Stick to bottled water to avoid unwanted illnesses when visiting one of these 8 destinations
Depending on where you travel, that seemingly innocent and (hopefully) clear water may not be as transparent in terms of quality as you would hope.
Imagine this: You’ve thrown down thousands of bills (or millions of miles) on plane tickets, hotels, and epic guided tours for an experience that’s supposed to tide you over adventure-wise for at least a few months. You finally touch down in your chosen destination with eager eyes agape and an upbeat attitude that shouts, "I’m ready for anything." You’re a little thirsty, but you won’t let a parched throat dry up your fun fountain; you pour yourself a glass of water from the first faucet you find and chug it down like a fraternity pledge trying to earn respect, experiencing instant oral relief... that is, until you remember that whole spiel you heard about being extra-careful when drinking unbottled water from faraway lands.
Click here to see the Don’t Drink the Water: 8 Places to Turn Off the Tap (Slideshow)
Depending on where you go, that seemingly innocent and (hopefully) clear liquid may not be as transparent in terms of quality as the stuff from your hometown tap. Microscopic pathogens, bacteria, viruses, and protozoa present a plethora of potential problems for your gastrointestinal tract, making it essential that you exert the utmost caution in countries (and even certain domestic destinations) you’re unfamiliar with.
A brush with E. coli, salmonella, or cholera bacteria, giardia or cryptosporidium (protozoa), or hepatitis A or polio viruses could alter the course of more than just your excursion, so it’s imperative to boil, filter, or use other purification aids (including the UV-utilizing SteriPEN and iodine and chlorine tablets) on any water before your deem it potable. To ensure you don’t make a devastating mistake, here’s a list of the world’s most notorious nations for having tap water troubles. We’ve even thrown in a few U.S. cities to be wary of — because you can never be too careful when traveling, even on your own soil.
Don't drink the water
Karin Farrington likes Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola likes Karin Farrington. The 40-year-old Asda cashier lives opposite Coca-Cola's giant bottling plant on Cray Road in Sidcup, Kent. She drinks Diet Coke 'with everything' and sometimes Coke delivers free cans to her door. 'It's Coke's way of saying they care about the people who live around the factory,' she says. Yet Farrington waves a reproachful finger at the Coca-Cola logo emblazoned in red flowing script on the grey gates of the bottling plant. 'How could they be so stupid?' she says. 'How could they do it?'
The 'it' she is talking about is a plastic bottle with a blue label which is lying empty on her kitchen table. 'This bottle of Dasani water was produced at the factory over the road and I'm keeping it as a souvenir,' she says. 'You can't get Dasani any more, unless you buy it on eBay. I'm going to fill up this bottle from the tap. It will be the same product that Coke was making - only 3,000 times cheaper and 100 per cent safe.'
Coca-Cola wanted Dasani on everybody's lips last month and it was - for all the wrong reasons. Coke dumped its new bottled water following a cancer scare and an unprecedented consumer revolt. In spite of Coke's claims that its 'NASA-approved reverse osmosis multi-barrier filtration system' created water so pure it was better than the real thing, consumers thought they were getting little more than Brita filtered water at 95p a bottle. When illegal levels of cancer-causing bromate chemicals were discovered, Coke had no choice but to recall 500,000 bottles and abandon the drink's launch.
The Dasani scandal has left Coke nursing a £25 million loss from cancelled production contracts and advertising deals. The damage to the firm's reputation is 20 times that figure, analysts say. The launch was an extraordinary gaffe for a company which has marketed its way to become the world's most valuable brand, worth $70 billion, and which has often joked that one day every kitchen will have three taps: cold water, hot water and Coke. 'Coke is a marketing company. Customers drink the image of youth and vigour it creates,' says Allyson Stewart-Allen, a London-based marketing analyst who was born in north America and has studied the rise of Coke. 'Anything that threatens that image strikes at the company's future - and you don't get much more threatening than selling tap water which turns out to be an expensive disaster.'
The crisis has left Coke drinkers and the company's many detractors pondering the same questions. How could a feel-good firm that boasts 2,000 customers a second - 200,000 in the time it's taken to read this far - create so much bad feeling? After introducing Diet Coke, Vanilla Coke, Sprite, and Fanta, not to mention buying the Malvern water brand, without the slightest PR wobble, how could Coke's UK executives get it so wrong?
To find the answers, you have to travel beyond Sidcup - to south Georgia, USA, where, almost 120 years ago, a chemist called John Pemberton invented Coca-Cola as a cocaine-fuelled brain tonic which cured headaches, hysteria and melancholia. Coke's corporate headquarters are at the corner of Luckie Street North West and North Avenue North West in downtown Atlanta. With a Holiday Inn Express on one side of the road and the Montgomery Knight Building of Engineering on the other, this corner does not look like the kind of place to stop but, if you stand there long enough and stare at the skyscrapers and secret laboratories of Coke Central, you get a rare feeling. It's the same sensation you get when you stand on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC and look past the World Bank and the IMF towards the White House. It's power. You may not be able to see Coke's 12,000 customers a second but, standing there, you somehow know they're out there.
Coca-Cola guards the secrets of its world-beating power so closely that it rarely allows outsiders into its Atlanta fortress. However, executives recently invited Observer Food Monthly inside. They wanted to talk about how changing consumer tastes had forced Coke to abandon its 100-year-old trademark slogan: 'Coke is it!' how the firm was diversifying, splitting Coke into new flavours and introducing new health drinks, notably Dasani and how the company was using marketing to stay 'it'.
