Tuesday, June 21, 2011

First Day of Summer, how safe is YOUR WATER?

Man! Summer is here with a vengeance! It's supposed to be over 100 for the next few days so we're getting the misters up in a hurry! The poultry runs need them and some extensions need to go up for the sheep, goats and horses here at the home place. Shades went up last week and everyone seems to be handling the heat ok. If the temperature varies slowly the can adjust, but when it's 70 one day and 100+ two days later you're asking for problems. I can tell already that this season is going to be a HOT one. The BC's are already diving for the water tank by 10a.m. There really is something endearing about black and white heads sticking out of a tank while you are sweating like crazy. The cattle have plenty of shade and a nice creek to cool off in so no worries there. We're watering at night to save energy and water but the sheep pasture is already showing signs of an early dry out. More sweat hoses are the answer, I hope!
We are lucky to have deep well water here and it tested 85 out of 100 this year which is FANTASTIC when you compare it to our city water which scores 50 out of 100. Some areas have an even worse water supply  than that with things like Cryptospiridium and elevated fluoride levels. Some city water supplies even have warnings that the elderly, children and people with supressed immune systems shouldn't drink the water. YIKES! 30 years ago we never would have thought to ask about water quality. Now it is as important as what we are feeding, if not more so. If there is excessive arsenic or Fluoride in the water supply for example, the plants carry some level of it, the animals that eat the plants and drink the water are carrying some of it, and the consumer that eats the plants and the animals are getting some pretty high levels of it. Check your water supply and see how good or bad it really is. Ask your farmer where their water comes from. If it is municipal water, look up the data. If it is a well ask when it was tested and if there was an EPA rating given. Agricultural Wells have to be tested every 3 years so your farmer should know their water quality and be taking the appropriate measures to ensure that it is safe.

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