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Garden Hose Dangers and Recommendations

© 2009 Brad Lancaster, Many garden hoses leach lead and other chemicals into the water as it sits in the hose. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brass fittings are often the culprits.
Yuck - the water tastes like lead!
Yuck – the water tastes like lead!
To reduce such risk, purchase, use, and/or drink only from hoses labeled safe for drinking water. Never buy any hose with such labeling as “WARNING: This product contains a chemical in the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.” Note that such warnings will typically be in very small print. A May 2005 Consumer Reports article, “Dare you drink from a garden hose?” reports that hoses labeled safe for drinking leach minuscule concentrations of lead into water standing in the hose, while hoses not labeled drinking water safe leached up to 10 to 100 times allowable lead levels into water standing in the hose. So, flush any hose before you drink from it by letting the water run a while before you gulp. Suppliers of hoses labeled safe for drinking water include: • Gatorhyde Drinking Water Safe Garden HoseArmadillo Hoses Note that these are far better than most, but not perfect. Gatorhyde contains polyurethane, while Armadillo contains a less toxic PVC. Both polyurethane and PVC are banned materials in the Living Building Challenge Materials Red List (Prerequisite Five). The Living Building Challenge is an integrated green building guide that goes well beyond LEED. Note for anyone using gravity to move water through a hose from a rainbarrel or rainwater tank – get 3/4-inch (best) or 5/8-inch (next best) interior diameter hose instead of 1/2-inch interior diameter. The larger the interior diameter, the less surface friction will reduce your low gravity-fed pressure. Also make sure your rainbarrel or cistern faucet does not constrict its interior diameter to less than 3/4 of an inch. Look inside the valve. Unfortunately, most readily available valves reduce interior diameter to 1/4 of an inch, greatly reducing your gravity-fed pressure.

Brad Lancaster is a dynamic teacher, consultant, and designer of regenerative systems. He is the author of the award-winning, best-selling books Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, the information-packed website, and the Drops in a Bucket Blog. He lives his talk on an oasis-like eighth of an acre in downtown Tucson, Arizona, by harvesting over 100,000 gallons of rainwater a year where just 12 inches per year falls from the sky.

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond Wins 2013 Literary Awards

This year’s release of the updated, expanded Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond, Volume 1, 2nd Edition has won two literary awards: * Best Indie Books of 2013 by Kirkus Reviews in the Nonfiction category * 2013 USA Best Book Award in the General Home category More awards could be on the horizon in 2014. […] Read More..

American Oasis: A Multimedia Work on the Story of Water in Tucson, featuring Brad Lancaster

“It never snows in Tucson. It doesn’t even rain much – about 11 inches a year – so precipitation of any kind makes Tucsonans a little giddy. But the light in [Brad] Lancaster’s eyes is different. He sees water falling from the sky as the key to his city’s future; nothing less than its salvation. […] Read More..

Finally released: the long-awaited, expanded, and revised second edition of Volume 1 of Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond!

Turn water scarcity into water abundance, while maximizing the power of the sun and more! This best-selling, award-winning guide shows you how to conceptualize, design, and implement life-enhancing water-, sun-, wind-, and shade-harvesting systems for your home, landscape, and community. The book enables you to assess your on-site resources, gives you a diverse array of […] Read More..

Watershed Maps Are Community Maps

by Brad Lancaster © 2011 A watershed is “that area of land, a bounded hydrological system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community.” — John Wesley Powell Political boundaries are arbitrary. Watershed boundaries […] Read More..

Images of Contemporary Water-Harvesting Art

by Brad Lancaster © 2011 Show the flow. Cycle it. Celebrate it. Know it. And as you do, show others the way. The three images below are installations that I feel show and celebrate the flow. Their beauty lures me in, and invites me to look deeper. See more images in the Contemporary Water-Harvesting […] Read More..