Category Archives: Children

What’s the Difference Between Water Softeners & Water Conditioners?

whole home water conditioner softener

As a new homeowner, you’ll likely face a common question: do I need a water softener? After some research, you’ll likely come across some info about a similar piece of equipment called a water conditioner. The differences between the two can be confusing, but making the right choice can have a significant impact on you and your family’s health and your home’s appearance and value. 

Many areas across the country – especially Southern California – have “hard water,” which means your tap water has exceptionally high mineral content.

Hard water is not particularly unhealthy, but it’s capable of causing some costly problems for your home. The most costly issues include scaling, pipe blockage and even pipe leaks. 

Your Home’s Health

Scaling is the buildup of minerals to form a deposit called lime scale. Hard water mixed with soap forms nasty soap scum, which leaves a bathtub ring on your surfaces. 

hard vs soft water

The difference in scaling between a showerhead with hard water and soft water is obvious.

Excessive scaling can lead to clogged pipes, which decrease water flow rate to your faucets and showerheads and can even affect the life of toilet flushing units.

hard water damage

A pipe clogged with hardness minerals.

Eventually, the scaling in your pipes will allow less water to flow through. Showerheads will dribble instead of spraying and faucets will deliver a weak stream of water. Buildup in your faucets can also lead to faulty shutoff mechanisms and dripping faucets.

The third costly effect of hard water is when dissolved minerals eat through pipes causing leaks and water damage in your home. It’s important to realize this potential issue early, because there are water pipes throughout your home and even a small hole can result in VERY costly damage.

hard water pipe damage

Pipe with a significant leak due to hard water.

 

Your Health and Happiness (and Sanity)

The effects of hard water are not limited to your home and plumbing fixtures; it can also affect your quality of life. Hard water requires more soap or detergent and water for showering and laundry.

åAdditionally, mixing soap and hard water on the body can cause what’s referred to as a “curd,” which can remain on the skin after rinsing, clogging pores. This serves as a breeding ground for bacteria, rashes and dry skin irritations.

Hard water also leads to mineral deposits in your hair, making it harder to untangle post-shower.

So What’s the Solution?

Now that you understand the multitude of issues surrounding hard water, let’s discuss the best way to get rid of hard water in your home. A water softener may be the more popular option, but I’m going to explain to you why a water conditioner is the better option for your home, your health and your wallet.

Water Softeners vs. Water Conditioners

Both water softeners and water conditioners solve the problems associated with hard water. The two are significantly different, though, in 3 main ways:

  1. Water Quality
  2. Simplicity
  3. Price

Water Quality

The biggest difference between water softeners and water conditioners is water quality. The reason is pretty simple: water softeners DO NOT filter your water and water conditioners do.

Water softeners use what’s called “ion exchange,” which swaps hardness mineral ions for sodium, reducing the water’s hardness. The problem is that softeners only focus on hardness, not contaminants such as chlorine and carcinogenic disinfectant byproducts like chloroform. 

Chlorine is generally the most noticeable contaminant in tap water (due to the large amount added in at a municipal level in order to disinfect water). It is also quite dangerous and damaging to your health and beauty. Chlorine can cause cancer over time when ingested and is notorious for drying out skin and hair. In addition to being dangerous to the body, chlorine can contribute to pinhole leaks in your pipes.

Without a conditioner, you will not be able to remove chlorine and other dangerous contaminants – you will simply have softer, dirty water.

Simplicity

As I mentioned above, water softeners use a process called “ion exchange,” which is about as complicated as it sounds. It requires electricity (which drives up cost of operation) and maintenance such as buying, hauling and adding salt periodically. In addition to being physically trying and time-consuming, adding salt also requires upwards of $200 per year.

Ion exchange is also not eco-friendly in any way. The process requires waste water to be expelled through a special drain. Research showed that this briny waste water was actually affecting area water supplies, leading to the recent ban of salt-based water softeners in cities such as San Diego and Los Angeles. That’s right: if you live in Southern California, you are likely outlawed from even purchasing a salt-based water softener.

Water conditioners do not use any electricity, saving your energy bill. They also create zero wastewater and require no maintenance aside from annual filter changes. Additionally, water conditioners use significantly less floor space in your garage and make no noise.

On an aesthetic level, conditioners produce water that mixes well with soaps and detergents, allowing you to use less of each, saving you even more money. Conditioned water also feels better in the shower, whereas softened water leaves a distinct “slippery” feel on the skin. 

Price

Of course, one of the most important aspects of any home improvement purchase is the price. What is it worth for you to have clean water and fortified investments in your kitchen and bathroom fixtures? Obviously, many companies will use this argument to justify ridiculously-priced items. But water conditioners are actually priced significantly below water softeners.

The Evolution Whole Home Water Conditioner starts at only $795, compared with softeners in the thousands of dollars, plus maintenance costs. Conditioners also save you from the electricity and water costs associated with a complicated softener. 