It sounded a simple enough idea, but with the world's most powerful brand, nothing is straightforward. Take getting in. It may take 12 hours to get from London to Luckie Street but to walk the 200 yards into Coke's headquarters takes a lot longer, in my case, three months. The journey started with a phone call. Jonathan Chandler, Coke's Communications Director for Europe, said he wanted to help. Four weeks later Polly Howes, PR chief in Atlanta, called. The trail went cold again until one evening when a London-based Coke representative called. 'Can you go tomorrow? There's a flight at eleven. Gets in at four.' He outlines the deal. I fly in a Coke-approved airline - Delta. I stay in a Coke-approved hotel - the Ritz Carlton. From the moment I arrive at Heathrow airport to the moment I return, one, two, sometimes three, minders will accompany me - everywhere, it turns out, except my hotel room and the lavatory. Twenty four hours later I'm in a taxi driving into Coke Central.
'Photo ID please,' drawls Larry, the man on the gate. 'No cars allowed up to the building. You'll have to walk.' Passports checked, Marc Landsberg, minder number one, and I walk through the courtyard to the white marble gatehouse that leads to 'The World'. We're handed electronic passes and go through the airline-style security check. 'Where's your chaperone? You can't go anywhere without your chaperone,' says the security guard. Minder number two, Polly Howes, arrives. She's smiling and carrying a clipboard and a stopwatch. Flanked by Howes and Landsberg, I take my first steps inside the Coca-Cola Company of North America.
You only have to spend a few minutes there to realise that, for the world's biggest brand, Coke is everything and everything is Coke. Giant Coke bottles, decorated by well-known artists, line the walls. Coke scientists work behind the smoked glass of Coke labs, guarded by security men. There is a Coke dispenser on every corridor. Everyone is so Coke-focused they talk in 'Coke Code', the firm's own private marketing language. They say 'share of stomach' or 'share of throat' when they mean market share. 'Beverage occasion' means it is time for a Coke. 'Enhancing the footprint' means selling more Coke drinks.
It is tempting to dismiss Coke's PR machine and the marketing babble as little more than typical North American corporate zeal but it is much more than that. It reveals the key to the Dasani fiasco. Coke has become the world's strongest brand by doing one thing - and one thing only - under the strict control of the company's all-powerful global marketing machine.
For more than 100 years, it has focused on a single flavour of fizzy brown liquid. Twelve fluid ounces of carbonated water, sweetener, flavour additives, colour additives and a dash of caffeine has defined the firm as a constant amid change and made its shareholders rich. For the Coca-Cola Company, Coke is 'it' and 'it' is Coke.
Or, rather, it was. The launch of Dasani has highlighted how far Coke has been forced to diversify in recent years. In a world drenched in colas and crying out for health drinks, notably water, the number one drinks company cannot stay number one by selling Coke alone. Changing tastes have forced the firm to branch out into new market sectors, notably fruit juices, power drinks, iced tea, coffee and, of course, bottled water - the fastest-growing new market of all. In the UK alone the water market is now worth £1.2 billion and it is growing at 20 per cent a year. In little more than a decade Coke has launched more than 300 non-cola drinks in 200 different countries, including dozens of waters. There are now more non-cola drinks than there are Cokes. In Britain the main brands are Fanta, Sprite, Lilt, Five Alive, Dr Pepper, Oasis fruit drinks, Kia-Ora, Minute Maid, Powerade sports energy drink, Malvern water and, for 10 days in March, Dasani.
Launching so many new products so fast might not sound like much for a $70bn corporation but for Coke, whose unique, historic appeal is that it makes a 'one-flavour-suits-all' product, it is the riskiest thing it can do. It was Andy Warhol who said: 'We all drink Coke. The President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke and you drink Coke. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good.' The opposite is now true. Coke now comes in 11 flavours to suit changing tastes and the firm launches dozens of new non-cola products every year. The risk is that Coke will start to make uncharacteristic mistakes and lose control of the global drinks market.
In Britain it already has. Observers say the firm's UK executives, normally so focused on the single task of selling the fizzy stuff, tripped up when it came to doing something different. Coke prides itself on the accuracy and thoroughness of its market research. Research shows that the UK bottled-water market is all about the natural purity of the source. Yet Coke not only decided to sell purified tap water - but to make a virtue of it. It stressed its NASA-style purification process could transform tap water into something more wholesome than natural spring water. Then it confirmed that Dasani sold in France and Belgium would be natural spring water.
Coke also prides itself on its knowledge of local markets and culture. But no one at the London headquarters appears to watch television because, if they did, someone would have pointed out that Sidcup was the last place anyone - let alone the world's number one drinks firm - should bottle tap water and sell it for 95p a pop. We all remembered the Only Fools and Horses episode in which Del Boy Trotter did just that, passing off the results as 'Peckham Spring'. And at almost a pound a bottle, Dasani tap water was more expensive than many natural mineral waters. Most serious of all, Coke ignored the most basic lesson of all - making sure that it had put in place stringent safety checks to ensure its 'pure, natural water' was pure and natural.
