Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Local Experts Warn About Frozen Pipe Disasters

Nothing drains your wallet and gives your New Year a soggy start like coming home to a house full of water. According to Insurance industry experts, the average homeowner insurance claim for water damage and freezing is nearly $6,000, making frozen pipes one of the most costly problems facing homeowners every winter.

Come wintertime, homeowners can take simple precautions to keep the pipes intact and avoid pouring thousands of dollars into home repairs.

“Homeowners will plan every detail of a weekend trip when they’re headed out of town, but they often don’t think to prepare to prevent their pipes from freezing,” says Jeff Dudan, CEO and founder of AdvantaClean, a national water damage restoration company serving the local area. “Even in warm weather climates, there are measures you should take to protect your home from water damage when a cold snap hits.”

Consider This:

Second only to hurricanes, frozen and broken water pipes cause more losses in terms of the number of homes damaged and the total amount of claims paid by insurance companies nationwide than any other issue.

According to a 2006 issue of the Insurance Journal, every year, approximately a quarter-million homes and offices in the United States, have at least one room damaged by a frozen pipe, and a decade of these insurance claims have cost more than $4 billion.

What Can Homeowners do to Protect Their Property?

Ensure water tanks and pipes are insulated. Pipes in attics, crawl spaces and outside walls are more vulnerable to freezing.
Let the water run! Letting both hot and cold lines of a faucet drip in the extreme cold can prevent a pipe from bursting. A running faucet relieves pressure between the faucet and the ice. No pressure means no bursting.
Keep bathroom and kitchen cabinet doors open during a cold spell to let warm air circulate around the pipes.
Seal any leaks in your home, attic, basement or crawlspace that might allow cold air inside where pipes are located.

“If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe,” Dudan says. “Keep the faucet running and apply heat to the frozen section of pipe until full water pressure is restored. If you’re unable to locate or access the frozen area, call a licensed plumber. You’ll also want to check all of the other faucets in your home. If one pipe freezes, others may too.”

Protect Yourself Before You Go:

While traveling out of town during the winter months when the temperature is expected to drop, take the following precautions to reduce the risk of coming back to burst pipes and a soggy home.

Always keep your thermostat at 55 degrees or higher. Lowering your heat might save you some pennies on the heating bill, but you could end up paying a much bigger price when you return home.
Drain your water system before you leave town. To drain the system, shut off the main valve and turn on all water fixtures (cold and hot) until the water stops running. When you return, turn on the main valve and let each fixture run until water comes out and pressure returns.

“One of the most important things every member of your household should know is how to shut off the water main,” Dudan says. “If a pipe bursts, quick action will minimize the damage and prevent wet and flooded crawlspaces and basements from becoming a breeding ground for mold.”

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Friday, January 7, 2011

ADA Applauds HHS Action on Recommended Fluoride Level in Drinking Water

/PRNewswir/ -- The American Dental Association (ADA) today commended the Federal agencies responsible for public health and safety for recalibrating the ratio of fluoride to water that they consider optimal based on scientific evaluation and the full appreciation of fluoride received from all sources.

As a science-based organization, the ADA supports the Department of Health and Human Services' recommendation to set the level for optimally fluoridated water at 0.7 parts per million. This adjustment will provide an effective level of fluoride to reduce the incidence of tooth decay while minimizing the rate of fluorosis in the general population.

"This is a superb example of a government agency fulfilling its mission to protect and enhance the health of the American people," said ADA President Dr. Raymond F. Gist, DDS. "We have always looked to the federal health agencies to guide us on this and other public health matters, and we will continue to do so. We applaud the Department of Health and Human Services for reaffirming the safety and efficacy of optimal community water fluoridation, with science on their side."

The ADA will continue working with federal and state governments and other stakeholders to educate people about the health benefits of optimally fluoridated drinking water. The Association strongly urges communities that already are doing so to continue fluoridating water at the levels the government recommends as safe and optimal. Communities among the minority that still do not already optimally fluoridate their municipal water systems now should act on the government's reaffirmation and, more than ever, do so. People who live in non-fluoridated communities should talk to their dentists about other ways to enjoy the health benefits of fluoride, such as supplements or topical applications.

"Dentistry has succeeded in preventing disease better than any other area of health care," said Dr. Gist. "Water fluoridation is one of our most potent weapons in disease prevention, and we want as many people as possible to have the benefits of this simple, safe, inexpensive and proven health care measure.

"The ADA has long advocated for all Americans to have the best possible oral health. The recommended levels for optimal fluoridation may be reduced, but the health benefits of fluoridation remain. The only real, known health risk is the dramatic increased levels of disease that are likely to afflict people without access to optimally fluoridated water."

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Canada’s Oil Sands Are The Largest Supplier Of Oil To The USA

Canada’s oil sands are the largest supplier of oil to the USA and the Athabasca region alone is estimated to contain 870 billion to 1.3 trillion barrels of oil.

Operators are increasingly moving towards in situ methods for extraction to harness the potential of oil sands productions and require large amounts of water for the production of steam to reduce the viscosity of the bitumen. It is vital that the oil sands producers work together to cost-effectively minimize water usage and improve recyclability. In the wake of this realization, senior decision makers form accross the industry will be meeting in Calgarry in 3 weeks time.

The Oil Sands Water Management Initiative 2011 will take place on the 26-27th January and is the only event where the leading oil sands producers themselves provide solutions to the specific water management challenges in situ oil sands producers are facing. They will be breaking down water management solutions at every stage of production including sourcing, treating, recycling and disposing of water resources.

Industry Experts Include:
Brian Doucette, Director Of Environmental Excellence, Suncor
Peter Sametz, President & COO, Connacher
Chris Bloomer, COO, Petrobank
Calvin Watson, General Manager Thermal Heavy Oil, Devon
Mike Baker, Manager Of Environment & Regulatory Compliance, Shell
Vincent Saubestre, Manager Technology and R&D, Total
Ed Koshka, Vice President Engineering, Marketing & Infrastructure, Ivanhoe
K.C. Yeung, Manager Of Oil Sands Technology, Husky
Bruce McGee, President & CEO, E-T Energy
Margaret Klebek, Senior Hydrogeologist, Alberta Environment

Steve Tipton, from the global leading shale gas operator Newfield Exploration, will be offering transferable lessons from their success and experience with management of water resources offering new methods, strategies and techniques that can be utilised to drive down costs and minimize water usage.

The Oil Sands Water Management Initiative will bring together the experience and solutions from the leading oil sands operators in order to minimize water usage at every stage of production.

If you are interested in the future production of oil sands resources, join us January 26 – 27, 2011 at the Calgary Convention Centre.

Further Information can be found at: