Cooling Spring Drink Recipes

drinking water

The air is quickly warming up around the country, and we’re not far at all from the dead of summer. That means that staying hydrated is more important than ever, especially if you live in a particularly hot area.

At Kinetico, our water filtration systems enable you and your family to always have a steady supply of clean, filtered drinking water during this important season. For some people, taking a simple liquid and putting a small twist on it can help them remember to drink enough water even when there’s lots going on – with that in mind, here are a couple basic spring or summer drinks we can suggest.

Citrus and Cucumber Water

For many people, adding a basic infusion of citrus and cucumber to water is a fun little spin that keeps them actively drinking. The ingredients you’ll need:

  • Half a gallon of water from a high-quality Kinetico filter
  • One large lemon
  • One large lime
  • One large orange
  • One large cucumber
  • One large pitcher to hold everything

To start with, slice up each of the fruits and veggies into smaller pieces and slide them all into the pitcher. Add your filtered water, then simply give the solution at least a couple hours to sit and infuse together. If you choose to, you can garnish the drink with an orange or a lemon slice to top things off.

Watermelon Mint Agua Fresca

Looking for something a bit more involved? Here are the ingredients you need for a tasty watermelon and mint agua fresca drink that will serve up to eight people:

  • Four cups of watermelon (about three pounds worth)
  • 24 mint leaves cut down the middle
  • Half a cup of purified water
  • Eight tablespoons of fine sugar
  • Four thin lime slices
  • A muddler

For this drink, you first cube and seed four cups of watermelon, then puree your water and watermelon. From here, you’ll make each glass individually – place six mint leaf halves, a tablespoon of sugar and a single lime piece (cut into half-moons, then halved once again) into each glass, then muddle all these together. Add ice to each glass, then pour the watermelon solution in. Stir the drink up, and serve them up.

For more on tasty spring or summer beverages, or to learn about any of our water filters and how they can help, contact the pros at Kinetico today.

4 Signs You Have Hard Water in Your Home

hose

For many homeowners hard water is a major issue in kitchens, bathrooms and laundry. Hard water is caused by calcium and magnesium dissolving into the water as it comes in contact with the earth.

Spotty Dishes

One of the early signs of hard water is spots, or a cloudy residue, showing up on dishes when taking them out of the dishwasher. This film isn’t a sign that your dishes aren’t clean, it’s residue left from the dissolved minerals in the water.  The spots are also very difficult to clean off and will eventually etch the glass.

Soap Scum

Another visible sign of hard water is “scum” found on the bathtub, the shower curtain or shower doors and walls. This kind of scum is created by a chemical reaction between the soap and the hard water. Soap scum will appear as a ring in the tub, spots or film on the tile or glass in the shower.

Scale Build Up on Faucets

Any water fixture will have a white, often time chalky, residue left behind where ever a spot of water is allowed to dry. Over time a white residue will build up at the end of the faucet and around the spray orifices on faucets and showerheads.  When water evaporates it leaves all of the minerals behind and that’s what forms the spots and scale build up.

Soap Doesn’t Go As Far

Another common effect of hard water is the way it makes soap less effective. Have you noticed that your soaps don’t lather or suds up as well as they should and you’re using far more soap than you expect? What about clothes in the wash – do they start to feel hard and stiff instead of soft and fluffy?  These are signs that you have hard water and you could use a water softener in your home.

At Kinetico, we’re here to help. We offer full-service water softener installation, replacement and repair so you can solve these issues once and for all.

For more on hard and soft water, or to learn about any of our water filtration services, speak to the pros at Kinetico today.

How Drinking Water Makes You More Effective at Work

glass of water

As employees and managers alike, we’re always looking for ways to improve our efficiency. People try all sorts of things to boost productivity when one of the simplest and best solutions is to drink more pure, healthy water.

Many people don’t realize how good water is for both the mind and body, and how drinking enough water can benefit you at work. Here are three areas where the benefit is clearly shown.

Physical Fitness

Feeling physically well is something we’re capable of, whether you’re a high-level athlete or not – and water plays a big role. A body that is properly hydrated is able to function at peak capacity, with benefits ranging from better breathing all the way to softer more full looking skin. If all you had to do to achieve better physical health is drink eight cups of water per day, would you?

Focus and Concentration

Many people feel tired at work, and look to pick-me-ups like coffee or other caffeinated drinks. In reality, this can cause its own set of issues – these beverages can dehydrate you, and this dehydration is often the primary cause of tiredness in the first place.