Critics say the the blunders prove that Coke has diversified too far, too fast and is now pushing for growth on so many fronts it is forgetting what made it number one in the first place. According to Constance Hays, author of Pop: Truth and Power at the Coca-Cola Company , published last month: 'The Dasani crisis is a case of a giant that is so desperate for growth that it appears things are being overlooked. Coke are master marketeers, they can sell pretty much anything - even tap water in the right market - but sometimes they get so caught up in the marketing that they lose touch with reality.'
Today, things look as bad for Coke in Britain as the ad slogan for Dr Pepper, one of the firm's products, suggests: 'What's the worst that can happen?' Rita Clifton, chairman of the giant branding agency Interbrand, says: 'Dasani has been humiliating. The Coca-Cola brand itself may be tarnished.' But, fortunately for Coke, Britain represents less than five per cent of Coke's global market. Coke continues to sell steadily in the biggest market, the US - a solid achievement in a market that is saturated with colas.
At the same time, figures from Canadean, the independent food and drink analysts, show Coke's non-cola drinks, such as Powerade, Fanta, Oasis, Minute Maid, and Five Alive, are gaining market share, accounting for 76 per cent of the company's volume growth between 1998 and 2002. Sales of non-cola products are growing at more than 11 per cent a year. Dasani, in particular, is booming in the US. The purified tap water is the number two bottled water brand, behind Pepsi's purified tap water brand, Aquafina. The firm's water sales have grown by more than 50 per cent in each of the last three years to reach 1.3 billion litres. Last year Coke's total revenue rose by eight per cent to £14bn.
How has Coke pulled it off in the States? And can it do the same in Britain when memories of the Dasani fiasco have faded away? The man with the answers sits in a blond wood and black leather office on the twentieth floor of a tower at Coke headquarters called 'North America'. Chris Lowe, Coke's US marketing chief, is 6ft 5in tall and has a two-foot-long machete on his desk - a souvenir from the days when he ran Coke's Caribbean operations from an office in Puerto Rico. Ask the wrong question and Lowe replies: 'I'll have to use the knife on you.'
Yet he is conciliatory when talking about the future of the brand. He says Atlanta executives have quietly abandoned Coke's cherished ad slogan 'Coke is it!', concluding that the drink cannot be 'it' when there are 11 different flavours of Coke itself and the firm makes more than 300 non-cola drinks. But behind closed doors, they have hatched a $1bn plan to ensure that even if Coke is no longer 'it', the company's 'family' of fizzy and still drinks will be. In Coke code the strategy is called 'Occasion Marketing'.
To see how it works, it is best to switch on the telly. The trademark Diet Coke ads, in which women office workers ogle a bare-chested window cleaner, might look like light-hearted fun but they contain a targeted message that Diet Coke is a daytime treat for health-conscious women and men. Contrast that with the advertisements that the firm used last year to launch Vanilla Coke which were only screened in the evenings and had a dark tone to stress that Vanilla Coke is an evening drink for sophisticated adults. The 'Can't Live Without It' billboard advertisements for Dasani, showing healthy young couples drinking together, suggest that it is for people who want to take care of themselves and enjoy simple, pure pleasures.
By creating different different Cokes, for different folks, the firm has ensured that, in the US, its hundreds of different drinks do not compete with each other. Over the past year, the firm's share of the US fizzy drinks market has grown by four per cent. Non-cola drinks have grown so sharply that they now account for more than 36 percent of total sales. Coke is now trying to repeat its US success in Europe by introducing new drinks and dreaming up fresh occasion marketing gimmicks. In spite of the Dasani saga, several of these new drinks will be bottled water. There are already plans to increase the production and marketing of Malvern mineral water, which Coke owns, and new products are in the pipeline. An ad campaign showing water flowing through the streets of Britain has already been shot and is ready for release.
Jonathan Chandler, Coke's European Communications chief, says: 'Coke-produced water is a proven success in other parts of the world. Purified water will be the fastest growing product in the bottled water market. We see no reason why it should not be popular in Europe. It is right to bring it to the market and that is what we will do. We are not ruling out bringing back Dasani itself in Britain. In what shape or form and how and when is still to be determined, but we continue to believe purified water is the right product for the UK market.'
A new Coke water, launched so soon after last month's PR disaster, would be the boldest move the US giant has made since it tried to change the formula of classic Coke 20 years ago. Does the firm stand any chance of success or, as with 'new Coke', will it be forced to perform another embarrassing U-turn? Back in Sidcup Tracey Howes thinks Coke can get away with it. The 36-year-old runs Kerry's sandwich bar just around the corner from Coke's Cray Road bottling plant. 'Everyone around here is "bleedin' Coke this" laughing about Delboy and Sidcup Spring but that won't last forever. My customers like all the drinks Coke makes and if, one day, there is a cheap Coke water, they'll probably love that, too. Most of them won't even know it's made by Coke and, if they ever found out, most of them wouldn't care.'
Today, in Britain, you can only buy souvenir bottles of Dasani on eBay but soon it - or something that looks and tastes very like it - will be back in the shops. Coke may have got a soaking in Sidcup, but it is not giving up on the real thing. Stand by for Water Wars II.
Best Cube and Sphere Set: Glacio Ice Cube Trays
The single most highly reviewed silicone ice mold, this duo set from Amazon is easy to use, and perfect for extra large ice. You can choose between cubes or spheres, and both trays are made from extremely thick silicone. Each mold is approximately 2 inches in diameter, making each cube a truly impressive addition to your beverages. Ideally, these can be added to decorative alcoholic drinks, but are easily adapted to other creations as well. The top and bottom spherical pieces fit easily together, forming an effective seal for the rounded shape. To top it off, these trays are flexible and dishwasher-safe.
