“When you think about our job functions, every one of us contributes to safety, which ultimately impacts the safety of our fellow employees, our customers, and our communities,” Werne adds. “It’s up to all of us to acknowledge that responsibility, and do our part to protect ourselves and protect others.”

Mark, Dave, and Jay all agreed that a commitment to safety is vital; it keeps all of our employees and our customers safe.

 “Everyone should always think about that person or those people who you want to see when you get home from work, and those people who are waiting to see you,” Mark says. “That’s the best reason there is to be safe.”

 

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Let’s Talk Safety

 

In recognition of National Safety Month, we’re talking about some of the new safety initiatives we’re rolling out across Essential Utilities.

When Aqua and Peoples became divisions of Essential Utilities in March 2020, it was evident out of the gate that our commitment to safety was one of our shared strengths.

With that in mind, Essential Utilities announced Ruth Werne as the new National Safety Director of Essential. The goal of this new position is to work closely with the high performing operations safety teams to coordinate and standardize the employee safety programs for the combined companies.

“We all live safety every day,” says Werne. “It’s continuously part of our planning and thought process at Aqua, Peoples, and Delta. Even though we have a lot of communication and participation in safety, the full scope of our safety efforts may not be entirely visible. If a safety process and program is going well, it may not always be front page news.”

Ruth’s goal – and the goal of our respective safety teams – is to align our safety strategies and, when appropriate, determine where we can leverage strengths and experience across Essential Utilities.

“We’re asking ourselves, where is there overlap? Where can we align our safety strategies and continue to grow them cohesively?” Werne adds.

To identify those growth opportunities for our internal safety culture, Essential Utilities created a safety-focused work group to develop a “Safety Strategy Road Map.” This group, comprised of employees at Aqua, Peoples and Essential, is focused on reviewing our existing safety programs and policies, then identifying opportunities to align and improve those plans.

“Policies and procedures allow us to be thoughtful about safety,” Werne says. “They’re in place to help us anticipate risks and protect our employees. Where our two companies overlap, we can leverage our combined expertise and ensure that we’re taking the most thoughtful, effective approach to safety.”

As Essential Utilities put together this collaborative work group, the team also identified three “Field Safety Champions” from Aqua and Peoples to join this safety group and assist in implementing the Safety Strategy Road Map. Werne illustrates how it was critical to bring in a field perspective when discussing our future safety strategy.

“We knew we needed employees in the working group who have field-facing responsibilities who also “get” safety,” she says. “We discussed this Field Safety Champion concept with each safety team leader and with senior leadership. To get us started, three individuals were chosen to join the group to offer that field perspective – Mark Smith, Lead Supervisor of Gas Operations in Butler, PA, Dave Marozzi, Plant Manager for Aqua Pennsylvania, and Jay Divers, Area Supervisor for Aqua Virginia. Mark, Dave, and Jay have exceptional track records when it comes to safety.”

“Mark has 30 years’ experience in the natural gas industry, Dave has 42 years’ experience in water industry, and Jay has been with Aqua for 20 years,” Werne says. “Even though many of the responsibilities overlap, there are still crucial differences, and we wanted to make sure the field perspectives from both industries are represented.”

Mark, Dave, and Jay are all excited to join this project and lend their expertise and their perspective.

“I’m honored to be one of the first two Field Safety Champions,” Mark says, “but I’m even prouder of all the people I have working for me. They make “safety first” a part of every day.”

Dave echoes this sentiment. “I’m also honored to be one of the Field Safety Champions for Essential Utilities,” Dave says. “Safety has always been an important issue at Aqua. Being able to interact with this new group, including Peoples employees, will be a great way to showcase everything we do at Aqua concerning safety, and also see what things we can learn from each other.”

Jay adds that he also feels a sense of accomplishment for being recognized as a Field Safety Champion. “Maintaining a safe work environment and being committed to safety is the best way to approach each day,” Jay says. “As leaders, we also have to be accountable for ourselves and instill that in our employees.”

Werne notes that Essential will continue to add additional Field Safety Champions to this safety working group in future months, to ensure we hear unique perspectives from across Essential Utilities’ 10 states. She reiterates that pulling in experts from across our companies in a collaborative approach is always best practice. A sound safety strategy considers what could potentially go wrong, then supports us in taking proactive steps to mitigate those risks.

