Aqua America Partners with Villanova University College of Engineering on International Water Infrastructure Projects

Aqua America, Inc. today announced a partnership with Villanova University’s College of Engineering to provide mentorship opportunities, hands-on water quality expertise and foundation support for the college’s international service work. As part of this partnership, Aqua leadership and engineers will travel with Villanova faculty and students to various projects internationally to provide engineering and water infrastructure expertise.

Aqua’s on-site engagement with Villanova begins with a trip to Nicaragua on August 4 and a visit to Panama on August 11. Members of Aqua’s leadership team will accompany the Aqua team that includes engineers and water quality experts. They will travel with Villanova Engineering Service Learning (VESL) representatives to inspect water project sites, meet with community members and connect with local nongovernmental organization (NGO) partners. The partnership reflects Aqua’s greater initiative of partnering with community-based nonprofit organizations that advocate for the environment.

An important part of the success of the Villanova program has been working with in-country partners who have the capacity to implement these projects. In the Alto Bayano region of Panama, VESL has been providing engineering support on water-related infrastructure projects for 25 years. In collaboration with local NGO’s, they have helped to develop one of the largest rural water supply systems in Central America. Similarly, over the past decade, the college has worked with local partners in Waslala, Nicaragua to design and implement water supply networks that provide safe drinking water for rural communities. Through the Aqua America partnership, VESL hopes to improve the sustainability of water delivery services in these areas, while creating unique learning opportunities for its local partners and student participants.

“We are excited about the opportunity to work with Aqua America in what is a true partnership,” said Villanova’s Dr. Gary A. Gabriele, Drosdick-Endowed Dean of Engineering. “Aqua is VESL’s first corporate partner to put boots on the ground, and we look forward to the continued growth of this partnership.”

Aqua’s President and Chief Executive Officer Christopher Franklin highlighted that the company has a long history of demonstrating commitment to the communities it serves.

“Because this commitment has become part of our culture, it will continue long into the future,” Franklin said. “When we consider how fortunate we are to live in the United States where clean drinking water is almost taken for granted, we must consider what other human beings in other countries endure each day to find clean water for their children to drink.”

Franklin noted that with this in mind, Aqua made the decision to take a small portion of the Aqua foundation budget and combine it with the talents its employees possess to make a meaningful difference for those who live in these countries.

He added, “As one of the nation’s leading water companies, our mission is to protect and provide Earth’s most essential resource. In our own small way, we will demonstrate our commitment in a few communities outside the U.S. where clean, safe drinking water is so desperately needed. We look forward to leveraging our expertise and partnering with Villanova’s distinguished College of Engineering faculty and students on this program.” 

Aqua supports environmental projects through the Aqua Charitable Trust and forming important partnerships with community-based nonprofit organizations within the company’s territory. This partnership with Villanova marks the first time Aqua will be taking its commitment internationally.

Villanova is highly regarded in the area of water resource management and sustainability. In addition to offering graduate degrees in sustainable engineering and water resources and environmental engineering, the university is home to the Villanova Center for the Advancement of Sustainability in Engineering and the Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership. Given this area of expertise, in addition to Panama and Nicaragua, VESL water projects are underway in Ghana, Honduras, India and Madagascar. The college’s other service projects include robotics for unexploded ordnance removal in Cambodia, and mobile health programs in Nicaragua. More than half of Villanova’s engineering undergraduates participate in service-learning projects or experiences.

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Top Songs to Sing in the Shower

 

On average, a person spends roughly eight minutes in the shower. Do you know what a person does during those eight minutes? They sing. Yes, we all do it, or have done it.

Do you ever feel like your voice sounds better in the shower? And then you get this overwhelming confidence that you should go on The Voice because you could potentially be the next big thing?

Yeah, us too. That’s because the shower is on our side. With its size and shape, our voices create the most perfect sound waves (or so we think).

So, tell us, what are some of your favorite songs to sing? We created a list of the top 10 songs to sing in the shower and we promise they will not disappoint. Plus, they’re all pretty short songs, so they’re perfect for timing a nice, short shower that gets you clean and conserves water. Start those vocal exercises because after reading this, you’re going to want to get singing. 

“I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”

Who: The Proclaimers 

Why we sing along: It is definitely easier to sing about walking 500 miles than actually doing the action itself. So, pretend to put on your walking shoes and get ready for a crazy adventure of belting notes ranging from E to B. 

“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”

Who: Elton John and Kiki Dee

Why we sing along: OK, singing a duet is so much fun because you get to change characters in the midst of all the excitement. One minute you’re Elton and the next you’re Kiki. What else could you want? 

“I Wanna Dance with Somebody”

Who: Whitney Houston

Why we sing along: Um, it’s Whitney Houston. There are no other reasons necessary.  

“Billie Jean"

Who: Michael Jackson

Why we sing along: Other than the fact that it’s the King of Pop, this song tells a story and it’s one that we all know well. We dare you to try and not sing or dance to this tune.  

“I Will Survive”

Who: Gloria Gaynor

Why we sing along: Bad breakup? Nothing Gloria Gaynor can’t help with. Be the survivor she sings about.  

