It’s a warm summer day and you are outside watering your garden or perhaps your potted and hanging flower plants. The water looks inviting and refreshing, but should you take a drink directly from the hose? It is highly recommended that you do not. Many premium garden water hoses are made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which very often uses lead as a stabilizer. And we all know how harmful lead can be. Also, many hoses have brass fittings at the end and they are likely to contain amounts of lead. And because of the lead, hoses with water standing in them can be a great health hazard when you take that initial sip.
There are hoses on the market that are drinking water safe hoses and are labeled as such. Some hoses come with warning labels that they are not to be used for drinking. But there are some that are not labeled at all or the “fine print” is so small it is hard to see. But even if the hose is deemed “safe”, it is a smart idea to flush the hose thoroughly before taking a drink. And seasonal cleaning is highly recommended.
So what is the best way to clean out an existing hose? A good way is to submerge your hose in a bucket filled with a mixture of water and bleach and let it soak for one whole day. It is recommended that you use two teaspoons of bleach per gallon of water. When it is done soaking, unroll the hose and attach to the facet. Let water run through it for no less than 15 minutes.
So, you may ask, if it is not healthy for me to drink from a garden hose that is not labeled as “drink-safe” then why should I use them to water my plants? It appears that plants do not generally absorb lead unless there is a very high level of it in the soil. But with so many good “drink safe” hoses on the market, why not be cautious and buy one of them instead. They are made from FDA approved materials and typically their fittings are often nickel plated instead of brass.
When shopping for a premium garden water hose that is drink safe, make sure you look for one that is durable, light weight and very flexible. You also want to find one that is kink free and is easy to recoil and store. As with anything you buy, look for a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee and some type of warranty. And whenever possible, try to buy one that is Made in the USA garden hose.
Keep in mind that even with a drink safe hose, it is important to let the water run for a bit before you drink from it. Bacteria can grow in the warm standing water. It is also a good idea to wash your hands after handling any garden hose. Lead can easily transfer from the hose to your hands and then to your hands to your mouth when eating.
In conclusion, if you are in the market for a gardening hose, why not take a look at the variety of safe drinking water hoses available to you. They can be easily found at just about any gardening store and even on-line. Look for one that is right for you and as an added bonus, why not look for a Made in the USA garden hose!