Dog Days of Summer: Pet Hydration

With summer temperatures rising, we know nothing is more refreshing than a cool glass of water after a long and hot day. Your pet thinks so too. Heat affects animals of all sizes, just like us. While we may assume our pet’s survival instinct has the basic necessities of life covered, it’s our job as animal owners to ensure our cuddly creature is getting the hydration it needs. Here are some tips to make sure your furry friend is happy and hydrated: 

Make sure pets always have access to clean water

This crucial part to hydrating is so simple, it’s easy to miss. Things like a quick refill of fresh tap water throughout the day will help when it comes to hydration. Clean your pet’s water bowl daily, in order to avoid any harmful bacteria. If a water bowl is dirty, an animal may not want to drink out of it, causing dehydration.

Close the toilet lid

Speaking of harmful bacteria’s, make sure to close the lid on your toilet! Dogs or cats may gravitate towards the toilet bowl, thinking of it as a porcelain water fountain full of fresh water. However, all the germs and bacteria make it one ugly cesspit that’s not suitable for a water bowl. Do your pet a favor and close the lid after you’re finished using the restroom! 

Bring water when exercising

Giving your pets water after exercising can dramatically prevent dehydration. While it may be easier to wait until you get home, pets need water just like we do after a lengthy run or even a long walk. Bring water along for your pet if you know they’ll be exerting themselves. Some stores offer to-go water bottles and bowls to make your life a little easier. Fill the bottle up with some tap water and you’re ready to hit the road.

 

Check your water bowl throughout the day

We know your house isn’t in Death Valley, but water can still dry up, especially during the summer. Check your water bowl throughout the day to make sure none of it is evaporated. In case you can’t check on it during the day, consider getting two water bowls, located throughout the house. Fill them up with tap water every day and leave with a peace of mind knowing that your animal will have access to water while you’re gone.

Certain illnesses require more attention

Whether your pet has a kidney disorder or is elderly, they may require special attention in the hydration department. If your pet has cancer, an infectious disease, is pregnant, or nursing, make sure that they are getting plenty of water.

Look for signs of dehydration

Besides a dry nose and mouth along with sunken eyes, a simple skin test will usually tell you if your pet is dehydrated. Pick up loose skin around the shoulder blade area and gently pull up. Once you release it, the skin should go back to where it was rather quickly; this means that your pet is properly hydrated. However, if the skin slowly moves back, or doesn’t go back normally, then it’s time to take a trip to the vet to see why your pet isn’t drinking enough.

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5 Things You Didn’t Know Needed Water

1. Chocolate

Chocolate is many things – delicious, indulgent, maybe even addictive – but it’s also a heavy water user. Over 2,400 gallons are used to process just one pound of chocolate. 

 

2. Your Laptop

The average laptop uses the water of 70 washing-machine loads before it ever reaches your desk – including some stuff called “ultrapure water”.

 

3. Your iPhone battery 

Calling it “juice” isn’t that far off – charging a cell phone uses half a liter of water at the power plant supplying the electricity.

 

4. Your clothes

We’re not talking about throwing them in the washing machine – before you ever put it on, a cotton shirt uses 1,000 gallons of water in its manufacturing process, and a pair of jeans uses 900 during production.

 

5. Your car 

Building a new car uses a whopping 39,000 gallons of water, including the tires, which consume 2,000 gallons a set.

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Get to Know Aqua: Records and Information Supervisor Matt Straff

Get to know Aqua and the employees that work day in and day out to provide quality customer service and reliable drinking water to approximately 3 million customers. In this week’s ‘Employee Highlight,’ we spoke to Records and Information Supervisor, Matt Straff.

1. My name is… Matt Straff 

2.When I was a kid, my nickname was… Ice Man. I enjoy the cold.

3. My title is... Records and Information Supervisor

4. That means I (do what?)... Try to help employees find their records when they need to reference them years down the road. 

5. I work with water for a living, but my favorite water related activity is... lying in the water rafts all day at Seacrets, in Ocean City, Maryland

6.Since I work at water utility, people always ask me... If I can get them free water, in which I reply “Only at restaurants”

7. I love water, because... it quenches my thirst and is my go-to drink.  I also love walking outside in the rain.

8. My co-workers don’t know this, but I’m actually a big fan of... Star Wars!  Wait, people might know that if they’ve walked into my office.

9. Favorite childhood toy? I think it was called “rami”, but I’m not sure.  It had these colored balls that you would have to move levers to drop them into their coordinating numbered designation.  Later in life, I found out the game was just a sneaky way to teach me to count in binary.

10. When I was a kid, I always thought I’d grow up to be… Racecar driver or a firefighter.  I must have had a thing for Nomex hoods.

11. If I could be one movie character, it would be... a role that Harrisson Ford played, Han Solo or Indiana Jones, because I would enjoy the adventures they get into.  Realistically, I would be the government guy at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, hiding the Ark in the archive warehouse.