Research has indicated that people who are dehydrated have memory, concentration and even mood issues, on top of higher risks for anxiety. Drinking plenty of water to avoid this dehydration can help more than you might think.

Overall Energy Level

Coffee and similar caffeinated drinks can have side effects beyond dehydration, many go through a “crash” when the sugar and caffeine wear off – this slows down circulation and causes the body to naturally begin conserving energy. Choosing water helps restore proper circulation, which brings more oxygen into the blood and gets your energy level back up.

For more on how water helps workplace productivity, or to learn about any of our water filtration systems, speak to the pros at Kinetico today.

The Process of Water Finding Your Home

water ripple

At Kinetico, we’re proud to provide water filtration systems that provide you and your family with clean, healthy water. You don’t want to have to think about the quality of your water every time you get in the shower or grab a glass to drink, and our water filter systems will stop you from ever having to do so.

As professionals in this field, we have a great appreciation for every step of the process of water moving from natural sources to, eventually, your home. Let’s look at the basics of how this process takes place, including some of the most common sources of water.

Sources of Water

In general, there are two possible sources for your drinking water: Wells or a public water supply. The former are generally sources for people who live in rural areas, while the latter are usually used by those who live in or close to cities and larger metropolitan areas.

If you live near a large body of water, it’s likely the supply originates from there. People who use a public supply will be charged a monthly bill for the amount of water used in the home.

Process of Water Entering Your Home

Well water, also called ground water, requires drilling to access. On the flip side, surface water will be found from sources above the ground like lakes, rivers and streams.

In either case, water is collected using pipes to siphon it to a desired location. From here, it’s treated through a water filtration process that helps remove any chemicals or buildups that are unwanted. It’s then sent to either water tanks or an underground reservoir to be stored. From these locations, it can be pumped through pipes or mains that connect directly to your home water supply. When it’s already been used, waste is sent to a wastewater treatment plant for filtration and recycling.

For more on the process of water reaching your home, or to learn about our water filtration systems, speak to the pros at Kinetico today.

Winter Water and Weather Facts, Part 2

water splash

In part one of this two-part blog series recently, we went over several curious facts about winter weather and the water considerations that come along with it. As one of the wettest periods of the year in many parts of the world, we at Kinetico have a great interest in winter and water interactions.

Here in part two, let’s continue where we left off. Here is another set of remarkable facts you may not have known about winter weather around the globe.

Snowy City

Every year, citizens of Aomori City in northern Japan receive an average of about 312 inches of snowfall, a remarkable amount. This is about 26 feet of snow per year! This is the most average snow received of any major city on earth.

Salt

Salt is used on roads around the world to help remove ice and snow, and in the US alone, over 22 million tons of salt are used per year. That’s about 137 pounds of salt per person, per year.

Wind Chill

When talking about temperatures, have you ever heard the term “wind chill” used? This refers to the “true” feel of temperature – the air may be a given temperature, but wind speeds can make it feel even colder. This is calculated using a precise formula that we won’t even list here due to its complexity.

Snowball Formation

When we think of snowballs, we think of someone picking up a bunch of snow, then packing it together to make a snowball. But in some parts of the world, snowballs actually form on their own – “ice orbs” have been found in Siberia that reach nearly three feet in width.

Wet Snow and Snowmen

When building a snowman, you always want to go for wet snow. The perfect snow-to-water ratio, as determined by one scientist, is 5:1.

Snow Disposal

In some cities, there’s so much snow that it creates an issue with finding space to dispose of it. Certain large cities even dump snow in the ocean, but this takes heat from environmental organizations. Others use snow melters to melt snow at a high hourly rate, but this can be expensive and burn fuel.

Snowflakes Not Always Unique

We’ve all heard the legend that every snowflake is unique, and while this is usually true, there’s at least one instance of truly identical snowflakes. This happened in 1988 in Wisconsin.

Freezing Rain Versus Sleet

You may think of these two as the same things, but they aren’t. Sleet is a slushy form of water that’s semi-frozen by the time it hits the ground, while freezing rain is fully frozen.

For more on winter and water, or to learn about any of our water filtration systems, speak to the pros at Kinetico today.

Winter Weather and Water Facts, Part 1

water poured into glass

At Kinetico, water is our business. With products like our water filter system or water softener, you and your family can be content knowing you have clean, healthy water in all the areas you need it.

