Healthy Water & Assisted Living — What You Should Know

Assisted Living

When you think of a place where delicate hearts and minds need special care, what is your first thought?

If you were thinking about a school, you’re likely not alone. But there is a certain faction at the opposite end of that spectrum where such a need also applies.

Seniors in assisted living are typically less resistant to potential contaminants in water. Because of this, they are at a higher health risk.

Today is National Senior Citizen’s Day, and we are taking a little time to show our love and support to those that helped build our country into what it is today.

Whether you already have a loved one residing in one of these homes, or you are in the phase of choosing one, what questions should you be asking about the facilities and its water supply?

Lead Pipes

How old is your targeted assisted living establishment? Many nursing homes are built on private well sites, which do not require any regulation from the EPA. While the majority of documentation as related to lead poisoning is with children, lead is not good for anyone, particularly seniors with weaker immune systems.

Ask the provider if the facility is on municipal water or if it has its own system. If the nursing home does use well water, does it have proper prevention measures in place, such as backflow prevention devices, updated well caps that are vented, insect and vermin proof.

Contingency and emergency planning for possible contamination is also important, as there should be alternative options available in the event of a well problem.

Legionnaire’s Disease

Legionnaire’s is an atypical pneumonia caused by bacteria found in fresh water. Outbreaks of the disease in nursing homes have been well-documented over the past decade in the news, particularly when deaths are involved.

A study in 2015 of more than 2,800 cases of the disease found that 533 (19%) of cases occurred specifically in a health care facility, such as a hospital and nursing home.

The CDC has openly requested that all health care facilities do more to protect its plumbing systems from possible contamination. Ask your facility provider to provide you details on how regularly the disinfectant and chemical levels are monitored.

Filtered Water Quality

Other naturally-occurring pathogens can cause issues with impaired immune systems, such as the elderly. Generally, Americans are growing worried about polluted drinking water. Many nursing homes use on-tap filtered water systems and/or have Culligan® bottled water delivery on hand for its residents to have easy access to.

Ask if the assisted living establishment your loved ones are considering are residing in uses a filter system. Taking care of one of the most essential elements for sustainable human life can help establish trust between all parties involved. A facility that invests in the health of its residents is a good sign that it takes itself seriously as an establishment.

Water Quality in Philadelphia Affects More Than What You’re Drinking

Water Quality in Philadelphia

Have you thought about your water quality in Philadelphia lately? August is National Water Quality Month — break out the reverse osmosis filters and water softener and have a cold one (glass of water) on Culligan!

While the Delaware River might be good for a boat or a swim, have you considered the factors that determine the quality of water that runs through your Philadelphia home, and how it affects more than just your drinking choices?

Though the average cost of homeownership in the Philadelphia area is exceedingly affordable over your New York neighbors to the North, as well as Washington, D.C., to the South, hard water can seep into your home budget and level those costs out.

Water isn’t just a naturally occurring element that has been sustaining all living beings in the area since before the days of Valley Forge and George Washington. Having the correct water softener and filtration system in place can help maintain and sustain a number of everyday items around your home.

Your Home is Taking a Beating

Hard water, a build-up of calcium and magnesium in your water system, can affect many other aspects of your everyday life. According to the Water Quality Association, hard water affects 85 percent of all homes in the United States.

Your plumbing system and its external parts are at risk with hard water. It can create buildup in your pipes that leads to low pressure and, perhaps worse, cause corrosion in your water heater, ultimately causing it to fail. That’s thousands of dollars in repairs!

It can also cause exterior fixtures such as your faucets and shower heads, to form an aesthetically unappealing buildup of calcium deposits.

Hard water also has a tendency to leave water spots or fade on clothing during the wash. That might be the reason your once-pearly white and red pinstriped Phillies jersey is now a murky pantone strawberry-and-cream tie-dye mess.

These spots can also occur in the form of an ugly residue of spots on glass or silverware. So if you’re planning on entertaining company, you should entertain the thought of purchasing a water softener, or else just head out to the Reading Terminal Market for dinner.

Do you use unfiltered tap water for those ferns and lilies in your Philadelphia garden? Your perennials may turn into “occasionals” if your water source is from the city, where calcium deposits coat the soil and eventually repel the water.

Your body will thank you after installing a water softener and your skin is not dry and flaky. Your daughter will thank you after installing a water softener when she goes to school without frizzy hair. Your significant other will thank your water softener for not having to hear you complain about it!

Is your fresh-baked bread a little flat, is your fresh-brewed coffee a little bitter? Hard water may shoulder the blame. Dissolved minerals in hard water can affect the performance of yeast and change the structure of gluten. The minerals in hard water also can reduce your coffee’s flavor.

Take Action in National Water Quality Month!

The Philadelphia Water Department releases an annual water quality report at the direction of the EPA, which requires water systems to issue yearly Consumer Confidence Reports.

The EPA designated August National Water Quality Month to encourage citizens and municipalities alike to be more cognizant of the caliber of water that comes in and goes out of all aspects of their respective everyday activities.

Contact your local, family-owned Culligan Mid-Atlantic water expert to get a FREE in-home water test to help protect your family and home from poor quality water.