Water Kefir Grains (Tibicos)
Like kombucha and milk kefir, you need a SCOBY or symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast to culture water kefir properly. The bacteria present in this culture produce small, gelatinous crystals called water kefir grains or tibicos.
And those little crystals turns sugar water into a bubbly, fermented drink. Most importantly, you can't brew the drink without them.
These tiny, crystal-like grains can form naturally beneath the skin of prickly pear cactus fruits (1). Further, it’s likely that early brewers captured tibicos from the wild and then cultivated the culture through domestic brewing.
Dr. Fernstrom: Hate drinking water? 7 delicious ways to stay hydrated
The heat and humidity of summer make it prime time for dehydration. And we all know the easiest solution: drink a lot of water. Sounds good, but what if you just don’t like the taste of plain water, and even the thought of carrying around a water bottle is a non-starter for you? You can’t ignore your body’s fluid needs, otherwise you’ll likely experience sleepiness, headaches, dry skin, dizziness or feeling light-headed.
And how much water do you really need to drink? The eight glasses of water a day is myth. Sure, it sounds good, but has no scientific basis. The 64 ounce estimate is okay for some, but too much or too little for others. It might surprise you to know that the best way to monitor your fluid intake is by thirst. But that means being mindful of when you are beginning to get thirsty — and not ignoring those early signals (when you’re parched and super-thirsty, that’s too late).
You want to address your fluid needs before you become dehydrated, and the easiest way is to take a peek in the toilet bowl after you pee! Your urine should be pale yellow, like the color of lemonade. If it’s darker than that, it means you need to boost your fluid intake.
How do you eat Vietnamese dry noodles?
Deconstructed Vietnamese noodles that come with an additional bowl of broth are fun to eat and great for those who don’t like to eat too much of the soup or like to keep their noodles dry. There are various ways to eat dry noodles: using a soup spoon to add some broth into your bowl or adding some broth into your soup spoon and using chopsticks to add some noodles on top and taking a mouthful.
I like to add a splash of vinegar and spicy Chinese-style mustard to it too, and eat with soy sauce soaked pickled jalapenos too.
The Dirt on Store Water
Water dispensed for a fee by vending machines at supermarkets often has a far higher bacterial count than good old tap water, officials at two Southern California health agencies said this week.
While the higher counts do not represent a clear health danger, the officials said they indicate that some of the machines may be dispensing water that is unclean and does not meet the quality standards vending companies promise consumers.
“If it was myself, my family, my friends, I’d say don’t drink the water from the vending machines. Microbes should not be growing in water, certainly not at these levels,” said Mark Buehler, director of water quality for the Metropolitan Water District, which supplies the bulk of Southern California water, including 60% of the water in Orange County.
“You’re safer drinking the tap water,” Buehler said. “Not only are you safer, but you’re paying, oh, let’s see, about 250 times less per gallon.”
The warning from health officials reflects the findings of an extensive yearlong study by the Environmental Toxicology Bureau of the Los Angeles County Agricultural Commissioner/Weights and Measures Department, as well as the results of a small random sampling that the water district did earlier this year.
“The public,” the study concluded, “is paying for water quality it is not getting.”
No Orange County vending machines were tested in the two studies. But for users of the roughly 700 vending machines in Orange County and the more than 9,000 statewide, the suggestion by health officials was to turn on their faucets at home instead.
The supermarket vending machines take tap water and process it to eliminate chlorine and other substances that are not harmful but that many consumers find unpleasant tasting.
If the carbon filters in the machines are not replaced regularly, if spigots are dirty or if the machine’s germicidal treatment processes don’t remove contaminants as they should, they become a rich breeding ground for bacteria, said Marty Rigby, assistant general manager of the Orange County Water District, which maintains the county’s ground water supply.
“These filters are a wonderful medium for the growth of bacteria. In fact, they are often made from the same materials scientists use to grow bacteria in labs,” Rigby said.
“Over time, those filters get gummed up and get yucky stuff on them and simply need to be replaced. You are really relying as a consumer on the reputation of the vending machine company to make sure that they service the machines and change their filters. If they don’t, you can end up with worse water from a poorly maintained facility than you would get from the tap water that goes into it.”
The vending machine industry has been licensed by the state Health Services Department since 1989. But the agency does not inspect vending machines or the water they dispense, relying instead on vendors to test the water and send in their results.
A top food and drug scientist with the state agency, Chang Lee, defended the department’s noninspection policy Friday. He said that because the vending machines use water that already has been certified as drinkable by local water providers and because the levels of bacteria found in the two studies were below acceptable limits, “there is no public health concern at this time.”
But the state’s food and drug division chief, Stuart E. Richardson Jr., acknowledged that it appears some of the vending machines have not been adequately maintained.
As a result, he said, California plans to start a statewide sampling program to randomly test the machines and the water in them.
Regular or even one-time inspections of all the vending machines in the state would be prohibitively expensive, Lee said.
About 85% of the vending machines statewide are operated by Glacier Water of Carlsbad.
Al Aulwurm, a safety specialist at the company, said water from his company’s vending machines is safe to drink and worth the money. “I consider it very safe,” he said. “I drink it every day.”
Aulwurm said the company changes its carbon filters more often than required by the state, and he welcomes statewide testing of the machines. “If there are some disreputable water companies out there,” Aulwurm said, “they would be exposed.”
The Los Angeles County study found that the average bacterial count in the 279 vending machines it tested registered 1,306 parts per billion of bacteria. That’s 163 times the level of bacteria in tap water, which, at 8 ppb, is just under the state regulatory limit, the study said.
Though certain bacteria can be dangerous, such as fecal coliform, the study found that most samples contained bacteria that came from common organic compounds, which are not necessarily a health risk.
But it also found that 38% of the water sampled from vending machines contained levels of trihalomethane that exceeded the state regulatory limit of 10 ppb. Trihalomethane, a byproduct of disinfecting water with chlorine, has been associated with increased cancer risk in laboratory animals and increased risk of miscarriages for women in their first trimester of pregnancy who drank five or more glasses daily of water containing 75 ppb of the chemical.
“Some of these [samples] are higher than 75 [ppb of] trihalomethanes,” said Wasfy W. Shindy, deputy director of the Environmental Toxicology Bureau.
And 2% of the vending machine samples had water with levels of lead that exceeded the state regulatory limit, the study found.
About 15% of the machines tested advertised their water as “purified,” and 62% contained dissolved solids exceeding state limits, the study said.
The sampling by the water district was hardly as scientific. In it, agency officials tested water from perhaps six vending machines in Los Angeles County.
Water from each of the machines had “relatively high levels of microbial activity, certainly high enough to cause concerns,” Buehler said.
Buehler said all of the vending machines tested had dirty spigots.
“You have no way of knowing what the person who used it before you did,” Buehler said. “The one advantage of tap water is at least no one can get their fingers into your pipes.”
SAWS answers frequently asked questions about boil water notice, low water pressure
SAN ANTONIO – As if this week didn’t have enough challenges already with power outages, icy streets and other winter weather woes, now many people in the San Antonio area have been asked to boil their water.
For SAWS customers, the recommendation came Thursday and prompted many questions from KSAT viewers.
We reached out to Anne Hayden, SAWS communications manager and got some answers.
Why is this being called a “voluntary” boil recommendation and not a Boil Water Notice?
At this point, TCEQ is not requiring SAWS to issue an official Boil Water Notice. That requirement is triggered when there are confirmed contaminants in the water.
“By in large we have great confidence in our system, but some of the tanks have been emptied and refilled, so we’re not entirely certain that something might not have intruded into the pipes,” Hayden said.
Hayden said that when water pressure drops below 20 psi (pounds per square inch) there is an opportunity for sediment, dirt or bacteria to get into the pipes.
“Right now, there’s no indication that happened, but once the pressure is back up we will test everything in our system. Until then, we can’t certify that it’s 100% safe,” Hayden said.
The SAWS spokesperson added that people who haven’t lost any water pressure this week shouldn’t have any issue with the safety of their drinking water.
Can you drink water that has been filtered through your refrigerator or with a reverse osmosis system at your sink?
A filtration system that just uses carbon filters would not be good enough, Hayden said. So water from your refrigerator would still need to be boiled. However, if you have a reverse osmosis system or a UV filtering system, you can drink the water without boiling it.
What about ice in my refrigerator’s ice machine?
The ice is only filtered with a carbon filter, so it would not be safe to use unless the ice was made before any water pressure issues. If you have electricity and would like ice, you should boil the water first and then make ice with it, Hayden said.
How long do I need to boil my water and what about using the water for other things?
The following instructions come from TCEQ:
Water for drinking or other human consumption should be boiled and cooled prior to use. The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes.
Suggestions for different types of water use:
Household dishwashers generally are safe to use if the water reaches a final rinse temperature of at least 150 degrees or if the dishwasher has a sanitizing cycle.
To wash dishes by hand:
Wash and rinse the dishes as you normally would using hot water.
In a separate basin, add 1 teaspoon of unscented household liquid bleach for each gallon of warm water.
Soak the rinsed dishes in the water for at least one minute.
Let the dishes air dry completely.
How long will the boil water recommendation last?
Hayden said for some areas, people may need to boil water for several days. SAWS has more than 200 pump stations, and technicians need to get to all of them and test the water.
If there is contamination, the pipes will need to be flushed and the water retested.
But she doesn’t expect that the entire city will need to boil water for days.
“What we will do is announce the areas that are clear as they are up to full power and get tested,” she said.
Will there be water distribution?
As of Thursday morning, SAWS officials were still working out a water distribution plan. They will announce the plan later on Thursday.
If I have low water pressure or no water, should I turn the water off at the meter to avoid problems when the water pressure is restored?
Unless you know you have a broken pipe or a leak, it’s not necessary to turn the water off at your meter, Hayden said.
When the water is restored, it will be pushed out at your normal water pressure rate.
“The pressure in the system will gradually build up, it’s not going to turn on like a fire hose,” Hayden said.
Hayden said engineers have a strategy for which pump stations to bring up and when to bring the pressure up.
“Your water pressure won’t be any higher than it normally is,” Hayden said.
Is there anything I should do when full pressure is restored and I get an all-clear on the water quality from SAWS?
When the boil water recommendation is rescinded, you will probably want to run your faucet for a short while to clear the pipes. There may be some sediment that needs to be flushed out.
You may also want to take the aerators off of your faucets and clear any sediment there.
Hayden said there is always sediment in our pipes because we have hard water in San Antonio. When the water pressure goes down, that sediment gets kicked up in the water.
How will I know if I have a water leak?
Other than the very obvious gushing water scenarios, you may discover you have a leaking or broken pipe if you find wet spots near your floorboard or on your carpet. You may also see damp spots on your walls or ceilings if you have a pinhole break.
When the temperatures warm up, you’ll want to check your irrigation system for leaks.
Another way to check if you have a leak is to monitor your meter. (Click here for instructions on how to do that.) If there is a lot of water running through your meter, you most likely have a leak. If the leak occurred somewhere on your side of the meter, you will need to call a plumber or fix it yourself.
For leaks outside your property line and on the city’s property, you would call SAWS.
7 Easy Ways to Drink More Water Every Single Day
There are many benefits to drinking water. Hence why we’ve been told constantly to “drink eight glasses a day.” For starters, staying properly hydrated can help with energy levels, and brain and immune function by preventing dehydration, a condition that can cause unclear thinking and result in mood change, according to the Centers for Disease Control. But in addition to the cognitive advantages, it also improves your blood circulation, flushing out toxins and impurities so your skin can remain hydrated and free from acne and wrinkles. But despite the known benefits, it can be a challenge to reach our intake goal even when day after day our body is clearly telling us to “drink more water.”
One of the telltale signs that you should up your water game is, you guessed it: thirst. But according to science, when this happens you’re already dehydrated. Speaking from experience, I’ve been known to get the good ole hydration headache in my day, and if you’re like me you know what I mean. With busy schedules and a running to-do list, it’s not easy to commit to staying hydrated, but with the proper steps put in place, staying on top of your water intake can be easy. Professor Stavros Kavouras, assistant dean of graduate education and director of the Hydration Science Lab at Arizona State University, says one of the best ways to ensure you are drinking enough water is to have it in arms reach.
“If you have to get up and walk across the house to your kitchen or get up from your desk and walk to the water dispenser, you probably won’t do it,” he says. “Additionally, two ways to measure if you’re drinking enough is to monitor how often you go to the bathroom, with 6 to 7 times per day &mdash or every 2 to 3 hours &mdash being an adequate amount, and how light your urine is, with lighter being better.” Read below for seven additional tips for how you can stay hydrated and drink more water every day.
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Add lemon or lime to your water
It’s no secret that some may prefer to opt for flavored beverages such as tea or juice, but adding a splash of flavor to your water is something you can easily do yourself. All you have to do is slice up some lemon or lime (if you’re feeling extra adventurous, try using other fruits such as grapefruit or strawberries) and squeeze it into your water or leave it in your pitcher overnight for added flavor. If that’s not enough to get you sipping, drinking lemon water also comes with its own list of added benefits such as preventing kidney stones and providing much-needed vitamin C, which is vital in the body’s healing process.
Use a water app
We use apps all the time. So why not use it to drink water? There are an array of water apps out there such as Daily Water Tracker Reminder, which allows you to set your daily water intake goal and then log every ounce (or milliliter) with just a tap or Aqualert: Water Tracker Daily, which notifies you throughout the day to keep you properly hydrated. As an added perk, it also uses your activity level to determine your daily water requirements to make sure you’re getting the proper amount of water. Just download them to your phone and start tracking. And if you’re not an app person, simply using the reminder tool on your phone works, too!
Opt for water when eating out
Who doesn’t love eating out, especially when so many people are cooped up inside all day? Because this can be seen as a special “treat,” it’s common to get the urge to go all out and order a soda when you’re out, but next time you’re at your favorite restaurant, consider opting for water as your beverage of choice. This can help you stay hydrated, save money and watch your caloric intake, according to Professor Kavouras. “This is a great approach and I am a definite supporter of choosing water when eating out,” he tells SheKnows. “Water is a great hydrator and comes with a major advantage: 0 calories. So, if you have any caloric drink, you’re adding extra calories that your body doesn’t need.”
Treat yourself to a nice water bottle
I for one am much more inclined to drink water when it’s in a non-plastic bottle because yes, the environment matters! It’s easy to do your part and drink water when you buy a reusable water bottle. My suggestion? Get one that’s big enough to satisfy your daily intake needs like the Stanley IceFlow Jug, which comes in 40 and 64 ounces. Plus, with this option, you’ll be really doing your part as these jugs are made in-part using recycled plastics made from discarded fishing nets.
The 64 oz. IceFlow Jug is perfect for carrying with you on on-the-go or just drinking around the house. It comes in three different colors: Polar, Lagoon and Hammertone Green (pictured above), and is designed with all-day ice-cold hydration in mind.
Keep water bottles filled in your house, car and even in your bag
With so many of us spending time at home, leaving water bottles around the house can definitely help increase your water intake. Keeping a bottle in the living room, kitchen and bedroom are great starter spots. You can also feel free to expand your water bottle surface area by looking to include your purse or car. And if you don’t have a garage and are worried about leaving a water bottle outside &mdash especially with temperatures getting higher &mdash set your sights on a bottle that offers all-day cold hydration. Stanley offers plenty of options, but I suggest going with the Stanley IceFlow Tumbler or Water Bottle. The tumbler comes in 20 and 30 ounces and the water bottle comes in 17 and 22 ounces. You can’t go wrong with these options as they’re both great for bringing on the go for errands so you can have cold water at the ready.