The winter is a particularly interesting time when it comes to water all around the world. In part one of our two-part blog series, let’s look at a few interesting winter weather trends, many of which relate to the very water you drink and interact with daily.

Snow in Unexpected Places

Most people expect snow to fall in northern areas of the world, but snow has been seen virtually everywhere on earth – including the Sahara Desert, even. Even the driest location on earth, the Atacama Desert in Chile, got over 30 inches of snow back in 2011 due to a strange cold front in from Antarctica.

Air Moisture and Snow

While rainfall is made up almost exclusively of water, snow – especially the fluffy kind – contains plenty of air, and this makes it bulkier. This means that not much moisture in the air is required to create snowfall, and a little air might lead to more snowfall than you’d expect.

Snow Fall Rates

For snowflakes with broad structures, snow generally falls at rates between one and six feet per second. Snow that falls in pellet form comes much faster.

Snowflake Sizes

An average snowflake will have a wide range of potential sizes: From just smaller than a penny to the width of a human hair. They can also grow much larger, though, with extreme cases being reported throughout history that reach up to 15 inches wide.

Thunderstorm Sounds

Most people associate thunder with rainfall only, but it can also be present during snow. This is called thundersnow, a rare winter occurrence that often happens close to lakes. Lightning can be tougher to see, though, and the snow can often limit the thunder sound.

Earth and Sun

The earth is closest to the sun during winter, though this distance has no effect on temperature drops in the winter – this relates to the direction of the earth’s axis, in reality.

Dropping Temperatures

During the winter periods, especially in the coldest months like January, temperatures can plummet in a hurry. In 1911, Rapid City, South Dakota began at 55 degrees Fahrenheit – only to drop all the way to 8 degrees in just 15 minutes, the quickest recorded cold drop in history.

For more on winter weather and how that affects your water, or to learn about our water filter offerings, speak to the pros at Kinetico today.

Problems With Hard Water and Acne

question marks

For many dealing with acne, finding a solution can be a frustrating process. You make big changes in numerous areas, from skin products to diet to exercise, and you’re still dealing with unsightly and potentially painful acne sores.

Have you considered that your water might be part of the problem? At Kinetico, we’ve seen numerous clients who switch from hard water to soft water and find major results with skin conditions like acne – why is this, and is there a connection between acne and hard water? Let’s take a look.

Hard Water Basics

Hard water refers to water that contains mineral buildups acquired from pipes and other appliances. The minerals in hard water, which can be found in numerous areas around the country, can leave deposits on kitchen fixtures and can etch or scrape glass in some cases.

You won’t always be able to see hard water buildups as they form, and that’s part of the problem – both for kitchen items and, perhaps more importantly, for your skin. The skin could be seeing major detriments from these buildups, and in our next section, we’ll go over how this relates to acne.

Skin Irritation

The goal of washing the face to reduce acne is washing away the various bits of uncleanliness on your face that have built up over time. But when you use hard water to do this, you’re really accomplishing the opposite – the minerals found in the water are actually adding to impurities on your face. Hard water also interrupts the way typical soaps and cleansers work on your face, and can block these soaps from washing away properly. All these factors can clog your pores and actively make acne worse.

Switching to Soft Water

If you’ve tried a number of other acne solutions without success, getting a water softener might be your best bet. Soft water won’t clog the pores, but will rather help clean and seal them as necessary.

For more on hard water and acne, or to learn about our water softener installation services, speak to the pros at Kinetico today.

Water Softening Explained

water going down drain

What makes water hard?

Water has a nasty habit of picking up magnesium, calcium, and other metal particles. If it picks up enough of them, as 85 percent of the nation’s water does, it becomes hard.  Water is defined as “hard” when it contains 121 or more milligrams of those particles per gallon.  If 121 milligrams doesn’t sound like much, consider that the average family of four goes through 146,000 gallons of water every year. Every three years, that’s over a half-ton of metal particles dragged through plumbing, with some of it staying behind, building up, and causing extensive (and expensive) damage. Although hard water can be safe to drink, it’s murder on water heaters, other appliances, and plumbing. That’s because those metal particles love to gather into rock-hard piles of gunk in the worst possible places, where sooner or later they’ll cost you money.

 How a water softener softens water

For those who are into physics, suffice it to say that water softeners remove hard water particles by means of an ion exchange. For those not into physics, here’s the plain English version. Inside every water softener tank are tiny beads made from specially treated resins. When the resin beads and hard water meet, a trade takes place. The water trades its calcium and magnesium particles for a small amount of salt from the resin beads. Unlike hard water particles, the tiny amount of salt in soft water is friendly to your water heater, washing machine, dishwasher, other appliances, plumbing, showerheads, shower walls, dishes, laundry, and skin and hair. It causes no problems because it stays dissolved and doesn’t pile up. Once the resin beads have given up all of their salt and collected all of the hard water particles they can hold, the water softener flushes them clean. That’s why you need to add salt from time to time to your water softener.

For more on how water softeners work, or to schedule water softener installation, speak to the pros at Kinetico today.

How Water Softeners Work

technician

As a homeowner or renter, chances are you’ve heard a lot about hard and soft water. These are definitions that describe the content of hard minerals in a given sample of water, with “hard” water referring to samples with higher quantities of these minerals and “soft” water referring to samples with lower (or absent) quantities.

At Kinetico, we offer the best water softener solutions around to turn tough, hard water that may aggravate the skin and cause several other issues into soft, clean water that’s both healthier and more comfortable for basic bodily use. Let’s look into the details of how a water softener works once you’ve had one installed in your home or business.

Hard Water Definitions and Statistics

The thresholds for hard and soft water are measured using the levels of hard water minerals in milligrams per liter of water. For water to be considered soft, it must contain less than 17.1 milligrams per liter (mg/L) of hard water minerals – anything above is considered some form of hard water.

Hard water varies in its definitions, however. Water in the 120 mg/L range is moderately hard, but becomes fully hard at about 180 mg/L. Anything above 180 is considered “very hard” water.

The prevalence of hard water in the United States is greater than many are aware of. Roughly 85 percent of US households are in hard water areas.

Ion Exchange

A water softener works using a process called ion exchange. The water softener contains resin beads that hold ion of either sodium or potassium – when hard water is passed through it, this resin captures dissolved rock ion (the hard particles we’re trying to eliminate). The resin then uses the sodium or potassium as a substitute, exchanging it for the dissolved rock ion.

Recharging

When all the resin in the water softener has picked up dissolved rock ions, it is now saturated. From here, the saturated softener is “recharged” with a saline rinse, which washes dissolved rock ions down a given drain and starts the process over again. The resin resets with fresh sodium or potassium, and is ready to soften water once again.

For more on how water softeners work, or to schedule water softener installation, speak to the pros at Kinetico today.

Hydration and Other Leg Cramp Causes

person holding their leg

A leg cramp, or a sharp, sudden contraction or tightening of the muscle in the calf, is a very common injury that most people experience at some time in their life. Proper hydration is a big part of combatting leg cramps, and our water filter systems at Kinetico can help ensure you’re properly hydrated.

What are some of the reasons you might be experiencing leg cramps?

Dehydration

Dehydration is perhaps the classic cause of leg cramps, and athletes or people who exercise often deal with them regularly. They’re especially common during dry months in the summer, as we lose more fluids while exercising.

Mineral Deficiency

When we sweat, we lose more than just water. We also lose electrolytes, another potential cause of cramping. Imbalances in sodium, calcium, magnesium or potassium can all lead to leg cramping. Sports drinks can help with sodium, as can a proper diet balanced with muscle-friendly minerals.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy raises the risk of leg cramps for expecting mothers, particularly during the second and third trimesters. Pregnant women should stay hydrated and consider magnesium supplements with a doctor’s approval.

Overuse

Even if you’re properly hydrated, overuse can still lead to cramping. This is usually caused by the nervous system becoming overexcited during exercise creating an involuntary cramp. Resting and stretching are important steps to avoid this.

Exercise and Fatigue

If you exercise regularly, be sure to make gradual increases if you’re looking to up your intensity level. Your body needs time to get used to the new intensity and movements, and cramps can take place if you over-extend them.

In addition, you’re more prone to leg cramps if you’re already tired. Consider when your leg muscles are already tired, and look to get them some relief.

Sitting or Standing

If you have to sit or stand for long periods of time, you may experience some leg cramping. Muscles need to move around, so make sure you take a break from repetitive activities.

Medications and Conditions

If none of the other items we’ve mentioned appear to be the cause of leg cramps, they could be due to medications you take. Speak to your doctor if you’ve just started a new medication and are experiencing leg cramps.

In addition, spontaneous leg cramps can sometimes be due to underlying conditions like peripheral artery disease or osteoarthritis. Again, check with your doctor if this is the case.

For more information on how our water filtration systems can help with hydration, speak to the pros at Kinetico today.