Now that we’re seemingly 2,740 days into stay-at-home orders, with only limited business openings and anxiety still running high, it’s understandable that we’re all going a little stir crazy. Given that amusement parks won’t be opening any time soon, we’re also looking at creative ways to have fun at home. That has us thinking back to the carefree summers of our childhood and wondering how to have fun safely when nearly everything carries a California Prop 65 warning.
Ace Plumbing is here to help, especially if your summer fun involves water in the Greater Sacramento area.
Water Hazards In Your Yard
If you’re a certain age, you remember the taste of water straight from a garden hose. Unfortunately, that’s not a great idea. Garden hoses have a variety of chemicals designed to keep them flexible, resist rot, and prevent corrosion. Since most hoses are left outdoors and exposed to the elements, those chemicals can break down and transfer to the water — a cocktail that includes lead, BPA, bromine, and a host of other toxins.
There are hoses that forego some of these chemicals, but it’s also worth remembering that standing water is a great breeding ground for bacteria. And if you have hoses that draw from a well on your property, you’re drinking whatever’s seeped into your groundwater, which may be fine for your plants and grasses, but isn’t doing your body any favors.
Okay, so drinking water from the hose is out. How about running through the sprinklers? Well, that’s not such a good idea either. For one thing, sprinklers and irrigation systems are usually served by hoses (see above). Some companies also use chemicals to treat and prevent freezing when they winterize your sprinklers, which you’d probably rather not get on or in you. Traditional sprinklers can be damaged by kids and pets, present a tripping hazard, and can damage (or be damaged by) mowers.
Most of us know the hazards of swimming pools. But surely a kiddie pool is okay, right? Well, maybe not. Let’s face it, we’re all sweaty, and usually kinda grimy, when it’s hot out. Skin oils, sweat, and bacteria end up in kiddie pool water along with a number of other things we don’t need to remind you of if you’ve got young kids. That makes kiddie pools a petri dish for disease and infection. Worst of all, a toddler can drown in as little as two inches of water.
Mitigating Summer Water Hazards
By now, you’re probably convinced we’re the biggest killjoys on Earth. Not really — we just want you to be safe while you enjoy summer. We played in kiddie pools, ran through sprinklers, and drank from the hose when we were kids, and we think we turned out okay. So because we don’t expect everyone to wrap themselves in bubble wrap and shelter in the AC all summer, let’s look at what you can do to be safe and still have fun.
- Store the hose somewhere cool to minimize chemical leaching
- If you’re going to use the hose for something, let the water run for a few minutes first to clear out a fair amount of contaminants (especially if the water feels hot at first)
- If you’re going to keep any kind of pool in the yard, don’t let anyone use it unsupervised
- Drain kiddie pools when they’re not in use
- Rinse off before and after using any pool — it helps keep things cleaner
Consider an in-ground irrigation system in place of store-bought sprinklers