The Stanley 22 oz. IceFlow Flip Straw Water Bottle is leak-proof and fully packable, with vacuum insulation that keeps drinks icy all day. And you’re even able to carry the bottle with you as you travel because of its flip straw and handle to carry or clip.
The Stanley 17 oz. IceFlow Water Bottle has a leak-proof flip straw and double-wall vacuum insulation to ensure your water stays cold throughout the day. Plus, it has an easy-to-carry handle so you don’t have to worry about taking it with you on errands, to the gym, to the store, etc.
Bring a water bottle to your next workout
No matter the workout, whether it’s a dance routine in my living room or an afternoon run, I break a sweat. During a workout, it’s much more likely to get dehydrated since your body is losing water as you sweat, which makes it that much more important to bring water to your workout. If you already do, then you’re on the right track, but to ensure you go the distance, challenge yourself to drink the entirety of your water bottle during the course of your workout. You don’t have to drink it all at the same time, but by taking breaks and drinking water, you can guarantee you’ll remain hydrated throughout your workout.
Reward yourself when you hit your intake goal
We all love to be rewarded for daily tasks and it’s good to know you’ve accomplished something on your list of to-dos &mdash and drinking water is no exception. If you’ve set a goal to drink 64 ounces a day every day for a month, pat yourself on the back by treating yourself to something special. It could as big as buying that new top you’ve been eyeing or as little as spending extra time doing your favorite activity. No matter the reward, you’ll be glad to know that you were able to reach your goal and maybe even feel inspired to increase the intake amount next time around.
How to Make Oat Milk & Save Tons of Money
Oat milk has made the leap from niche vegan milk to mainstream supermarket staple, but the truth is, homemade oat milk is incredibly easy to whip up, and much more affordable. Here’s how to make oat milk in any flavor you want, and what to do with it.
Our video producer Olivia Geyelin shows you how it’s done:
Vitamix A2300 Series Ascent Blender, $449.95 from Williams Sonoma
A powerful blender is a huge help here.
Why Make Oat Milk?
Many commercial oat milks have unnecessary additives to help them last longer and be shelf stable after processing, so making it yourself means you know exactly what’s in it. It also means you can control the level of sweetness and overall flavor according to your personal preference.
The best brands of oat milk can be expensive, so making it at home also saves you money. Of course, the price of store-bought oat milk varies by specific label and store location, but buying a few cups of oats from the bulk bins will always be cheaper in the long run. Plus, it’s the type of incredibly easy DIY project that feels extra satisfying for being so simple (and tasting so good).
As for why oat milk over other non-dairy milk, it’s a favorite for an inherent natural sweetness from the oats and a creamier texture than soy milk and some other alternative milk options. It’s generally considered to be the closest plant-based milk comes to the taste and texture of cow’s milk, so even regular dairy drinkers are liable to like it. And since it’s not a nut milk, it’s more broadly allergy-friendly.
What Ingredients Do You Need to Make Oat Milk?
Arx0nt / Moment / Getty Images
You’ll want to be sure to buy old fashioned rolled oats, and certified organic is preferred to ensure there’s no cross-contamination. If you’re gluten-free, be sure you buy oats that are certified gluten-free too. If you use quick-cooking oats (which have been much more processed), you’re more likely to get slimy oat milk. But less-processed steel cut oats are too coarse to work well.
Since the other main ingredient is water, make sure you use good-tasting, clean water too. If you don’t like to drink the stuff from your tap, you don’t want to use it for oat milk either.
After that, it’s up to you. You can add a sweetener like maple syrup or honey (or blend pitted dates with the oats and water), sprinkle in a pinch of sea salt and/or cinnamon, or even add a couple teaspoons of cocoa powder for chocolate oat milk. A splash of vanilla extract is also a nice touch in any case, but totally optional.
What Equipment Do You Need for Homemade Oat Milk?
A blender is a must, and the higher-powered the better. A nut milk bag is ideal for straining, but you can also use paper towels or cheesecloth over a large bowl, a fine mesh strainer, or even the cut-off end of a clean nylon stocking. A large mason jar or other tightly lidded container is needed to store your milk.
Did I miss something here. Because salts contain cations and anions, one has to account for the mass of the anion. So, sodium chloride (NaCl) is only 58% sodium. In order to replicate the Gatorade sodium content, you need to use 275 mg NaCl per 8 oz, or 2,200 for 2 quarts. Same considerations for potassium chloride (KCl, 40% K+) is 52 mg for 8 oz or 416 for 2 quarts. Somebody check my math.
Are you saying that the "Sodium" (or "Potassium" for that matter) content listed in the nutritional info on food packaging is overstating the amount of sodium we are actually ingesting?
Dear Cyto: I think you've assumed fungusamungus used different measurements. Using the amount of sodium per 1/4 teaspoon serving as described on the product label (not NaCl or KCl in milligrams, but the net amount of Na+ and K+ in that serving size), fungus has neatly skipped the anion/cation confusion by using the calculations provided by the Morton salt company -- which we hope is correct.
After using this recipe several years ago, I decided to try it again but redid the math for a gallon and slightly different salts.
1 Gal water
1/6 tsp Nu-Salt (Potassium Chloride only) = 530mg Potassium
¾ tsp salt = 1770mg Sodium
2/3 Cup + ½ Cup sugar = 224g Carbs
1 Pkg unsweetened Kool-aid
I find that 1 pkg is plenty for a gallon and, when I use lime, it tastes just like my discontinued favorite "Lime Rain".
