Health and Living

Posts that help you make informed decisions about the water in your home, and how it affects your life.

Pool Chemistry: The Secret to Swimming Pool Science

by Abbey R Published 5.19.2016

I can't believe that it has taken me this long to write a blog about one of the biggest roles that water has played in my life: the water in swimming pools.  I was a competitive swimmer for 15 years, a lifeguard for 6 years and a swim coach for 4 years.  I've seen and smelled my fair share of swimming pools.  Just like your drinking water there are rules and regulations about swimming pools that are designed to keep you healthy.  The CDC (Centers for Disease control) recommends that free chlorine should be 1-3 ppm (parts per million) and the pH should be 7.2-7.8.  Other sources further recommend that the total alkalinity should be 80-120 ppm and the calcium hardness between 200-400 ppm.  Why are there such specifics about pool water?

One of the first things you notice when you visit a pool is how it looks.  A well maintained pool will have transparent water that allows you to see clearly to the bottom.  I've swam in some pools where you have to feel your way to the wall or lift your head out of the water to figure out where you are. 

Cloudy water can be caused from an improper balance of chemicals or filtration problems.  For an outdoor pool, the sun or too much rain can quickly cause an imbalance in chemicals.  In addition, outdoor pools face all sorts of other obstacles like birds, pollen and sunscreen.  Cloudy water is also caused by poor filtration.  The water should be going through a filtration system.  Some pools use a reverse osmosis system to reduce the amount of calcium in the water that tends to accumulate over time.  Using a reverse osmosis system allows the vast majority of water to be reutilized.  Score!

Another sense that you notice before ever going in the water is the smell of a pool.  A well-maintained pool shouldn't have any smell.  The pool smell comes from chloramines.  Chloramines are formed because of an interaction with compounds like sweat and urine.  Most pools that I have been to have a pool rule of showering before entering.  The shower cuts down on the compounds that can cause chloramine formation.  Adding more chlorine reduces the chloramines and thus the pool smell.  Similarly, when there isn't enough chlorine in the pool, our eyes and skin get irritated.  The pH is too low and chlorine needs added to raise it closer to the pH of human tears, 7.4.  Both of those things that we've been taught to mean that there is too much chlorine in the pool actually means there is too little chlorine in the water. 

Swimming pool water requires careful monitoring and adjusting of chemicals to ensure your health and safety.  This is very similar to a municipal water system although the complexity and end water chemistry is a little different.  So, before you dive into that refreshing pool, take a moment to appreciate the clean and odorless water and the chemistry that is making the water look so inviting.  


WQA in the News

by Diana M Published 5.5.2016

Water Supply Safety


By now we are certain you have read headlines regarding some US water supplies.  Perhaps some of these headlines are hitting close to your home. 

It is not our intent to belabor these headlines or to frighten anyone with news headlines.  However, we do feel that it is important that we all recognize our own role in our well being.  Just as the local water supplier adds fluoride to the water for the intent of optimum dental health, one still brushes his or her teeth.

We feel it is the same for your water treatment.  While the municipality is supplying the best water it can, we believe we should also ask ourselves if there are steps that we, as homeowners; should or could take to further insure we have the best water possible.

Unbiased Water Treatment Education and Information


This is the purpose of home water filtration products.  The proper selection insures that you are taking the steps available to you to further insure great water in your home.  The following press release is offered from the Water Quality Association and discusses the benefits of home water filtration and offers an unbiased water education.  You may find additional water and water treatment information from WQA at

 Text Box: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 17, 2016



Water Quality Association Addresses Lead in Drinking Water

Lisle, Illinois –The Water Quality Association (WQA), an Illinois-based not-for-profit organization, is committed to addressing issues affecting water quality. We support the use of certified water treatment products for final barrier protection at the home as lead in drinking water continues to be a pressing issue in Sebring, Ohio. WQA is a non-profit association, representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry, with over 2,700 members. We have technical staff and water treatment professionals ready to help.

WQA operates several programs to help provide education and resources to the public: 

  • Consumer education through publications such as Water Treatment for Dummies;
  • Fact sheets on common contaminants to provide more technical content for researchers, industry professionals and public health officials;
  • Testing and certification of drinking water treatment products through an ANSI and SCC accredited Certification program, and on-site state of the art laboratory; and
  • Training and Professional Certification for Professionals in the Drinking Water Treatment Industry, with a searchable database to connect consumers to water treatment professionals in their area;

Here are frequently asked questions about lead answered by WQA’s technical team:

What are potential health effects from lead?

Lead poisoning often displays no outward symptoms; however, irritability, weight loss, vomiting, constipation, and stomach pain are possible signs to look for. Young children and pregnant women are at the greatest risk, even from short-term exposure. Reduced cognitive development and neurobehavioral deficits are associated with blood levels less than 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) in children. Therefore, there is no safe level for lead to be present in the blood of children. Individuals will adsorb more lead if they have poor nutrition than those with better diets.

For more information please visit:

US Department of Health and Human Services:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

Where can I go to get my water tested?

Water testing should be done be a certified testing laboratory. WQA strongly recommends water testing be conducted at each point of use in accordance with appropriate sampling procedures. The water should be checked after a period of disuse before a specific water treatment product is selected. Water conditions can change, so the water should be tested both before a treatment product has been installed and at regular intervals following installation.

Here is the list of Ohio certified labs:

How do I maintain a filter once it is installed?

Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions and contact the manufacturer to confirm usage and capacity. To ensure the manufacturer can provide the most accurate recommendations, have water test results for lead on hand for review.

Where can I find a product certified for lead reduction?

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited entities offering product certification include: Water Quality Association’s Product Certification Program, NSF International, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, and Underwriters Laboratory. All of these certifiers have product listings. To find WQA certified products for lead reduction, visit:

Contact information for local professionals and manufacturers of certified products can also be found at


WQA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. To best serve consumers, industry members and government officials, WQA has an ongoing dialogue with other organizations representing all aspects of the water treatment industry. Since 1959, the WQA Gold Seal certification program has been certifying products that contribute to the safe consumption of water. The WQA Gold Seal program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).


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Drink More Water!

by Diana M Published 4.14.2016

The other day, I deceived myself into thinking that I could kick my brain into high gear with caffeine.  I thought I could concoct a home blend of high test mocha java honey goodness, drink it down and all the magic would happen.  Once my senses were ramped up, I'd be totally inspired, and I'd slam out an all-enlightening, award-winning blog. 

I bet you're already guessing how that went. 

I don't normally drink caffeinated beverages.  I am the Original, Self-Professed water snob who primarily drinks water - cold, clean, refreshing water.  But since I was feeling a bit sluggish, I thought it would be a good idea to try a different approach to getting my creative juices flowing.  What an epic failure!

I ended up with a massive headache, the body jitters and an inability to focus.  I really didn't feel good at all.  My first thought was, "How do daily coffee drinkers even function?" My next thought was, "How do I make this stop!?"  Then I realized I was dehydrated.  That's what caffeine does to the body, especially a body that isn't accustomed to drinking caffeine.  My caffeine consumption not only dehydrated me, but I also realized that I had deprived my body of the nourishing water it was used to receiving.

Rather than whipping up a stimulating blog, I barely managed a few emails that morning.  So I poured myself a nice, tall glass of water and downed two ibuprofens.  I followed it with a second glass of water and considered how I probably did not need the ibuprofen at all; I just needed the rehydration from the wonderful water. 

The experience got me thinking more about caffeinated beverages versus water, and I found some interesting information.  Many believe that caffeinated drinks energize us, but water is a much better energizing drink.  It carries nutrients and electrolytes throughout the body.  It flushes out impurities.  It helps control calories by eliminating sugars and other agents that cause weight gain.  Over all, water simply assists every area of our body to function to it's maximum performance.


I agree that caffeine gives that initial jump of energy; however, there are no beneficial nutrients to sustain the energy.  And the crash that frequently happens after consuming caffeine might make you think you need another dose of caffeine.  That's how the vicious cycle begins.