Most importantly, though, a Water Conditioner preserves the health of you and your family, as you can be sure the dangerous contaminants found increasingly in tap water supplies will be eradicated at the source. 

Call 619-356-3766 or email info@evolutionhealthworks.com today for more info about how a Water Conditioner can help improve your life and the value of your home!

Shampoo, Narcotics and Birth Control: Things You Didn’t Know You Were Drinking

drug water

When was the last time you drank shampoo? How about painkillers or birth control? Statistically, you consumed all of the above recently, whether you wanted to or not.

Researchers have found antiseptics, pharmaceuticals, detergents and a number of other products everywhere they’ve looked for them in our water supplies.

According to a study published by the EPA, the nation’s water sources tested positive for dangerous pharmaceuticals such as oxycodone, high-blood pressure medications and antidepressants.

Water treatment plants are not required to test for or monitor levels of these so-called “emerging contaminants” in our drinking water. Some of the products – such as shampoo and dish detergent – have been in our water supplies for decades, but skyrocketing rates of prescription drug use and abuse in the U.S. are leading to other contaminants that didn’t used to pollute our water.

In fact, a recent Mayo Clinic study determined that nearly 70% of Americans take prescription drugs. Many people flush their old and unused pharmaceuticals. The only proper way to dispose of old prescription or over-the-counter meds is to take them to a pharmacist. This doesn’t prevent all pharmaceuticals from getting into our water, though. We also urinate and otherwise excrete trace amounts of drugs and antibiotics into drains and toilets.

While emerging contaminants are not currently regulated, but this does not mean they don’t pose a risk. It’s unclear how emerging contaminants in drinking water affect our health, but it’s an area of growing concern among health officials.

One medication of which we know some effects is birth control. This is because hormones work at very low concentrations in the human body, suggesting that birth control can affect our bodies even though it shows up in low concentrations in our water. This possibility was highlighted recently when fish in the Potomac River were found to have both male and female sex glands after exposure to estrogen.

Humans have been lucky to not experience such extreme consequences, but the fact that fish are absorbing pharmaceuticals from human wastewater and suffering mutations suggests problems down the line. It may also come full circle, as we are likely to consume the same contaminants with our seafood.

While healthy adults have sophisticated detoxification processes that may protect them from emerging contaminants for the time being, pregnant women and children are much more susceptible.

Home drinking water filters are a good way to cut down the amount of emerging contaminants in your tap water, according to Timothy Bartrand, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at Drexel University, Philadelphia, who worked with the National Science Foundation (NSF) on drinking water research.

We encourage you to ask your water authority what it is doing to keep you safe from emerging contaminants. The number for the San Diego County Water Authority is (858) 522-6600.

Also, consider using an Evolution Drinking Water System in your home to not only cut down on emerging contaminants, but also add vital trace minerals to your family’s drinking, cooking and coffee/tea brewing water.

 

 

3 Reasons to Have Clean Water Throughout Your Whole Home

beautiful skin water youthful hydrated

We all know the importance of drinking clean water – it protects us from harmful contaminants and keeps us hydrated – but it’s also crucial that we filter the rest of the water in our homes.

Contaminants in our water can harm us in many more ways than just through drinking. Think of all the ways you come in contact with water throughout an average day.

Below are 3 reasons to filter every drop of water in your home. Enjoy!

1. Your skin absorbs contaminants freely

Your skin doesn’t only depend on the water you drink, it also reacts to the water in which you bathe. For the same reasons that water from the tap can be dangerous to drink, it can be even more harmful to shower in.

You see, our local governments add chlorine and other chemicals to the water supply to disinfect it, but this process creates byproducts that can wreak havoc on your skin and your overall health. When you shower, your pores open up and absorb these toxins, leaving you vulnerable.

2. You can inhale contaminants in hot shower water vapor

If you take hot showers (of course you do), you know that they create steam. If you breathe during your hot showers (of course you do), you’re inhaling compounds such as fluoride directly into your lungs.

Fluoride is added to the water supply by most major municipalities because it’s beneficial when used topically on our teeth. Recent studies suggest, though, that it has detrimental effects when ingested.

What is especially scary about this is the fact that vapors that you inhale hit your bloodstream significantly faster, meaning you could be more vulnerable to fluoride and other contaminants in your shower water than in your drinking water.

3. Whole home systems are affordable

It’s a no brainer that some type of whole home water filter system is necessary in any home. The problem is the confusing marketplace. Many companies will try to sell whole home systems for several thousand dollars.

The Evolution Healthworks Whole-Home Water System effectively removes chemical byproducts and other nasty substances from entering your home.

 

 

 

 

Dangers of Fluoride in Drinking Water to Bottle-Fed Babies

Via: pregnancyandbaby.com

On March 22nd 2014, organizers at Clean Water California held a march and rally in downtown San Francisco urging local water companies and health officials to issue public warnings about the dangers of using fluoridated tap water for baby formula. Their concern stems from the fact that most Bay Area water districts encourage the consumption of tap water, yet do not inform parents that tap water fluoride levels could be harmful to newborns and infants which are more sensitive to this harsh chemical.