 “We try not to think of safety in a silo,” she adds. “If we’re talking about employee safety, we’re also talking about customer safety and environmental safety. The same policies that protect our employees are working to protect our customers and communities.”

That, Werne stresses, is the key takeaway for all employees at Aqua, Peoples and Essential.

“When you think about our job functions, every one of us contributes to safety, which ultimately impacts the safety of our fellow employees, our customers, and our communities,” Werne adds. “It’s up to all of us to acknowledge that responsibility, and do our part to protect ourselves and protect others.”

Mark, Dave, and Jay all agreed that a commitment to safety is vital; it keeps all of our employees and our customers safe.

 “Everyone should always think about that person or those people who you want to see when you get home from work, and those people who are waiting to see you,” Mark says. “That’s the best reason there is to be safe.”

 

 

 

 

 

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The Science of Seltzer Water

 

Soda water may sound like something that was invented in the ‘80s, but we’ve actually been drinking it since the 1600s! People have used different methods to create it over the years, ranging from fermentation to taking carbon dioxide straight from the mines. But do you ever wonder how exactly those bubbles got into your water?

 

Soda bubbles form out of a gas called carbon dioxide that is omnipresent in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is the gas that creates all the fizziness. The more carbon dioxide you add to water, the more bubbles and tangy taste you get, which is perfect for anyone who loves a twist in their water!

 

 

 

Carbon dioxide doesn’t exactly have a taste on its own, which is why when added to any drink, it creates a sharp, acidic sensation in your mouth. In fact, it forms something called carbonic acid, which in turn creates that crisp, tangy flavor.

  

The most common way of making your own seltzer is through a seltzer machine, which can be found online or at most department or home goods stores. The only other ingredient you need is the water straight out of your tap! A seltzer machine adds pressure to the water through its wand and creates bubbles as the pressure is released. The tube or wand uses pressure to dissolve and trap the carbon dioxide in your water. This chemical reaction is also used to make beer and soda foamy!

 

 

 

Another way to create bubbles is by dropping the temperature of the water and adding carbon dioxide to it, but you should leave that method to the pros. If you’ve ever wondered why your drinks stay crispier when they’re cold, now you have your answer!

 

What sounds better than a glass of cold, crisp seltzer to beat the heat while teaching the kids the science of it all? Cheers to a delicious and educational summer!

 

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Aqua Pennsylvania is Lending a Hand to Customers

As COVID-19 continues to financially impact businesses and families in our communities, Aqua Pennsylvania is reminding customers that its Helping Hand assistance program is available to help those whose finances are affected by the pandemic.

The Helping Hand program is an assistance program designed to enable customers facing financial difficulty to make manageable monthly payments on their water and wastewater bills. This program is a resource for customers if they are having trouble paying their water and wastewater bills due to COVID-19.

“At Aqua, we know how important water and wastewater services are to meet our customers’ needs,” said Aqua Pennsylvania President Marc Lucca. “As COVID-19 continues to impact our everyday lives, we want our customers and communities to know that Aqua is here to assist through the Helping Hand program. We are here to offer our support and we will get through this together.”

The program helps customers set up an individualized payment plan; an opportunity for customers who make payments on time to earn a monthly credit toward their past-due balances; and a conservation kit to help customers reduce water usage to lower bills. The conservation kit includes leak-detection tablets, a low-flow shower head, low-flow aerators for kitchen faucets and more.

Aqua Pennsylvania will partner eligible customers with a local agency to develop a personal payment plan. In this plan, a customer will pay a fixed monthly payment based on average bills for the preceding 12-month period. Specific Helping Hand partner agencies can be found on our website.

Customers whose household income meet the criteria below are eligible to participate in Helping Hand:



 

 

*For a limited time, new Helping Hand participants receive an $25 enrollment credit. 

Aqua Pennsylvania wants customers to know the company is here to help and that applying to Helping Hand is easier than ever. Customers who would like to learn more about the program and to find out if they qualify can call: 877.987.2782.

Customers who would like to lend a hand to their friends and neighbors, can donate to the Helping Hand program by calling Aqua and asking how they can contribute to the assistance program. 

Our company takes pride in protecting and providing water and wastewater services to the communities where we live and work and we are ready to assist customers during this time. To learn more about Helping Hand, visit aquaamerica.com/assist.

 

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