It took my little experience to reinforce what I already knew: drinking water is the best beverage to get the body and brain started.  Never mind sugary juices, alcohol and sodas.  I'll stick with water.

As for this blog - I think you already came to the conclusion that I didn't write it when I was dehydrated and hyped up on caffeine.  I saved it for another day.  In fact, today I have indulged myself with multiple glasses of cool, refreshing water.  What a difference.  The temperature outside is starting to drop, so I might heat some water in the tea kettle, pour it into a mug, and add a slice of lemon.  I will forego the tea.  I like to keep things pure.  But I will continue to be thankful that I have clean, fresh water at my fingertips.  And my body is thankful too. 





Is Your Water the Best It Can Be?

by KineticoAdmin Published 4.7.2016

Why You Should Test Your Water Supply


Contamination Concerns


It seems that everyday there is a new story about public water systems being contaminated with hazardous materials of one sort or another.  The state of our country's infrastructure is crumbling due to age, overuse, and lack of maintenance.  Even folks with private water wells are at risk of their groundwater becoming contaminated.  This is not to say people should panic or be worried.  To the contrary, awareness is the first step toward preventing and correcting any problem.  Do you have concerns about the quality and safety of the water in your home?  

Water Quality Concerns


Most of give little thought to how and where water is used in our everyday life and home.  We often take for granted that we can walk up to, and turn a spigot for instant water.  We wash our clothes with little thought as to when and how much water is consumed to clean our laundry.  We give little thought to the water in the coffee maker percolating in the corner, until the machine stops working.  We tend to not even notice issues with our water until something isn't working properly or someone's health is negatively affected. 

Quality of Life 


As is evident in the third-world countries, a life without clean water is very hard.  While we may not experience the same struggles as they do in those third-world countries; the quality of our water impacts our quality of life.  For instance, does Flint, Michigan ring a bell?  Access to clean water is not the only way water affects our quality of life.  Clean water improves the taste and smell of cooked food, improves health, lengthens the overall lifespan and improves the operation of appliances, requires less detergents for cleaning, and saves you money. 




When You Should Test Your Water Supply


Primarily Five Instances for Testing 


Listed below are the recommended occasions for getting your water tested.

  1. As soon as something such as taste, odor, or color changes in the water dispensed in your home.
  2. When purchasing a new home (some states require testing and meeting specific standards prior to title transferring).
  3. Fixtures are showing signs of buildup, or water-flow is slowing.
  4. Water and Electric bills are rising.
  5. Appliances not working or burning out, for instance water heaters not heating water, dishwasher not cleaning dishes, coffee maker not operating.


Not Sure Where to Start?

People around the world look to Kinetico for custom solutions to their water problems.  And so can you.  Simply click the link below and fill out the form to schedule a free water test, and your local water professional will contact you within 24 business hours.    



Tech-Assisted Water Conservation Empowers New Generation

by Guest Bloggers Published 3.24.2016


Global Water Crisis 


There can be an overwhelming sense of helplessness when it comes to our global water crisis.  I know a couple who recently got back from Las Vegas.  The husband chuckled at his wife who was obsessed with keeping all the lights off in their room when they were not there.  (The tour guide was quick to point out that the Bellagio uses non-drinkable, recycled well water.) 

What Can You Do?


But isn't that where it starts?  In the face of such massive consumption of natural resources, does a single person's habit's really matter?  Monitoring one's personal consumption is one way people can feel less powerless, and if there are enough people doing it, it does make a difference.  Enter, one of many tools out there that empowers users to learn more about their "water footprint." 

The Water Calculator


I had my friends give the calculator a whirl, and they were shocked at what they found.  First, that a 10 minute shower uses more than 25 gallons of water (one of them takes such long showers, they had to invest in a shower clock so they aren't late for work).  The site challenges users to keep showers to the length of two songs.  To add insult to injury, one shower head uses twice as much water as the other because it is outdated.

Already at the third question, they were looking at their water consumption habits in a new way.  The site has a clean, fun-to-use interface, which I think plays into their modern sensibilities.  The couple uses apps to conduct every aspect of their daily business - why wouldn't water conservation be any different?

In a world where 1 in 10 people lack access to safe water, the water crisis is the No. 1 global risk to our society.  Meanwhile, by limiting their morning showers to the time it takes to Whip/Nae Nae and plan their James Dean daydream look for the day, they're doing something.

Personal Water Use and Consumption


So what are some other things the couple learned, just from a quick sweep through this nifty tool?  Their awareness of grey-water systems was raised, they're now considering native flowers and grasses, and they may even someday be able to "let it mellow."  The also learned that a self-serve car wash only uses 14 gallons of water, compared to the 100 gallons it takes when using a water hose.

But it didn't stop there.  The tool also analyzed "virtual water use." which accounts for daily commuting, shopping habits, whether they recycle, and more.  They even learned that by donating their clothes to Goodwill, they are assisting in water conservation.



While most of the general public by now knows that Energy Star appliances are good and leaving the water run while brushing your teeth is bad, this tool was able to open up their eyes even wider using a language they speak - technology.  We need more tools like these. 

By: Chris Knippa, Owner of Kinetico Water Softeners of San Antonio




Frozen Water Worries When You Live In the Snowbelt

by Brian L Published 2.25.2016

I've always found that when I have not been drinking enough water I start to get a headache.  And this winter has proven to me that an overabundance of water can generate headaches as well, but they are of a different sort.  We live in northern Ohio, south of Lake Erie in what is referred to as the "snow-belt."  This means we get a substantial amount of snow every year.  Fortunately, this year we have not had any extremely heavy snowfalls in our area, but what we have had is many small to moderate snowfalls and this had led to a significant amount of snow being piled-up everywhere. 

I have spent a lot of time clearing my walk and driveway this year.  Lately, the snow piles have gotten so tall that it is getting difficult to clear more snow.  One pile in particular is taller than me.  If I use a snow blower to clear the drive, I can watch as the blown snow just rolls right back down the mound into the just cleared driveway.  And when I use a shovel, which I often choose to do for the exercise and because it gives me more control over where the snow lands, it is getting more and more difficult because I now have to lift the snow over six feet in the air to keep it from falling back onto the driveway. 

But where I really get the headaches is from the snow on the rooftops.  Being in a century home, the insulation is not spectacular, because the house was not built with insulation in mind.  This leads to heat escaping from the house into the attic.  So the attic roof is warmed enough to cause the snow on it to melt.  This melting snow runs down the roof until it reaches the overhang which is not warmed because below it is the outside.  Once it gets to this part of the roof, the meltwater refreezes.  This leads to icicles and ice dams.  As long as it stays cold outside, this melt-freeze cycle continues, until the collection of ice on the overhang is so thick, the meltwater no longer has anywhere to go and pools up on the roof.  Pools of water on the roof is a bad thing.  No matter what you do, that water will find some way to continue its path towards the earth.  This typically means it is coming through the roof and into the house. 

I have already had to deal with saturated insulation and drywall in our recently renovated mudroom, and it still appears there is no end to the snow and cold this year.  The mudroom is not too steep or high, so I have been able to chip and shovel that area clear.  But I have many more ice dams much higher up that I have concerns about.  After climbing 20+ feet on a ladder that was propped up on one of these extremely slippery blocks of ice to toss some salt filled stockings up over the ice in the hopes that it melts a channel that allows the water to drain. The way the ladder just slid around on the ice, I've decided that the safest course of action is to cross my fingers that we don't have anymore problems and just try to wait it out.  

As it starts to warm up I'll once again have my fingers crossed in the hopes the ice that falls does not once again rip the gutters off the house or destroy anything else.  I've now promised myself that before next winter, I will have installed some ice melting cables on the roof to minimize the ice buildup in the future.

As vital as water is, apparently you really can have too much of a good thing. 




Steve Schimoler: Cooking with Kinetico Water—Superbowl Pizza Dough Recipe

by Guest Bloggers Published 1.28.2016

Based on Steve’s passion for cooking, innovation and creating the best flavor in his recipes, he realizes that no ingredient is to be overlooked, including water. In 2012, Steve teamed with Kinetico to prove the notion that purified water is core to creating great-tasting dishes in his restaurant and in the home. Read more about culinary expert Steve Schimoler.

Chef Steve Schimoler

When I think about having friends over for a Super Bowl party, one word comes to mind: pizza. The biggest football event of the year doesn’t seem complete unless pizza is on the menu.

Homemade pizza dough is actually pretty simple to make…with the main ingredients being flour and—you guessed it—water. But you don’t want to use just any water. Purified water will help ensure that the taste of the dough is free from minerals and true to its flavor. Plus, water that it too hard can lead to stiffer dough whereas very soft water can create a slow-rising, weaker dough. Purified water ensures that the dough turns out as intended.

Of course, water temperature and the amount used can play key roles in the quality of the dough, as well as the temperature and humidity in your kitchen as it will effect the proofing and “rise” of your dough. It may take a few experiments to get the dough consistency you’re looking for… or as you search for alternate crust styles. But it’s worth it in the end as there is nothing really like working with the supple texture of the dough as you knead it and work it with your fingers.

The only other advice I’ll give is to be careful: once you start making your own pizza dough, you won’t want to eat any other kind ever again.

Superbowl Sunday Pizza Dough


Kinetico Reverse Osmosis Water (110°F to 115°F) 2/3 cup
Sugar 1 tsp.
Fast Rise Yeast or Active Dry Yeast 1/8 oz. package
Bread Flour 1 3/4 cups
Salt 1/2 tsp.
Cornmeal (optional) 1 TBSP


  • Combine water and sugar in small bowl; stir to dissolve sugar.
  • Sprinkle yeast on top; stir to combine.
  • Let stand 5 to 10 minutes or until foamy.
  • Combine flour and salt in medium bowl.
  • Stir in yeast mixture.
  • Mix until mixture forms soft dough.
  • Remove dough to lightly floured surface.
  • Knead 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic, adding additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed.
  • Place dough in medium bowl coated with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Turn dough in bowl so top is coated with cooking spray; cover with towel or plastic wrap.
  • Let rise in warm place 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
  • Punch dough down; place on lightly floured surface and knead about 2 minutes or until smooth.
  • Pat dough into flat disc about 7 inches in diameter.
  • Let rest 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Pat and gently stretch dough from edges until dough seems to not stretch anymore.
  • Let rest 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Continue patting and stretching until dough is 12 to 14 inches in diameter.

You’re ready to assemble your pizza now and feel free to improvise with your toppings, but I tend to go with the straight up Marinara and Mozzarella style. You can use a pizza pan to bake on, but I prefer using a pizza stone that’s already in the preheated 500 degree oven and using a pizza peel, slide the pie onto the stone and bake till it starts to blister on the crust and the cheese is fully melted and starts to bubble. Eat right away! Enjoy.

Quench Your Thirst Every Season

by KineticoAdmin Published 1.14.2016

You've probably already heard the warnings about drinking enough water when the temperature rises. But your body needs an adequate supply of water no matter what the temperature. Even in cooler temperatures, you should make sure you're getting enough water. Dry outside temperatures and heated indoor environments evaporate moisture from your skin and contribute to fluid loss.

Most medical professionals recommend drinking eight glasses of water during an average day. On hot days, or days when you're exceptionally active, you should probably drink more water. And it is especially important to drink water before, during and after exercise.

Not sure if you're getting enough water? Take the following quiz:

  • Do you feel tired even though you've had plenty of rest?
  • Do you easily lose your concentration throughout the day?
  • Are your feet, hands or ankles swollen?
  • Do you cramp up during exercise despite having stretched beforehand?
  • Do you feel thirsty

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may be suffering from dehydration. And dehydration can lead to such problems as fatigue, impaired physical ability, weakness, dizziness, headaches as well as other ailments.                                           

These are also signs of dehydration:

  • Dry mouth
  • Marked thirst
  • Infrequent urination
  • Dark yellow urine
  • Sunken eyes
  • Skin lacking elasticity


Don't wait until you feel thirsty to have a drink. Doctors recommend drinking before you get thirsty. In fact, by the time you feel thirsty, you are probably already dehydrated. Try to avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages which act as diuretics. And avoid iced beverages after strenuous activity.  Many people choose to quench their thirst in hot weather with icy drinks; however, ice actually causes blood vessels to shrink, limiting how quickly fluids can be absorbed into the body. For rapid fluid replenishment, drink beverages that are closer to room temperature.

