Top 5 Spots for a Dreamy Water-cation

 

The nip seems to be back in the air, which can only mean one thing – winter is officially here. The cold months that are about to come can seem pretty daunting. Just thinking about shoveling snow is sending us shivers.

That being said, it’s no surprise that some warm vacation spots are on our minds. If we could, we would visit all of the amazing, water-filled places below. Take a look at our dream list and get ready to plan your own getaway.

1. Trevi Fountain (Rome, Italy)

If this isn’t at the top of your bucket list, you should move it there. Trevi Fountain is the epitome of amazing water features. Not only is it beautifully designed and incredible to look at, but it’s also located in one of the most romantic cities in the world.

This vacation spot is a must see!

2. Great Wolf Lodge (United States)

Don’t feel like flying all the way to Italy for your next vacation? Then you should definitely check out Great Wolf Lodge. With 13 different locations around the U.S., you’re guaranteed to find some fun.

So what makes this hotel special? At each location guests will find an entire waterpark, indoors. Yep, that’s right: water slides, a lazy river and more all exist inside the resort.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

3. Lover's Cove (Avalon, California)

Crystal clear water, tons of ocean wildlife and an amazing location – Lover’s Cove is certainly a snorkeling paradise. Located in Southern California, this marine sanctuary is protected by the state and pollution free.

Snorkel or scuba dive, go with your significant other or bring the family along. Whatever you choose to do, we can promise you’ll have an amazing time.

4. Hanakapi`ai Falls (Kauai, Hawaii)

This gorgeous waterfall is located in scenic and sunny Hawaii. With more popular destination spots like Honolulu, the island of Kauai is often overlooked. That’s what we think makes Hanakapi`ai Falls an incredible vacation.

5. Cayman Islands

Are you ready for the ultimate getaway? Saying the stunning Cayman Islands are picturesque is an understatement.

Warm waters, bright beaches and striking scenery are just a few of the many things this island holds in store for you.

Now that you’re inspired, it’s time to book your trip! Even if you don’t end up flying across the ocean, we hope that you have a wonderful, warm, vacation.

 

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5 Ways to Conserve Water on Thanksgiving

The holidays are here! First up, Thanksgiving.

We’ve been on a mission to make to make this year’s festivities the best yet. That’s why we compiled our most helpful tips on how to conserve water before, during and after your meal.

Rinse and repeat

Cooking a large portion of vegetables or potatoes? Instead of running them under the sink, try filling a large bowl with water and using it to rinse your food. The best part? When you’re done with the dirty water you can use it to water your plants! (The same trick can also be used for washing your dishes after the meal.)

Defrost like a boss

We don’t have to remind you to defrost your turkey before the big day. The USDA says that you’ll need 1-3 days for about 4-12 lbs. of turkey.

Whatever you do, avoid using the cold water method. If you’re really in a time crunch, follow the USDA’s instructions for using the microwave.

Full steam ahead

If you’ve got all your burners on full blast and still need to steam something, place a strainer over one of your pots. This way you can save time, space and water! Done boiling? You can use the leftover water for a soup base.

Watering can, or can’t?

Waiting for the faucet to change temperature? Place a watering can over the drain to catch any of the excess water. This way, you can water your plants or refill the dog’s water bowl without wasting a drop!

Wasting away

The global average water footprint of chicken meat is 4330 liter/kg. Imagine what a larger bird like a turkey consumes. Don’t let all of the water that went into producing your turkey go to waste.

If you don’t have any room in your fridge (or stomach) for leftovers, send your guests home with doggy bags. You can also swing by your local soup kitchen or food shelter and donate what you have left – especially if you have any unopened boxes or cans you didn’t use.

Whether you’re cooking for a small group or the entire extended family, these conservation tips are sure to keep your household happy for the holidays.

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Aqua Gives Back with Community Volunteerism Program

As a company, Aqua believes in giving back to the communities we serve, and recognizes the value that volunteer service has for both local organizations as well as our employees. It is with this mindset, that an initiative to roll out a Community Volunteerism Pilot Program at Aqua was created. Through this program, employees will be able to participate in company-sponsored community outreach events, and build camaraderie at the same time.

"I am very excited that we are piloting a volunteer program across Aqua," said Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Karen Heisler. "This year, our goal is to set up various company-sponsored events at local community organizations in the areas where we serve and live. This is a great program that complements our United Way corporate giving program. Actively engaging and assisting the organization makes the activities personally fulfilling. In addition, these activities enable Aqua employees to interact with other colleagues in departments with which they might not have regular interaction."


To ensure the program is as successful as possible, the pilot is being rolled out slowly in a few locations, while exploring how to expand it across all of Aqua's states. To kick things off, Ohio and Pennsylvania locations participated in a few volunteerism events. 

In Ohio, Aqua employees volunteered at a local food bank, the American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity. Employees from Aqua Pennsylvania made two trips to Philabundance, the region's largest hunger relief organization. Among the volunteers assisting with sorting, packaging and preparing food items for distribution, was Aqua President and CEO Chris Franklin.


"This is great, we're getting a chance to help other people, get reacquainted with friends, get a little exercise, all good things," said Franklin.

This new program allows Aqua to expand our corporate social responsibility and emphasizes our company's commitment to community service. The overwhelming response from those involved in this initiative so far has been positive, and volunteers are getting a lot out of their experiences, including a feeling of teamwork.


"This is a really good way to give back to the communities we serve, and to come together as a team," said HRIS Analyst Andrew Calhoun. "One moment that really resonated with me was when I took a second to stop and look around the room and saw the entire group working as a team. For one day, we weren't from different departments, we weren't supervisors or supervisees; we were all equals with a common job title – volunteer."

