Emerging Drinking Water Risks

Emerging Drinking Water Risks

"There are far too many contaminants to effectively regulate, test and provide 100% safe drinking water from every tap."

As there is an increase in conducted research, new findings are becoming apparent regarding the potential for new or emerging contaminants in water posing risk to human health. No one really knows what actually lies in our drinking water, and no single test exists to test for every possible contaminant. 

It is impossible to know exactly what is in a water source at any given time.
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Real Estate Water Sampling

Real Estate Water Sampling

"Third party, certified water testing should be required in real estate transactions conducted by an accredited individual who is not associated with the buyer, seller or real estate agent."

In the province of Ontario, there is currently no requirement for who takes the water sample for the real estate transaction, only that it must be tested by an accredited laboratory. How do you know that the sample was taken properly and from the right location?

There is no guarantee that water in your real estate transaction is secure and conducted in an ethical manner.
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Jet Pumps Risks & Solutions

Jet Pumps Risks & Solutions

"Often people who live in rural areas are completely unaware that water in their well has the potential to be at an extremely low level and that their water pump is subject to possible damage."

People routinely leave their homes and do not consider the possible risks posed by their jet pump. 
A scenario where the jet pump runs dry, overheats and catches fire, potentially burning down the house, is possible under the right conditions.

A jet pump has the potential to start a fire under the right conditions.
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Country Water Education

Country Water Education

"Water is a “universal solvent” meaning it picks up just about anything it comes into contact with."

The average Canadian citizen is not aware of the potential risks to water quality outside of city limits where little regulation and testing are conducted. This is where the role of proper water treatment equipment is crucial.

In the country, you are responsible for your own water.
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Groundwater Education

Groundwater Education

" Drilled wells have the potential to have surface water contamination."

A drilled well is subject to influences from the incoming water table and surface water from runoff, septic systems and agricultural contamination. This article is a general summary of what can be in well water and provides information on contaminants, well practices and water testing.

Have you considered what might be in your well water?
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Water Perceptions

Water Perceptions

"You cannot judge the quality by the taste, smell or colour alone."

I have observed a recurring theme in my twenty years of experience with regards to water quality. There are a multitude of perceptions that have been expressed by people regarding the water at their home or cottage. For some the idea that their well water is clean, clear and safe is literally passed from generation to generation. 

I believe that this is the way that many people want to see their water.
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Water - Neutral Disinterest

Water - Neutral Disinterest

"Drinking water should be a personal choice based on water education."

The general public has developed a neutral disinterest to the multitude of water warnings and often dismiss them as “not in my backyard”. Water is called the "universal solvent" because it dissolves more substances than any other liquid. It is important to every living thing on earth and wherever water goes, it takes along chemicals, minerals, and nutrients it has encountered along the way.

Do you know what is possible to be in your drinking water supply?.
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UV - A Time for Change

UV - A Time for Change

"The risk of bacterial contamination is just as great for one family as it is for a daycare center full of toddlers."

Sales of ultra violet disinfection systems should be by licensed dealers / retailers who educate the consumer and properly apply the equipment to incoming water quality, flow and system requirements. Almost 20 years of field experience has shown me that 8 out of every 10 UV systems are installed incorrectly, do not have the proper incoming water quality and have no monitoring or shutoff devices.

The time has come for change in the industry to ensure the safety of consumer’s drinking water.


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Rainwater Systems - Old Ways Reinvented

Rainwater Systems - Old Ways Reinvented

"Rainwater collection and advancements in treatment technologies provide a safe water source for wide variety of uses."

Boil water advisories, rising water costs, declining lake levels, incidents of Blue Green Algae, Zebra Mussels, E-Coli and Coliform, adverse well water quality and dry wells have become regular occurrences on Manitoulin Island and throughout the province of Ontario. Rainwater Harvesting provides a viable, cost saving and environmentally sound alternative for water usage. Rainwater is a valuable source and a great way to conserve water in your home or cottage.

Rainwater is a valuable source of water and a great way to conserve water in your home or cottage.
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Blue Green Algae - Lake Kagawong

Blue Green Algae - Lake Kagawong

Public Health Sudbury & Districts have indicated that Lake Kagawong on Manitoulin Island has tested positive for blue-green algae. The health unit says samples taken by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks on September 17th 2018 have tested positive for the species of bacteria that can produce toxins.