Although you do get water from the foods you eat, drinking water is your best for staying hydrated. It contains no fat, calories or caffeine. And it is absorbed quickly into the body since it doesn't contain any sugar to slow down the absorption process.

So sit back, relax and have a nice drink of water. If you have additional questions about dehydration contact your doctor. 



Beauty Secret...The Missing Link

by Guest Bloggers Published 12.31.2015

Want to lose weight, have better skin and hair in the new year?  Drink more water. 

Water should become your best friend.  It not only does wonders for your looks; it could be the missing link to your weight loss!  In fact, water will make you look younger.  By flushing out all the impurities in your skin, you will be left with a clear, glowing complexion.  Also, saggy skin due to aging or weight loss will soon look full and luscious when the skin cells are fully hydrated.

Water is also a necessity when it comes to exercising because it helps improve muscle tone.  Many people don't understand why they work out all the time and have a hard time seeing results.  Your muscles need to be hydrated to contract more easily, making your workout more effective, and your desired results more noticeable.

Not drinking enough water may be what is holding you back from losing that little bit of extra weight.  The simple act of drinking the right amount of great tasting, quality water can be extremely beneficial to dieters.  By drinking the right amount of water, your body will perform at its best, burning fat and calories, while allowing the body to metabolize and shed excess fat.

For those of you who are not consuming the amount of water needed for your body, you actually may be increasing your body fat.  When your body gets dehydrated, the body seeks water from other sources, including fat cells.  If your fat cells have less water there is less mobilization of fat for energy.  Also, without water, your kidneys wont be able to function as well, putting extra stress on the liver slowing down its ability to metabolize as much fat as it should. 

Water is also a great substitute for snacking throughout the day.  It naturally suppresses your appetite and helps you digest your food properly.  Increasing your water intake will naturally speed up your metabolism allowing your body to better absorb nutrients from the foods and nutritional supplements you consume each day.  You will have the results of natural, healthy weight loss.

So the next time you are thirsty, try drinking a glass of great tasting Kinetico water.  The right amount just might help you lose weight, look  better and feel great. 


Great Tasting Holiday Meals Start With Quality Water

by KineticoAdmin Published 12.3.2015

Even with modern conveniences such as microwaves, automatic bread makers and convection ovens, cooking can consume a lot of time and effort in the kitchen.  However, a simple solution can make a difference in the taste and appearance of prepared foods-quality water.

Most people who own drinking water systems use them strictly for drinking purposes.  But, it would be worth their while to use that quality water for cooking as well.

From soup stock to coffee and tea, clean, clear, quality water lets the vibrant flavor of food and beverages really come through by eliminating the negative smells and tastes sometimes associated with ordinary tap water.

A common element found in tap water, particularly in municipal water systems, that can wreak havoc with your culinary skills, is chlorine.  Although it is essential to disinfect municipal water supplies, chlorine can alter the taste and coloring of foods.

Another snag that may put a damper on your dinner plans, is hard water.  Hardness in water can shrivel steamed vegetables and cause the colors in food to fade.  The ideal method is to blanch vegetables in quality water for five to seven minutes, or just until tender.  This will ensure you get the desired color, texture and flavor from them. 

Pasta is another food that falls prey to hard water.  Noodles cooked in hard water tend to become mushy and clump together.  But with the use of treated water, your pasta dishes will turn out "Magnifico!"

Food is not the only thing that will benefit from treated water.  Fruit juices, coffee, tea and any other beverage made with water will improve because quality water eliminates the need to mask the taste and odor found in tap water.  Also keep in mind that since treated water has nothing to hide, you can add more water and less flavoring to your prepared beverages.

So the next time you are planning that big meal, consider the benefits of having quality water in your home. 


Water: Understand it, Value it, Respect it. Learn more about life’s most vital resource.

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