 

 

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LEAD IS SERIOUS BUSINESS

At Aqua, public health protection is a cornerstone of our business. That’s why we take lead very seriously. As part of our efforts, we are supporting the national effort to raise awareness about lead poisoning prevention during National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. The question is what can the average person do to prevent lead in their drinking water? 

Believe it or not, the average person, and especially the homeowner, can do a lot. Lead is not in the water delivered to your home. Lead in drinking water actually originates in the pipe (owned by the property owner) from the street to the home and/or in the home plumbing pipe, solder, and plumbing fixtures inside the home. 

Aqua actually works hard to make sure the water chemistry we deliver to your street is not corrosive to help protect your plumbing, but every home is unique and can have specific issues beyond our control.

So let’s start with a couple simple things you can do, as well as some specific recommendations for renters. Remember let’s get the lead out!

 

1. Don’t cook, make baby formula, or drink from hot water. Lead can be more easily dissolved into warm water. Therefore, use cold water for your drinking and food preparation, especially baby formula and baby food. 

2. Replace old faucets with new water saving and lead-free faucets. Did you know old faucets can have up to 6 percent lead in the brass inside them? We find old faucets with brass containing lead to be a big reason for why there are elevated levels when we sample at peoples homes.

3. Remove and clean your faucet aerators every month. Every faucet has a little screen on it called an aerator to make the water come out nicely. You can remove it, clean it, or replace it in most cases.

4. Get your home tested for lead! You can contact your local health department to ask if they can help you test for lead.

5. Do you have a lead service line from the street into your home? This is something you can check. If you scratch the pipe that is coming INTO your water meter, you can get a rough idea if its lead or not. If you scratch it easily and it looks the color of a nickel, it may be lead. If it looks like a penny, it’s copper. Click here to learn more. If you want, once you scratch the section, you can even use a simple home test kit for $20 and check it yourself. If you still are not sure, contact your water supplier and/or your local plumber for confirmation/investigation. If you can’t access your meter,then look at the age of your home. Some areas of the U.S. used lead service lines until 1955. If your house is pre-1955, then it’s a potential candidate for inspection/check. 

6. If you have a lead service line, remove it! Don’t wait, contact a plumber and have it removed. If a water supplier is doing work and informs you that your service line is lead, get it replaced! Get the lead out!

7. Does your home plumbing have lead solder? If your home was built prior to 1988, it may have lead solder. Sometimes, do-it-yourself homeowners would do plumbing repairs using left-over lead solder after 1988. We have actually found large globs of lead solder in home plumbing below faucets that were replaced a long time ago. See #5 above on the test kit. 

8. Use a home filtration device if you want added protection. If you can’t do any of items above and are not sure if you have a lead service line, can’t remove the line (you might be renting), or want extra protection, a home filtration device may be your best option. See the information here from the National Sanitation foundation on how to select the proper device

9. If you are a renter, ask your property manager if they have a lead service line, if they tested the property for lead in the water, or to have the property water tested for lead. If you cannot get the property manager to provide the information, your local water utility might have information. If they do not and you cannot get the water tested and are still concerned, we recommend following item #8. You can also contact your local health department to ask if they can help you test for lead.

 

 

In conclusion, lead is serious business. As a parent, I know the worries we have about the things that can impact our children. Follow the advice above and lead in drinking water won’t be one of them.

 

For more information about preventing lead poisoning not only in drinking water but from paint and dirt, click here.

 

 

 

 

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The Top 5 Aquatic-Themed Halloween Costumes

 

Halloween is right around the corner. Your youngest child wants to go as Elsa from Frozenagain—and your oldest just can’t seem to decide. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Through the years we’ve seen some amazing costumes. So, whether you’re still searching for the perfect costume for your kids or yourself, we’ve got you covered.

We may be a little biased toward the water-themed ones. But how could we not? Just look how awesome they are.

Jellyfish

This costume is extremely easy to make, but the results are electric. Find an old umbrella, cover it in colorful streamers, and voilà!

For an extra touch: Tape some glow sticks to the inside of the umbrella.

Scuba diver

You’ll be swimming in candy! All you need to do is grab some old sweats, a couple of soda bottles, flippers, and your goggles. A major bonus for this costume is that it will it keep you warm all night!

For an extra touch: Use a fishing net or large fish bowl for your candy bag. 

Mermaid/Merman

You can’t go wrong with a classic. Even before Disney’s The Little Mermaid hit big screens, this costume was popular. Now’s your chance to bring your own twist to it!

Just start with any brightly colored top. To mimic a flipper, cut a large piece of fabric in the desired shape and glue it to the front of your plants. For scales, cut out little ovals and taper them all the way down your legs.
 

For an extra touch: Glue sequins and glitter to your tail for additional "wow" factor.  

A shower

Yes, you read that correctly. This clever costume is one of our favorites. All you need is a hula-hoop, shower curtain, sticks or pipe, and backpack.

For an extra touch: Add cotton balls around the base for the appearance of suds. 

 

Aquaman/Aquawoman

We’ve saved the best for last. And, no we did not pick this one because it has Aqua in the name. (Okay—maybe we did.) But that doesn’t mean this isn’t one of the coolest costumes out there.

Throw on an orange tee, green tights, and shorts and you’re good to go.

For an extra touch: Paint a cheap plastic pitchfork gold to turn it into a majestic trident! 

 

Feeling inspired yet? Good! We can’t wait to see what you end up creating. Let us know what your favorite costumes are in the comments below.

From all of us here at Aqua, Happy Halloween!

 

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