Tuesday, August 28, 2012

One Small Green Change Lead Free Garden Hose

Do you know what happens to a garden hose you leave outside but unattached to the spigot outside of the house for several winters?

 It bursts when you hook it up to the house, turn on the water, and try to use it to water your garden.

Learn from my mistake, friends. Always store your garden hose inside during the winter unless you want the freezing and thawing of winter to blow a hole in it the size of the Grand Canyon the following summer.

I figured it was time for an upgrade anyway. When we moved in, I bought a cheapest garden hose I could find because we only used it to water the new sod around the house, in theory.

Now that we are into gardening and almost being arrested for growing tomatoes in our front yard (no joke. Read the story on Lazy Budget Chef here), I figure we should buy a proper garden hose. I researched and found many garden hoses are made of PVC, which I do not want to leach into the water I use to grow my food.

Even more disturbing than PVC, is many garden hoses contain high levels of lead. Sometimes lead is used as stabilizer when making the plastic hose. Most often, the lead is in the brass fittings because adding lead to brass makes the brass millable.

Some experts say you shouldn’t drink from a garden hose containing lead or use it to fill a baby swimming pool and then say it is fine to use it when watering your vegetable garden. 

That just doesn’t sound right to me.

We could use the water in the rain barrel to water the front garden but we’d still need some sort of soaker hose to attach to rain barrel. It’s more convenient to water the pots of mint and the self watering planter I made from a plastic storage tub on the back patio using a bucket drawn from the rain barrel anyway.

As you can see, the bitter melon has taken off!

 Can you believe all this is growing from two measly seeds? We nicknamed her Audrey II. 

My One Small Green Change for August is to buy a lead free garden hose.

Fortunately finding a lead free garden hose at a price that doesn’t break the bank was easier than I thought. I bought Colorite Element Green And Grow Lead Free Drinking Water Safe Water Hose. The coupling are stainless steel instead of brass. The hose is meets California’s strict standards on phthalate content, which means the hose is phthalate safe. The hose also meets the lead-free standard under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
Before you ask, yes I’m also going to store the hose in the garden during winter. I don’t need a repeat of this year’s hose explosion.


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