 

Water fluoridation is the practice of adding fluoride chemicals to municipal city tap water for the purpose of preventing tooth decay. This is a very controversial practice since fluoride can be toxic and any dental health benefits that come from ingesting it through drinking water have been largely inconclusive. In fact, some recent studies have associated fluoridated water with reduced IQ in children making it a possible neurotoxin that can damage young developing brains similar to lead and mercury. Parents that use tap water to make formula are often not aware that basic activated carbon water filters, faucet mount filters or boiling water methods do not remove fluoride or that babies are much more susceptible to harm.

 

According to the Fluoride Action Network, infants receive up to 400% more fluoride per pound of body weight, than adults consuming the same level of fluoride in water. Their underdeveloped kidneys can only excrete 15-20% of the chemical whereas adults can excrete more than 50%. In fact, any chemical, microbial or heavy metal contaminants in the water will be much more harmful to the growth and developmental health of not only babies, but also toddlers and young children, and should be removed.  Fortunately there are water filtration systems that can do just that.

 

We at Evolution Healthworks make the AURA ALKALINE WATER FILTER which is designed to remove the contaminants including Fluoride, and unlike other systems, the water is then remineralized to make the healthiest drinking water. The filter, is application specific, meaning it is tailored to fit your home’s exact contaminant levels and remove them.
Fluoride is a dangerous compound, and whether it is ingested or absorbed through the skin, the compound accumulates in the body and regardless of whether you’re a toddler, child, adult, or senior can cause numerous health problems such as dental fluorosis, arthritis, and reduced thyroid function. We recommend everyone to learn more about the benefits of removing fluoride from the water, especially those who have an infant or young child in the home.

 

 

How To Encourage Your Children To Drink Water

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In today’s age, sugary and sweet drinks are ubiquitous, especially in advertising on children’s shows. Sugary drinks have been tied to health problems such as diabetes, obesity, and attention disorders. While it’s not deemed as “cool” as some of its sugary drink counterparts, water keeps your body hydrated without the negative side effects.

Check Out These Five Benefits of Drinking Water

The  British Government’s Chief Obesity Advisor, Professor Susan Jebb, issued guidance saying that parents should introduce strict rules about sugary drinks – limiting juice to one small glass a day with breakfast, and making water the mainstay.

So how can you persuade your children to kick the sugar habit? Here are 8 tips from The Telegraph

Make it fun

Put water in an attractive cup (children love having cups with brightly colored animal pictures or favorite TV characters on), add a novelty straw, use amusingly-shaped ice cubes, or add pretty pieces of fruit like strawberries. This might not persuade cynical adults to up their H20 intake, but is an easy to way to make water appeal to younger children.

Limit their options

Don’t stock your fridge with with fizzy sodas and colorful fruit juices – if you want them, but don’t want your kids to drink them, put the bottles somewhere they can’t see them. But it’s probably best to clear the offending items from the house altogether: children are rather good at tracking down hidden treats, and it’s best to be a be a role model. If they see you drinking water, they’re more likely to follow.

Water first, treats after

If you do want to let your children have fizzy drinks on occasion, encourage them to drink a big glass of water beforehand – once they’ve quenched their thirst, they are much less likely to binge on the sugary stuff.

Explain the benefits

Preaching the virtues of water might sound like a sure way to put your children off it forever, but kids are often genuinely interested in the human body. Take them to the library and get some books on how the body works and nutrition. Teach them how important it is to stay hydrated – even a grumpy teenager might decide to dump the cola if they realize it’s giving them acne.

Take small steps to improve the taste

Depending on where you live, water straight from the tap can be an unappealing prospect. Cold drinks are often more attractive to kids, especially in summer, so freeze your children’s water bottles before school (they’ll have defrosted by lunch) and stick a jug in the fridge that they can access. Filtered water might also taste a little better, while adding lemon and lime slices can add a fruity flavor with far less sugar than squash or juice.

Make it available

The best thing you to can do to encourage your children to drink water is to make it accessible. If they’re playing outside, give them bottles; at dinnertime, put a big jug on the table. If everyone in the family is drinking water constantly, they’ll get used to topping their water levels up.

Keep it positive

Resist the temptation to nag, or to focus on the fact that you want the kids to have water instead of sugary drinks. Encourage them to think about the health benefits, and treat drinking water as a normal part of the day, rather than as a chore.

Make changes gradual

It’s probably a bad idea to throw all the sugary drinks into the trash overnight and announce the next day it’s a water-only house. Start by making sugary drinks an occasional or weekend treat, rather than an everyday habit, serve them in slightly smaller glasses and offer your children the less-bad options, like weak squash instead of fizzy drinks. At the same time, introduce jugs of water to the house. If your child is really fussy, start watering down their juice or squash a little more every day, until eventually they are drinking straight water.