Also, I use Xylitol because it's better for my teeth.
Dude, maybe ease up on the judge-y judging attitude? Like thanks for the instructions, really helpful for me when I can't get to the store, but you have no idea why anyone's drinking the faux gatorade in the first place. Maybe they're rehydrating. Maybe they're like me and they dump salt like it's going out of style and need small doses of it regularly, cause the big doses just get dumped in one go. Maybe they just like it. But making people feel guilty for drinking salty sugar water is kind of unnecessary, and not really something that's needed. It kind of makes the whole article go from "Hey, cool! I was looking for this!" to "Uh. Okay then. I think I'll just go drink my salt water in peace."
There's ALWAYS gotta be someone whining because they feel they've been offended. Just shut up and take the recipe dude.
Small point, you didn't actually respond to what I said, you just called it whining. So. isn't this. whining cause you feel like I'm whining?
Asking someone to make less assumptions is pretty normal and okay, and frankly, why does it bother you so much that I would ask that? I didn't say the recipe was bad, I didn't say they needed to shut up, I asked them to make less assumptions. If no one constructively crits, then no one gets better.
I didn't think the article was "judgy" at all. I personally sweat like nobody's business and run at least 7 miles a day. I'm not going do pay upwards of 2-3 dollars every day for something composed almost entirely of ingredients you can buy at the store for 90% cheaper. This is a good article and you shouldn't criticize it.
"And for all of you who aren't losing those precious electrolytes through exercise, there's an even cheaper option: water. You don't need a sports drink to drive, walk around, or work on a computer all day. You also don't need all the sugar in these drinks either. So unless you really need that optimal 6% of carbohydrates that Gatorade insists improves your hydration, just fill up a glass of water and drink it up."
That's strictly copy+pasted from the instructions. I didn't criticize the information or directions I criticized the last paragraph. I criticized the assumption that the only reason you would/should be drinking gatorade or homemade equivalents is because you're exercising. There are more reasons to drink it than just exercising. I drink it because I need a dependable way to routinely get salt into my body. Yes, even while I'm on the computer. Because my body dumps salt like crazy, and you kind of need a minimum of it in your body to function. I know other people with chronic illnesses who drink it when they can't stomach other foods. Also people with colds, dealing with dehydration and lack of appetite. And those are just the examples off the top of my head.
So once again, I'm not criticizing the main portion of the article. Thanks for writing it, op, it helped when I couldn't get more gatorade powder. But the last bit was unnecessary, and preach-y.
(And also, let's just remember, there are places where the tap water is really unsafe to drink ((Looking at you, Flint)), and gatorade and bottled water are some of the substitutes for this. Why we gotta shame people for that?)
This is nearly identical to the sports drink I've been making for cycling. Personally, I skip the sea salt and use double the Morton Lite Salt.
I usually use a fruit juice as flavoring, plus it also adds a bit of fructose. Since it can easily be 100-degrees Fahrenheit on the road in summer, I only use juice for more moderate weather as I get concerned about spoilage. I've tried Kool-Aid but I'm afraid of staining my bike clothes and the white paint on my bike. I recently found lemon powder in a spice shop and it has been working great. It's more thirst-quenching than other options and is fabric- and paint-safe. One-eight teaspoon per quart/liter tastes great.
One trick I use is to mix a batch of the powders in a dry blender and turned to the highest speed. It pulverizes the sugar and salt into a much finer powder which dissolves easily in cold/cool water. I reserve this for taking with me in powder form on rides as you never know what will be the temperature of the water you find.
I joined just so I could reply to your tip. I work at the hospital and have studied nutrition for the past 6 years. I have learned that the morton's salt is not the best. If you are using the salt in a drink as a "gatorade" alternative, I would recommend using a sea salt. If you live in the US, try the brand Real Salt. This salt is from Utah and has over 60 minerals it is only mechanically processed, no chemicals. If you don't live in the US, try to find a sea salt from whichever continent you live. Our bodies can best assimilate the minerals from the "area" (continent) where we live. I know the Himalayan salts are very poplular these are great if you live in the Himalayas. Unfortunately, Mortons lite does not contain the minerals which your body is craving after a good sweaty workout.
Good luck! hope that was helpful
Cali Brat, I joined just to let you know, you're wrong. Appeal to nature. There is nothing wrong with table salt, unless you over consume, then it will kill you, but so will any other salt.
Also, just an FYI, Himalayan sea salt has traces of radioactive substances such as: radium, uranium, and polonium. It's also has substances that act as poisons, such as thallium. So much for appeal to nature.
Thanks for your input. You enjoy your table salt. I will enjoy my balanced sea salt. I will continue to use my old Morton's for cleaning my stainless steal pots and pans when necessary.
I was just sharing information and trying to add to the other's (dacker's)comment. Sorry if you felt offended in any way! Have a great day. To each his own.
People who are working out in hot climes for extended periods of time (8 hours or more) lose a lot more fluids & sodium than most sports drinks can replace without overloading them with sugar. Speaking of sugar, I think that most sports drinks use glucose rather than sucrose for faster absorption, but in the real world I'm not sure that matters a lot. A really good medical article by Bates and Miller from 2008 goes into detail, recommending drinks with less sugar, more sodium, and a meal break during such activity. "Sweat rate and sodium loss during work in the heat" can be found at