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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Could You Imagine A Day Without Water?

How many of your daily activities require you to use water? Stop and think about it for a second. Can you imagine lasting an entire day without any water to perform the most basic of tasks, like washing your hands?

 

We use water for a lot more than just drinking. We use it to do our laundry, make coffee, upkeep our yards, clean ourselves, clean just about everything else and much more. To increase awareness around responsible water usage — and how lucky we are to have access to safe, clean water — from October 6 through October 8, we want you to imagine a day without water.

 

These days are a time to think about water’s importance in our lives and to reflect upon what we can do to conserve our most essential resource.

 

Change starts at the smallest level, and you can imagine a day without water just by changing some of your daily habits and practices at home. Our WaterSmart Tips page is a great place to start with plenty of everyday tips on how to reduce your water usage and value how we use water in our lives: 

 

      Brush your teeth without running your sink

      Check your home’s pipes and faucets for leaks, which can account for wasting up to 140 gallons of water per week

      Sweep the driveway instead of using a hose

      Time your showers! Your household can even make a game out of challenging one another to take the shortest and most efficient shower

 

See? There are plenty of ways for you to get involved!

 

At Aqua, we act as stewards of the environment. We value water immensely, and we’re dedicated to raising awareness about its importance to every aspect of our lives. By joining forces with people around the country to imagine a day without water, we’re hoping to remind both our customers and ourselves of how fortunate we are to have reliable access to water. How will you imagine a day without water? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

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Stay Hydrated During Sport Season

 

 

Summer has come to an end and school is back in session. For all sport parents and players, this means practices have begun. With practice and games comes proper steps to staying safe. Helmets and pads? Check. Cleats? Check. Water? Water is an absolute must — and just as important as those shin guards.

 

At Aqua, we want everyone to know that hydration plays an important role for any type of fitness. Without proper hydration, you’re not able to perform at your peak, and if your kids play a sport, they can’t perform at their peak, either. So, we enlisted our friend Jesse Frank, Fitness Director and Vice President at UNITE Fitness, for some advice and we’re getting SOAKED in the idea of hydration. Check out these reasons why you should fill up your water bottle before heading to the soccer field, football field or gym:

 

1. 75 percent of your muscle is made of water, so drinking water before a workout will keep muscles from cramping. “Muscle cramping happens if there is a loss of electrolytes, so if you’re not properly hydrated before a workout, you run the risk of painful cramping. You should be highly hydrated before every workout,” says Frank.Ultimately, a hydrated body allows your performance to be better, faster and stronger. Especially when working out in mid-August through early September, when it can still be hot and humid in some parts of the U.S.

 

2. Did you know: although sports drinks are advertised as the best way to quench you or your child's thirst, water is still better to drink. Sports drinks contain about 10 teaspoons of sugar, causing blood sugar to drop and your body to crash. “Sports drinks have their place: when you’re competing at a high-level and in high heat,” Frank says. “Examples include marathons and half-marathons. Otherwise, water is the way to go.”

 

3. We talked about the importance of being hydrated before a workout (see #1), and now we’re going to talk about why it’s important to drink water during and after, too. In short, it helps your body in the recovery process. Water during a workout keeps your energy flow going. After is important because the water flushes out toxins so your muscles won’t go stiff and your organs can function properly.

 

4.  How much water is needed to be hydrated properly? Well, it depends on who you are. “You should take half of your body weight in ounces,” Frank recommends. “If you weigh 200 pounds, you should be drinking 100 ounces. And that’s generally without a lot of activity.” So what if you do a lot of activity?Frank says, “If you workout and you sweat a lot, replenishing your water weight is very, very important.” Remember: water before, during and after make for an energized, cramp-free athlete!

 

5.   Hungry, weak, fatigued: those do not sound like a way that anyone wants to feel. But, it’s how you can feel if you’re dehydrated, and your urine could be a clue as to whether or not you’re at that point. “Your urine should be clear or pale yellow. Dark yellow is a sign of dehydration,” Frank says. “Hunger, weakness, fatigue, loss of concentration — these are all signs of being dehydrated,” he explains.   

 

Now that everyone is up to date with their water facts, remember that school sports and working out  are about being healthy, having fun and staying safely hydrated. Frank and the Aqua team understand that water isn’t everyone’s favorite drink. “If it’s the taste of water that keeps you from being hydrated, you can always jazz up your water,” Frank says. Here’s an Aqua post with some ideas for doing just that: 5 Hacks That Make Drinking Water More Simple.

 

 

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Hurricane Season: Stay Prepared & Stay Safe

During hurricane season (June 1 — November 30), Aqua offers customers tips to prepare for the possible loss of water service during a storm.

 

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Why Water Mains Break

One of the biggest concerns for water utilities during extremely hot or cold weather is water main breaks. Water mains are expected to last a long time – as long as 100 years in many cases. But with many miles of pipe buried underground, it’s reasonable to expect a particular section of pipe will fail or break at some point. The challenge for water utilities is to work proactively to minimize the number of breaks and to respond effectively when a main does break.

While the oldest water mains were made of wood, by the late 1800s, a variety of iron pipe was being used to construct water distribution systems. Common iron varieties included cast and galvanized in the early part of the 20th Century, with galvanized used primarily for smaller diameter pipe. Cast iron pipe was used until the late 1950s when stronger, more flexible ductile iron pipe became common. Plastic pipe, including Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) became common in the 1970s. The primary difference between these two plastic pipes is that PVC is stiffer than HDPE, which is more flexible. Even though pipe is expected to last for decades, that doesn’t mean it won’t break at some point. While it is impossible to predict specific pipe breaks, we know that environmental conditions are a major factor in water main breaks.

In the northern and northeast areas of the country where winters are more extreme, cold soils and cold water combine to add stress to pipes, which can—and often do—result in breaks. Iron, like all metals, contracts as temperatures drop. This problem is more common when the source water is surface water (rivers and lakes). These waters are significantly affected by air temperature and can drop to near freezing in the winter. A temperature difference of just 10 degrees in water or air temperatures can cause pipes to contract or expand. Additional stress inside and outside the pipe occurs as temperatures near the freezing point, making the pipe vulnerable to breakage. Water temperature changes more slowly than air temperature changes so the impact of cold water on pipes can cause breakage to take place as many as a couple days after temperatures freeze. Water systems with groundwater sources (wells) have more stable water temperatures because the water is not affected by air temperatures, and therefore, not as significantly impacted. 

Just as pipes are adversely affected by cold weather conditions, they are also affected by severe heat. In some groundwater systems in the southern and southwestern states, the soils are like sponges and hold lots of water. However, during extended periods of hot temperature when high demands for water increases water withdrawal from the aquifers, the soil becomes very dry. In these conditions, the soil contracts and subsides, pulling away from the pipe and diminishing support for the water main. The absence of support for the main can cause it to break. This particular problem led the City of Houston, Texas to begin to convert its groundwater supply to surface water.

Although older mains are generally more susceptible to breaks, breaks can occur on newer mains. This is most likely the result of improper installation or a manufacturing issue with that particular section of pipe. By examining trends in water main breaks over time, a utility is better able to identify categories of pipe that are more prone to breaks, and thus proactively target that pipe for replacement. Aqua employs such tactics in determining which mains to replace. By the end of 2013, Aqua expects to have spent $170 million of its $325 million capital improvement program on water main replacement and associated work.

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