Wasted Food is Wasted Water

water drop and green leaf

water drop and green leaf

Water conservation reaches far beyond just fixing leaking pipes – it extends to being mindful when wasting food.

“Tossing an apple is like pouring 25 gallons of water down the drain, and the average American does that 17 times a year,” Smithsonian Mag reported. “Food waste is a staggering problem. In 2010, close to 133 billion pounds, or a little over $160 billion worth of food, wound up in U.S. landfills.”

With many areas still facing a significant drought as we head into the snowy months and with the holidays quickly approaching, be mindful of how much food you prepare to try and reduce how much food you waste.

Kai Olson-Sawyer, an analyst at the GRACE Communications Foundation, a group focused on food, water and energy resources, explained to WaterOnline.com where else savings might be found. “’There’s no benefit to wasting food,’ she said. ‘The fact is that food waste is truly a waste to all humanity of every kind.’”

Many people don’t realize just how much water is needed to produce food. Meat is a perfect example. It’s processing has some of the highest water requirements, starting with the water animals drink and including the water required to process the meat, package it and ship it to the store. Every food product leaves a water trail close behind and when you waste food, you’re ultimately wasting water.

As you gather with family and friends this holiday season, be mindful of how much food you prepare and remind guests to only take what they think they will eat – and return for seconds!

Holiday Plumbing Tips

FB TestimonialAs a homeowner, hosting a holiday gathering like Thanksgiving can be a lot of fun, but it can spell disaster for your plumbing. Extra houseguests means an added strain on your pipes, putting your plumbing into overdrive with additional flushing and running water. Following these simple tips can keep your family focused on the holiday fun and not a plumbing emergency.


  • Inspect your toilet before the holiday gathering to check for leaks.
  • Keep a plunger handy in case something clogs.
  • Inspect the water heater to ensure proper functioning prior to the festivities.


  • Pour grease, oil or food down the drain. Pour grease and oil into a container and throw the entire container away.
  • Use an extra-thick toilet paper. Opt for 1-ply or thinner versions that are easier to breakdown.
  • Put stringy, fibrous, starchy waste or bones in the garbage disposal because they cannot be sufficiently broken down and will cause a clog.

Happy Holidays!

This drought is for … the butterflies

monarch-on-san-rafael-1545561As the drought in California continues threatening plants, animals and insects, there is one species that is thriving – the monarch butterfly. For several decades, the number of monarch butterflies has been on the decline. Recently, scientists have considered adding them to the endangered species list. But with the prolonged drought, we have seen an increase in their numbers and it’s all thanks to milkweed.

Many California homeowners are ripping up their browning lawns and replacing it with drought-tolerant milkweed. Monarch butterflies cannot survive without milkweed, which is where they lay eggs. Once hatched, the caterpillars eat milkweed before spinning into a chrysalis.

“If you plant it, they will come,” Tom Merriman, who has a greenhouse filled with 8,000 milkweed plants of a dozen varieties, told the Associated Press. “We had chrysalises on shovels, we had them on wheelbarrows. They were up in the nursery on palm trees. They were everywhere, under tables. We were releasing 500 caterpillars a week on native milkweed.”

The drought in California has received negative attention – and rightly so – but the return of the monarch butterfly is a small, and beautiful, silver lining.

Customer Story: Bringing Peace of Mind

iStock_000000798259Large - BackhoeWhen Jim Hunt, advisor to Service Line Warranties of America, received a call from his 91-year-old mother about a slow drain, the last thing on his mind was a broken sewer pipe.

“I talk to hundreds of cities and officials each year about Service Line Warranties of America as an advisor and former councilmember in West Virginia,” said Hunt. “I never dreamed I would learn firsthand the value of this service. We talk about the inconvenience of a failed water or sewer line, but when you or someone you love experiences a failure, you have no idea what a problem it is.”

Mr. Hunt’s mother lives with his brother, who is confined to a wheelchair, in an older home. As many children do, Mr. Hunt tries his best to keep things in the house in working order for his family, so when the call came about a slow sink drain, he headed out to assess the situation.

Assuming it was just a clog, Mr. Hunt contacted a local plumber who delivered the bad news to his mother and brother. There was a broken line somewhere in the yard.

“My mother called me and was in tears,” said Hunt. “They told her that it would be over two weeks before they could fix it and that there was no way to estimate the cost.” While the cost was of concern to her, the more pressing problem was waiting for the repair. “My brother is a quadriplegic and cannot be cared for out of the home unless he is admitted to the hospital. I rushed over to my mother’s house and everyone was in a panic.”

Thankfully, Mr. Hunt reminded his mother she enrolled with Service Line Warranties of America when the city had joined in 2007 – which would cover this claim. He contacted the toll-free repair line and within an hour received a call that a contractor was on the way, and soon a van arrived.

“They used a camera to inspect the line and found a large piece of the line had broken,” said Hunt. “It was pouring down rain and getting dark, so the workmen cleared the clogged area and assured us they would return in the morning.”

The next morning, utility companies marked the lines and the contractor began to dig. The backhoe was too large to fit in the fence, so a section had to be removed. While Mr. Hunt’s family watched intently from the porch, he reassured them the work was fully covered. After several hours, the line repairs were complete, the contractor reattached the fence and restored the area.

“We received several calls from Service Line Warranties of America during the claim to make sure the repairs were going smoothly and that my mother and brother were okay,” said Hunt. “It is one thing to tell people how the program works, but it is even better to see it in action! The care and concern by everyone involved was touching and knowing that they are there in the future gives me peace of mind that my loved ones are protected.”