Waterful Tips for a Wonderful Vacation

Ah, summer: The perfect time to take a break from reality with a quick getaway surrounded by loved ones. Though plenty of vacation destinations this time of year revolve around water (think: beaches, pools and lakes), there are several other ways in which Earth’s most essential resource factors into your plans for getting out of town. 

Not sure what we’re talking about? Read on to see how you can ensure your summer vacation is a waterful one. 

Before you hit the road: 

●      This one’s obvious: Make sure any of your furry or feathered friends who are staying home are taken care of when it comes to food and water. Hydrated pets are happy pets!

●      While you’re at it, see if your pet sitter, a friend or a neighbor can stop by the house to water your plants. Different plants have different water needs, so do your research in advance to know how many visits to plan. 

●      Want to keep the yard in tip-top shape while you’re away? See if you can put your sprinklers on a timer system so that they automatically turn on throughout your trip. 

●      Does your swimming pool have an automatic cleaning pump? If so, ensure the pool is filled up with water before you head out so that the motor runs smoothly and doesn’t burn out. 

●      Take a walk through the house and make sure none of your faucets are leaking water. You certainly don’t want those leaks adding up while you’re away. 

●      Sign up for WaterSmart alerts from Aqua to stay up-to-date about any changes to your water service while you’re away so you’re not caught off-guard when you return. 

For the drive or flight:

●      If you drive to your destination, bring along a reusable water bottle that you fill up at home. That way, any time you stop somewhere for a bite to eat or to stretch your legs, you can refill it at a soda machine or water fountain. 

●      If you fly, you can still bring a reusable water bottle with you—just make sure it’s empty when you go through airport security! Afterward, you can fill it up at any food vendor’s soda machine or water fountain so you have plenty of water for the flight. 

●      Don’t forget: Plenty of foods contain water, too. Pack fruits and veggies to snack on during your trip so you stay hydrated—the tasty way. 

During the trip:

●      Remember that reusable water bottle you brought along? Always throw it in your beach bag or backpack no matter where you go.

●      Don’t forget to drink plenty of water even though you’ve pressed pause on your usual routine. For example, if you’re used to drinking water at your desk all day, it’s easy to forget to do so when you’re away from the office! Try setting reminders on your phone to make sure you — and the whole family — drink plenty of water on each day of your trip.

●      If you hit the beach, pool or lake, make sure you apply plenty of sunscreen and wear a hat and sunglasses to keep your skin safe from the bright sun. 

●      If you plan to be super active during your trip (think: hiking, surfing or other kinds of adventuring), consider bringing packets of powdered sports drink mixes to drop into your water bottle to keep your energy levels up.

●      Just for fun: Keep track of how many different types of water you encounter if you visit a new place. Between pools, oceans, rivers, lakes and waterfalls, the world is full of watery wonders! 

Whether your summer travels take you to the other side of the state or the other side of the world, remember that water is an invaluable part of everyday life, from the day-to-day tasks of home, to the adventures of a vacation. 

Have a safe, enjoyable and waterful trip! 

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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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4 Ways to Use Water for Wacky Outdoor Fun

Photo used via Creative Commons from Flickr user Blue Temora

It’s finally starting to feel like summer, and we all know what that means: It’s time for long days and nights spent outside, pool parties, running through sprinklers and everything else that’s fun in the sun.

With summer comes lots of water, and naturally, we want you to use your water, not abuse it. Why not cool off, entertain the kids and water the lawn at the same time? We’ve got four ideas for summer fun that’ll allow you to do just that.

Finding kid-friendly summer activities isn’t too hard, but it can be a little rough on the wallet. These activities use common household items that you probably already have, and if you don’t, you can find them for low costs at any dollar store.

Get ready for some fun!

Sponge Races

What you need:

·       Four medium-sized buckets (six if you want to play three games at a time)

·       Two large car-washing sponges

·       A permanent marker

How it works:

·       Take the permanent marker and draw a line horizontally around the middle of the bucket. Make sure it’s in the same place for each bucket – you don’t want to start any fights!

·       Fill two of the buckets up to the line and place them outside in the grass.

·       Set up the other two buckets about five feet apart for younger children, or eight to 10 feet apart for older kids.

·       Let the races begin! The first person or team to transfer all the water from one bucket to the other using the sponge is the winner.

Pro tip:

·       Add a dash of dish soap to the water to make the races soapy and extra fun.

Mega Bubbles

What you need:

·       6 cups of water

·       1 cup of corn syrup

·       2 cups of dish soap

·       A mixing bowl and spoon

·       2 metal rods or any kind of stick — this can be slim PVC pipe or wooden dowel

·       Cotton string

How it works:

·       Mix the water, corn syrup and dish soap in the bowl until everything is combined and there aren’t any layers on top.

·       Cut one piece of string that is the length of your child’s arm, then cut another that is the length of their wingspan.

·       Tie the ends of the short string to the ends of the long string. 

·       Attach the tied strings to the ends of the metal rods.

·       Holding the rods together, dip the string into the bubble solution.

·       Pull the string out, slowly spread the metal rods apart and then pull through the air to create your giant bubble.

Pro tip:

·       Add a little bit of food coloring to make colorful mega bubbles.

·       Check out this YouTube video to see a more in-depth explanation of how to create the giant bubble wands.

Colorful Ice Spheres 

What you need:

  • Water balloons
  • Non-gel food coloring
  • A sink and a freezer
  • A pair of scissors

How it works:

  • Fill a water balloon with water, using a little bit less than you would for normal water balloon usage.
  • Squirt a couple drops of food coloring into the balloon. Fewer drops will mean a lighter color, while more drops will produce a darker color.
  • Tie the water balloon and give it a little shake.
  • Place all the water balloons in the freezer and let them freeze completely. This can take anywhere from two hours to five hours, depending on the size of the balloons.
  • Once frozen, take balloons out of the freezer and use the scissors to cut off the bottom, then peel off the rest of the balloon.
  • The choice of what to do now is yours, but can we recommend creating a game of outdoor bowling?

Pro tip:

  • If you make a ton of little balloons, you can use them to spruce up your cooler. Mix them in with the rest of your ice so that every time someone grabs a drink, they’ll get a colorful surprise.

Make it Rain                     

What you need:

  • Hot water
  • Ice cubes
  • A glass jar
  • A paper plate or bowl

How to do it:

  • Add about two to three inches of hot water to your glass jar.
  • Put your paper product on top of the glass jar and wait a few minutes.
  • Place a few ice cubes on top of the plate.
  • Watch it start to rain inside your jar!

Pro tip:

  • Place one ice cube outside and one inside and have your child observe the differences in the rain. Ask them how they think the temperature or the setting is changing the weather in your little jar. It’s a perfect way to explain the water cycle.

Even though you’ll be busy having a blast with these fun activities, always remember to use your water wisely. By doing each of these activities on the lawn, the water will be put to good use. Be safe, lather up the sunscreen and stay hydrated for an unforgettable summer!  

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