 “Dancing Queen” 

Who: ABBA

Why we sing along: You cannot resist ABBA. We love this song because not only can you sing it, but you can also dance along because — drum roll please — you are the dancing queen, baby! 

“Don’t Stop Believin’" 

Who: Journey 

Why we sing along: Journey said it best: Don’t stop believin’ and definitely don’t stop singin’! This is the ultimate tune to play “rock star,” so don’t hold anything back. If you’re destined to win The Voice, you have to nail all of the ranges of these notes. 

“Sweet Caroline"

Who: Neil Diamond

Why we sing along: Ahhhh. “Sweet Caroline.” One of the best. We’ve all tried replacing “Caroline” with our own names. Unfortunately, it just isn’t the same. Sweet Caroline it is, and that’s all it’ll stay Thank you, Neil! 

“I Want to Know What Love is”

Who: Foreigner

Why we sing along: Do you want to know what love is? Because we sure do and this classic song is going to help us. It’s easy to let go and put your entire heart and soul into this jam…so do it. The steamy shower won’t mind. 

 “Can’t Stop the Feelin’" 

Who: Justin Timberlake  

Why we sing along: Yes, we had many of the classics above, but this song was necessary. It is all over the radio right now and it’s so catchy, you can’t help but sing along with the ever-soulful JT. Don’t even try to stop that feeling. Get in the shower and belt your heart out! 

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Road Trip! Aqua's Eight Best Water Parks

 

Road trip! It’s finally summer and that means we’re putting on our water wings, hiking up our trunks and getting ready for the best water park experience ever. Whether you only visit one, or are able to swing by all eight parks below, you’re sure to have an incredible time.

Water you waiting for? Dive in!

Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

Santa Claus, Ind.

Three words: Mammoth Water Coaster. This 7-story attraction is the longest water coaster in the world, as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. Its sister coaster, Wildebeest, hasn’t broken any records, but it has been voted the #1 Water Park Ride on the Planet by readers of Amusement Today magazine.

 In addition to their award-winning water coasters, Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari boasts everything from lazy rivers to racing slides. For guaranteed family fun this park is a must see for the summer. 

Water Country USA

Williamsburg, VA.

Cow-A-Bunga, H2O UFO and Jet Scream are just a few of the many cleverly named rides and slides Water Country USA has to offer. Need something for the kids? No problem! Want something more thrilling for yourself? They’ve got you covered. This park is also owned by the same people who bring you Busch Gardens, so you know you’ll be getting the best quality attractions. Williamsburg has a lot to offer, and we highly suggest making your way down there this summer.

NRH2O Family Water Park

North Richland Hills, Texas

The slogan says it all: The Formula for Family Fun! Whether you want some single slide action, or to share the day with your loved ones, this park has just what you’re looking for, without breaking the bank. These prices are seriously hard to beat. With the more pricey tickets coming in around $27, this park is half as expensive as some of their major competitors. And did we mention that residents of NRH2O Family Water Park’s hometown get an additional discount?

Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park Resort

Erie, Pa.

Did someone say indoor water park? Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park Resort houses a world of fun inside one building. In addition to traditional water slides and pools, this indoor paradise also contains land activities. After they’re done playing in the water, laser tag and the arcade are sure to keep your little ones entertained for the entire day.

Don’t forget to check out their social media. On June 24th @SplashLagoon attempted to break the World Record for World’s Largest Swim Lesson!  

Morey's Piers and Beachfront Water Parks

Wildwood, N.J.

OK, so we cheated a little bit and decided to give you both awesome water parks from Morey’s Piers. The first, Raging Waters Water Park, provides a day full of excitement and adventure. Head to the activity pool to take a whack at the family friendly obstacles, then take a trip to Shotgun Falls for a heart racing good time. Ocean Oasis Water Park + Beach Club is labeled as a “tropical island getaway.” Lounge in a private cabana or get your surf on at Bonsai Beach. No matter which park you visit you’re sure to have a blast.

Soak City Water Park at Cedar Point

Sandusky, Ohio

Ohi-oh yeah. Soak City Cedar Point has everything you could possibly want. From thrills ranging from mild to aggressive your summer just got a whole lot more interesting. Personally, we think their Eerie Falls slide is the best. However, it’s not for the faint of heart. Three winding tunnels in complete darkness makes for one unforgettable ride. So what are you waiting for? Try it out, if you dare.

Wet ‘n’ Wild Emerald Pointe

Greensboro, N.C. 

Five pools and 12 slides: This park packs some serious punch when it comes to attractions. Our favorite is Raging Rapids, because who doesn’t love a 450-foot white water rafting experience?

Starting to get hungry from your day of play? Along with the various in-park eating areas, you have the good fortune of being smack dap in the heart of Greensboro. With tons of local restaurants nearby you’ll be getting the best food experience in town. 

Raging Waves Waterpark

Yorkville, Ill. 

Welcome to Illinois’ largest water park. If you’re from the area we’re sure you’ve heard about the brand new Wonambi. This four-person tube ride twists and turns for some ultimate thrills. But if that’s not really for you then Raging Waves Waterpark offers many other kick-butt rides. Your kids are sure to love Kangaroo Falls and Koala Kove. This adorable Australia-themed park is sure to make your summer an awesome one. 