Blue Green Algae have the potential to cause serious illness. Do not drink, bath or cook with the water. 
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Treating Water with a Floor Cleaner?

Treating Water with a Floor Cleaner?

"What is part of a standard water test at a public health unit?"

Over the years I have experienced many interesting situations with water quality and testing. This example is most definitely at the top of the list and raises serious concerns about water safety. As part of routine water testing, I showed up to take a sample for bacterial analysis. After running the tap for a couple of minutes, there was a distinct chemical smell which did not diminish as the tap ran. 

Before you drink your next glass of water, consider the water source and make an educated choice.
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Groundwater - The Changing Well

Groundwater - The Changing Well

"Each water test is a snapshot of one day in a year. What about the other 364?"

The drilling of a well is a welcomed act for many people as it provides the necessity of water for their home or cottage. In Canada we are fortunate to have an abundance of groundwater that can provide a reliable, year round source of water for many municipalities and rural owners. The need for properly installed water treatment devices is no longer one of perceived need but one of necessity to ensure the safety of water for the consumer.

Groundwater is variable and subject to seasonal, environmental and human fluctuations.
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Country Living - Health Unit Water Testing

Country Living - Health Unit Water Testing

"A Health Unit Water Test is not a statement of the overall drinking water quality."

Bacterial water contamination is a serious issue that has ramifications for human health. The importance of a Health Unit water test cannot be understated as it can identify potential for illness due to bacteria present in water. When submitting a water sample to a Public Health Unit in the province of Ontario, do you know what is being tested for? Do you assume that the safety of the water is being tested for and the results are a good determination of overall drinking water quality? 

Does a good test result put your mind at ease that the water is safe for consumption? 
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Total Dissolved Solids - What You Don't See

Total Dissolved Solids - What You Don't See

"Out of sight, invisible and dissolved in water, TDS what you cannot see."

If a glass of water is held up and it is colourless, crystal clear and has no odour would you think there is much wrong with the water? Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) are completely dissolved in a water supply and generally invisible to the human eye. They are not associated with a bacterial test and are not tested for at the Public Health Unit when you submit a water sample. At certain level’s they pose a risk and are not a recommended drinking water source according to the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines.

Sometimes what you do not see can be a risk.
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The Water Elephant - A Public Challenge

The Water Elephant - A Public Challenge

Change occurs when the public works together to achieve a goal.

What you flush is out of sight and mind for most people. The impact of what goes down the drain is an elephant in the room in dire need of attention. Every water source large, small, municipal or rural has come in contact with some level of contaminant.  The argument can be made that there is no "pure" water source left in the province, country or planet anywhere human interaction has taken place. 

Toilets are Flushed in Ontario almost 25 Billion Times a Year.
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Water Testing - Home Buyer's Beware

Water Testing - Home Buyer's Beware

"When buying a home water in the country, water should be one of the most critical considerations."

Buyers will often trust the seller or realtor when a water sample is submitted to the local health unit. In some cases, the buyer will simply receive the test results through their lawyer. The goal of this publication is to raise awareness for the possibility of tampering with a water sample and the potential for illness to occur. When it comes to water, safety is of paramount concern and too often buyers purchase a home with a good water sample and never consider to test the water again. Unfortunately, the consequences can lead to illness and sometimes be costly.

Consider a third party to test the water in a real estate transaction.
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Risks to Water Quality - UV Systems

Risks to Water Quality - UV Systems

“Too often home owners trust the water implicitly when a Residential UV System is installed.”

When you purchased a UV System it was to protect the water in your home, cottage or business from bacteria present in water. It is likely that no one informed you of the risk associated with Power Outages or Proper Maintenance and the assumption is made that if the power light is on, the system is working properly and treating the water. This is not always the case.

There are many risks for water cross contamination in a home.
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Understanding Your UV System

Understanding Your UV System

“Trusted for bacteria removal, do you know what is required?”

Over the last 25 years the use of Ultra Violet Disinfection Systems has become common place for keeping bacteria out of rural water supplies. If you own a home in the country, it is very likely that a UV System (also known as Blue Light or Sterilizer) is installed either at the kitchen sink or where the water enters the house.

All ultra violet disinfection systems require proper maintenance and setup to be effective.
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