12. My favorite “guilty pleasure” snack is… The two pack of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. But I’m not guilty about that at all… 

13. Don’t tell anybody, but I’ve always had a celebrity crush on... Britney Spears.  Our relationship changed a lot after she shaved her head and went crazy though.

14. If I weren’t working at Aqua, I would be... working at the family business and probably fixing their computers when they break every day.

15. Aside from water, my favorite drink is… Innis and Gunn’s Rum Cask Oak Aged beer.

 

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Top 10 Ways to Save Water This Summer

1. Make soup from cooking water. 

Who doesn’t love soup? Better question – who doesn’t love making soup more than a water-conscious superchef? Cooking, steaming, and blanching often leaves whole pots of water that is full of nutrients: throw in some stock ingredients, peas or lentils – whatever you love in a soup – and get cooking!

 

2. Water your lawn or garden from a rain barrel instead of the faucet.

As summer heats up, your garden is probably going to need more and more watering. You could spike your water bill by hooking up the hose or loading up your trusty watering can – or you can take advantage of the free water that literally falls from the sky by setting up a rainwater harvesting system. 

 

3. Ditch the hose for outdoor cleanup.

 

Summer means lots of outdoor work; it’s easy and really wasteful to hose away grass clippings and spilled soil from your driveway or patio. Instead, use an old broom at the end of a project to save water – and money!

 

4. Dehumidifier = Plant Water Machine.

Dehumidifiers are great for damp basements, and as an added perk, they give you a pretty much unlimited supply of instant free water for your plants or garden.

 

5. Wash your farmer’s market haul in a pot, instead of running water.

 

You probably wash fruits and veggies under running water. There’s a better way, and it’s pretty simple: Fill a pot. Wash your goodies. Use the leftover water to give your plants a drink.

 

6. Have a pool? Cover up!

No, we’re not urging modesty here – you do you! – but you should cover your pool when you’re not splashing or lounging. You’ll keep your water free of debris, but most importantly, you’ll keep water from evaporating away, especially on hot summer afternoons!

 

7. Don’t feed the weeds.

 

Healthy lawns and garden plants love a good drink. Unfortunately, so do weeds – and they’ll fight your plants for all the water. Getting rid of weeds regularly will keep your plants quenched and happy – plus it’ll save on water that would have been wasted on weeds!

 

8. Defrost frozen meats in the microwave, not under the tap.

If you’re not grilling this summer, you’re doing it wrong. Also doing it wrong: Running frozen foods under water to thaw them. Instead, turn to that king of kitchen efficiency – the microwave! It even has a setting for it and everything.

 

9. Handy with a wrench? Upgrade your shower head/faucet to a WaterSense model.

 

Modern shower heads save water without sacrificing the water pressure we all love. That WaterSense label means that the shower head performs at least as well as a standard model, while also being 20 percent more water efficient. It’s a satisfying project for a weekend afternoon, and you can save LOTS of water!

 

10. Use a shower bucket and put that cold water to work.

There’s no getting around it – your shower takes some time to warm up. So keep a bucket in the shower and fill it while the shower warms up. Once the water is warm enough, set the bucket aside, enjoy your shower, and afterward you can use that cold water for your plants or humidifier.

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Diving In: Touring the Ashtabula Bunker Tank

The light-gray interior of the steel cylinder warped and echoed the near whispers of James Parker and Joseph Flahiff as they stood in a shaft of a daylight squeezed through a port hole far above their hard hats.

They were inside one of the city’s best-kept secrets, a structure whose interior rarely receives a human visitor. Surrounded by trees and a high fence, only neighbors and astute drivers know of the water tank, which has been off-line for the past month while interior restoration work was performed by Tank Industries Consultants of Indianapolis.

Parker, inspector with the company, and Flahiff, production manager for the tank’s owner, Aqua Ohio, opened the tank to a media tour. It was a rare chance to crawl inside a time capsule of sorts; the interior was last painted in the 1980s, although there have been periodic inspections that required human intrusion. 

Last year, two inspectors entered the tank from an access port and, using an inflatable raft, inspected the top section of the interior. The inspection was necessary to obtain a cost estimate for the interior painting job ordered by Aqua Ohio as part of its wide-reaching plan to upgrade the Ashtabula water system.

With the tank work nearly complete, Flahiff and Parker proudly showed off the fresh paint job as if they were unveiling a commissioned work of art. 

Repairs were made, the corrosion sandblasted away and an inert coating certified safe for potable water applied. Flahiff said coatings have improved greatly in the past 30 years, and the modern paint will do a better job of protecting the water supply.

The project is part of a major reinvestment plan to improve the area’s water treatment and distribution system. Aqua spent $1.4 million replacing pipe, valves and hydrants last year. Another $300,000 went into the chemical building at the treatment plant and $800,000 went for exterior painting and structural rehabilitation of the Bunker Hill tank.

All of the tanks provide a reserve of water and help maintain consistent pressure at faucets across the system, from a spacious Tudor on Bunker Hill to a bungalow on Lake Erie, where the water we take for granted begins and ends its journey. 

For more:

Where Few Have Gone by Shelley Terry and Carl Feather

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