There’s no better way to keep cool in the scorching summer heat than at a water park. And now that you know where to go for an awesome summer, all you need to remember is the sunscreen. We hope you enjoy your vacations and remember to stay hydrated!

Visit our blog for tips and tricks on how to conserve water and for other ways you can have fun this summer.

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Five Ways to Keep Your Pets Hydrated This Summer

As humans, we know that we need to drink clean water often, especially during the hot summer months. However, our pets don’t know how much water they should drink and depend on us to provide fresh and clean water for them.

Since July is National Pet Hydration Awareness month, here are a few tips for keeping your pets happy and hydrated this summer.

Image: https://pixabay.com/en/puppy-golden-retriever-dog-1207816/

1. Provide fresh water daily

You wouldn’t want to drink water that’s been sitting out all day and neither does your pet. Providing fresh and clean water at least once a day encourages your pet to drink more often. If your pet drinks a lot of water or if you work long hours, you could consider a pet drinking fountain.The fountain continuously moves the water, ensuring that it is oxygenated and clean.

2. Monitor drinking habits

Cats and dogs are made up of 80 percent water. That’s 20 percent more than humans. Your pet should drink an ounce of water for every pound that it weighs. If example if your cat weighs eight pounds, it should drink eight ounces of water a day. You can monitor this by measuring the amount of water you put into your pet’s bowl and measuring the amount of water left when you replenish it.

3. Keep them out of the heat

In 2015, July was the hottest month of the year. When you’re relaxing in the air conditioning, don’t forget about your pets! Try to keep your pets inside on hot days. If your pet is outside, give it an ample amount of cool water and ensure it is in a shady area. You can also rub your pets with a damp towel to keep them cool. 

Image: https://pixabay.com/en/cat-kitten-drink-water-mackerel-1196374/

4. Limit exercise and physical activity

Your pup probably loves and looks forward to its daily walks. On a hot day, it’s not a good idea to take your dog on a run or participate in any strenuous outdoor exercise. If you do go out, be sure to bring water for your dog to drink along the way and try to walk it in the morning or evening when it’s cooler.

5. Check for warning signs of dehydration

Cats and dogs cool down in a different way than humans. Cats sweat through their paws and dogs pant. Check for dehydration in your pets by performing the skin test. Other signs of dehydration can include fatigue, dry mouth and loss of appetite. If you suspect that your pet might be dehydrated, get them to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Water is a necessity that can often be forgotten when it comes to pets. Always provide fresh and clean water and keep your pets out of the heat. Your pets will thank you! 

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The Aqua Guide to Summer Pool Safety

When it comes to pools and summer activities, it’s easy to get excited and forget about certain precautions you should be taking. Safety should always come first. Since June is National Safety Month, we’ve rounded up some pool safety tips so this summer can be safe and fun for everyone.

 

1.     Supervise children and friends

One of the best parts of the summer is being able to watch friends and family happily splash around in the pool. It’s important to keep a watchful eye on kids playing in the water. Children between the ages ofone and four are at the highest risk for drowning-related incidents.

 To prevent this, never leave kids unattended by the pool and teach them safe ways to play with water. Pool-related injuries are not just restricted to children, so watch out for your adult friends, too.

 

2.     Use a drain grate

A drain grate is a necessity in every pool and spa. You might notice one on the bottom of your private pool or in a few different places in your local public pool. The public pool you attend is required to have drain grates to ensure that the pool will not start draining while people are swimming in it. However, if something seems fishy, report it immediately. The suction from a pool or spa drain is strong enough to trap an adult, so drain grates must remain intact at all times.

 

3.     Take a CPR class

CPR is a great skill for anyone to have. If you’ve ever worked at a camp or school, you most likely took a CPR class and picked up a few basic skills. If you have private pool, you might not be able to get the help you need right away when there’s an emergency. Learning CPR allows you to aid a situation until proper medical care can be administered. You can take a class at your local Red Cross or a similar facility in order to become certified. 

 

4.     Check your chlorine levels 

You’ve probably seen the lifeguard at your local pool do a chlorine test. Chlorine is in the pool to sanitize the water. However, chlorine does not always kill germs immediately. Some germs can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days to die. When germs are not killed and a person ingests the water, they might end up with a Recreational Water Illness (RWI). RWIs are caused by germs or chemicals in recreational swimming water. To avoid this, make sure the water you are swimming in is safe. If you’re unsure, avoid swallowing the water.

 

5.     Teach your child how to swim

Teaching your child how to swim can be a great bonding experience for both of you. Swimming is fun for the kids and a great form of exercise. Children who can swim are also less likely to get injured when playing in the pool. You can teach your child to swim on your own, or enlist the help of your local YMCA or swimming facility. Grab those water wings and get to it!

 Swimming can be a blast as long as you’re being safe. When you use these safety tips, you’re creating a safe environment for the people around you. Educate your loved ones on pool safety so everyone can have a fun and safe summer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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