1. The same amount of water (H2O) is on earth today that was here 10,000 years ago. Earth’s water is constantly recycle d and no new water is ever made. This is why it is so important not to pollute the water we have. About 97% of all the world’s water is in the oceans and contains salt. It is difficult and expensive to remove this salt to make drinking water. About 2% of the world’s water is frozen as ice in the polar regions. This leaves about 1% of earth?’s H2O available for drinking water.
2. The water cycle is the constant movement of water from earth?’s surface, to the atmosphere, and back again. This cycle is continuous and constantly moves water around our Earth. Water is moved from the earth?’s surface to the sky – evaporation. Water vapor forms tiny droplets in the sky – condensation. Water falls back to earth as rain or snow – precipitation. Water on earth?’s surface penetrates the ground – percolation. This is the never ending water cycle.
3. Water covers about 70% of the earth’s surface. Water makes up almost 66% of the human body. An ear of corn is 80% water. Americans drink more than 1 billion glasses of tap water every day. On average it takes 40,000 gallons of water to manufacture a new car and its four tires. Public water systems in the USA process nearly 34 billion gallons of water per day.
4. Borden Tri-County Water actually pumps on average about 800,000 gallons of water every day throughout the year. During summer months when water usage is high, we pump about 1,400,000 gallons per day.
5. Borden Tri-County Water removes calcium hardness, filters, and chemically treats every gallon of water we pump from our water treatment plant. The well water hardness coming into our treatment plant is about 300 ppm, or 17.5 grains. Our finished water hardness is about 120 ppm, or 7 grains. We remove hundreds of tons of calcium hardness from our water supply every year. Our water is dosed with chlorine at about 1.0 part per million and fluoride at 1.0 part per million. Chlorine is used as a disinfectant that kills bacteria that can cause some illnesses. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay. For reference purposes, a part per million is like one cent out of $10,000.00.
6. Our water is tested by us 365 days per year to make sure it is safe to drink. We test at two different locations for: total chlorine and free chlorine. We test at one location for: fluoride, raw water hardness, raw water alkalinity, raw water pH, raw water temperature, finished water hardness, finished water alkalinity, finished water pH, and finished water temperature. We do this every single day of the year, which totals over 4,800 test ran on our water each year.
7. Our water is also tested by a state approved outside laboratory to ensure our water quality. Water utilities are regulated by the US EPA and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. They mandate a testing schedule for different contaminants that may be present in drinking water. Some of these tests are done weekly, others done monthly, some are done four times per year, and others are done once per year. Each year dozens of chemicals are tested for to ensure that our ground water, and your drinking water, has not been contaminated. We are required to send each customer a printed annual Consumer Confidence Report that contains information on our testing results. This report is mailed out by June 30th each year. An online version of this report is available on this web site.
You may request that your water meter be pulled, replaced and the old meter tested. If the meter tests show the meter is registering accurately then the customer would be responsible for the meter testing fee. It is very common for older water meters to wear over time and slow down. A meter is a mechanical device and will simply wear out over time. All recent meter test results have shown our meters to be accurate, or slow. A slow meter will UNDER register water usage. For the record, if a meter tests slow, we will not reinstall it.
One way to cut down on the amount of water that you use each month is to conserve when possible. Besides saving you money, it is the right thing to do. Water is a very precious natural resource.
You should check for leaks in your home first, and then in your service line from our meter to your home. Many appliances use water in the home and a relatively small leak can consume thousands of gallons of water over a month’s time. For example, a toilet tank refills after flushing at about 1.5 gallons per minute. If the toilet should “stick” open and run for 24 hours while you are out of town, it would use 2,160 gallons. In one case a customer went on vacation for a week and the toilet ran for 7 days. This amounted to 15,000 gallons of water used, just for the toilet, and no one was home!
Things to check include: Dripping faucets in sinks and showers/tubs, leaking outside yard hydrants and faucets, leaking hot water heater (including pressure relief valve), and a leaking toilet tank. You can easily check for leaking toilet tanks by removing the tank lid and placing food coloring in the tank. If within a few minutes you see the same coloring appear in the toilet bowl, you may need to replace the rubber flapper in the toilet tank. Many customers use automatic units to provide drinking water to live stock or pets, and they should be checked for leaks also.
One of the most common leaks reported to us by customers is freeze proof yard hydrants. These customer hydrants may develop leaks near the base valve underground and the leak will not be seen at the surface. This is a very common customer leak.
Every home should have a shut off valve and pressure regulator installed by you, the home owner. The pressure regulator can also help conserve water and lower your usage. Most customers are happy with 40-45 psi of water pressure. If your pressure regulator is adjusted to supply higher pressure, you will be using more water. Try adjusting your regulator back to lower your usage. Even worse, if you do not have a pressure regulator installed (as every home should), then your piping will be subject to the full line pressure on our system, and the pressure changes that occur when we switch valves or tanks and damage could occur.
Other ways to conserve water include using low flow shower heads, low volume flush toilets, and water efficient appliances such as dish and clothes washers. Many customers have in home water softeners that back wash or recharge based on a timer. This timer can usually be adjusted to increase the time between back washing, which will not only save water, but also salt.
Most all newer water service meters have a small triangular shaped needle on the meter face. If you have all faucets, toilets, and water using appliances turned off in your home, this triangle should not be turning. If the dial is turning, this may indicate you have a leak in your service lines. Another way to check for a leak is to write down your meter reading (including the hand position) when you are leaving home for an extended time. Then when you get back, before using any water, reread the meter. A change in the reading may indicate a leak in your service.
Keep pools and hot tubs covered to reduce evaporation. Do not overfill your pool or hot tub to prevent overflows and splashes.
Water plants slowly, thoroughly, and infrequently. Water in the early morning to reduce evaporation.
Plant water saving plants, trees, and shrubs. Use native plants that are drought resistant. Mulch around any plants or trees that you water to help hold in moisture.
At least twice yearly, check all faucets indoors and out. Replace worn fixtures, washers, O-rings, and hose connections to prevent drips and wasted water.
Wash cars efficiently. Do not leave the hose running while washing your car. Use a bucket with soap.
Only run a dishwasher with a full load. Scrape dishes clean and use the normal cycle on your dishwasher.
Do not defrost frozen food under a running faucet. Use the microwave to defrost food.
Only wash clothes with the proper load selected. Only wash full loads of clothes.
Buy ‘Energy Star’ efficient appliances.
Test your toilet for flapper leaks. Place food coloring in the fill tank and do not flush. In a few minutes if the color appears in the bowl, the flapper leaks and needs replaced.
Flush the toilet only when necessary. Do not use the toilet as a waste can. Do not flush trash or insects.
Do not let the water run when brushing your teeth. Turn on and off as needed.
Take shorter showers and baths. Use a low flow shower head.
Fix leaks!! If you know a faucet or line to your house has a small leak, fix it. A small leak will add up to a large amount of water over a month’s time.
Reuse water. Use bath water to water plants.
Do not use a water hose in place of a broom on sidewalks and walkways.