Ducks and Garden Hose Concerns

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by DrakeMaiden, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    I heard a while ago that garden hoses can taint the water within them with various chemicals, so I never use the first flush of water from my hoses for my ducks or my edible plants.

    I just bought a new hose and I noticed that it came with a warning not to drink from the hose. Now if we humans shouldn't drink from the hose, it seems we shouldn't be giving our animals or our edible plants water from these hoses either. I decided to research what exactly the concerns were, because the hose warning was elusive and did not state that the hose itself was at fault for contaminating the water within it. It just claimed that various attachment pieces, bacteria, and lawn-care chemicals could contaminate it. Well, it turns out that garden hoses are leaching high levels of lead , along with various chemicals associated with plastics.

    I'm feeding my ducks organically, eating their eggs and potentially in the near future butchering a few. The last thing I want is to be feeding myself lead or other chemicals, through consuming my organically raised ducks.

    There are food-grade hoses, sold in marine and rv supply stores. I found that they are not much more expensive than heavy-duty garden hoses. But it surprises me that I haven't heard this caution on any duck-rearing websites, or in any litterature at all, for that matter, so I am posting it here for any of you who have similar concerns about eating organically.
  2. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    [​IMG] This is very new information for me.....I just thought it was the newness of the plastic that made it "not drinkable"...

    kudos for checking further....I have a lot of hose to replace...[​IMG]

    Could you post some of your references? I'd like to do some more research biggest question is do all/most garden hoses leach lead?

    Ok...I just realized the word lead in your post is the link to the article and it's quite quote the end of the article

    If your hose has brass fittings, they can also leach lead into the water.

    Experts say it's probably safe to water your vegetables with water from a garden hose, but you and your pets should avoid drinking from it. Also, don't fill a kiddie pool with it.

    Last edited: Aug 17, 2007
  3. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    Yes, it was alarming! I figured flushing the hose was good enough, and it COULD eliminate a lot of it, but who knows because they didn't really test that!

    Lead can get into vegetables, especially root crops and leaf crops. So I'm also worried about that. Compost can help reduce the impact though.

    I'm not sure which hoses are the worst brands or whether newness counts. It seems hoses do degrade over time. [​IMG]

    I am personally going to get a few food-grade hoses, but I'm not going to overhaul my system. I think if you make sure you flush your hose before use that that should get rid of the majority of the nasty chemicals. When cold water is running through the hose, it shouldn't leach much at that point. Heat and UV are the biggest concern. Keep your hoses in the shade. I don't know what you can do about the brass fittings, but it seems doing a first flush would take care of most of whatever you may have loosened up when you attached the hose.

    I don't want to cause panic, but I'd like to make people aware so we can all try to do the best we can with what we've got.
  4. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    The EPA recommends running water for 15 to 30 seconds to reduce exposure to lead if you have lead in your plumbing. I assume this applies equally to the hose situation, so I think maybe flushing your hose would be the best thing to do. For those who want peace of mind, buy a food-grade hose.
  5. MayberrySaint

    MayberrySaint Chillin' Out

    Mar 7, 2007
    Mount Airy, NC
    I think after drinking 25,457,342 gallons of water from a garden hose, you may have a 0.0354% chance of increasing your health problems.... [​IMG]
  6. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    Fuzzy math aside, lead is damaging to the central nervous system (ahem . . . brain cells). [​IMG]
  7. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    You can check your hose(s) by getting lead-check strips at hardware stores. Maybe I'll do that and see what I find out.
  8. eggchel

    eggchel Crowing

    Dec 26, 2006
    Both Coasts
    Drakemaiden, Id be interested in hearing what the lead test results are.
    I was unaware of the lead problems from the brass fittings. I use plastic connectors and shut off valves on most waterers, but a few are connected to brass splitter valves. I find it very disturbing that more and more products are being made with toxic ingredients rather than the other way around. It isnt possible to find a good old fashioned rubber garden hose anymore, every one is now some kind of polyvinyl junk, probably made in China! Corporate greed (cheapest production possible) will eventually poison all of us, IMHO.

    A couple years ago I heard about the health warnings on regular hoses and at that time, I switched over to the white RV / Marine hoses for connecting my auto waterers in all the pens. I still use a regular hose in the yard to fill the duck pools because the RV hoses arent long enough or big enough in volume, but we run the water until it is cold before filling the pools.

  9. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    Good God, I should be dead!!!! I water all my plants, filled the swimming pool, water all the animals, drink from and play in the water hoses daily. Same for my 2 year old. I wish we lived 50 years ago and you just got tainted well water with bird droppings and all!
  10. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    I'll see if I can track a test kit down in the near future and get an update for all those who are interested.

    Eggchel -- I think part of the reason we are seeing more toxic products is because environmental regulations in places like China are next to nill. There was a really disturbing tv show (PBS) on the pollution in China these days, from all of our "goods" they are churning out over there.

    Consumer Reports recommends flushing every hose, even the food-grade ones, before use. I think that flush would take care of the brass fitting concern.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: