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Tag Archive | "pool"

West Nile Virus Found in Kent County 


 

As a result of a massive mosquito surveillance project conducted by the environmental health division at the Kent County Health Department (KCHD), this season’s first positive specimen of West Nile Virus (WNV) has been discovered. THIS IS NOT A HUMAN CASE.

The positive sample was found in a pool of tested mosquitoes from the ZIP code 49507 in the city of Grand Rapids. The sample that yielded the positive result was collected between Tuesday, August 8 and Thursday, August 10, 2017.

The Kent County Health Department has been capturing and testing mosquitoes in 11 traps strategically placed throughout the county since early June. The traps, known as a Gravid trap, were placed in the 49503, 49504, 49507 and 49519 zip codes. There are also 4 traps set in the county that are designed to attract Aedes Egypti and Aedes Albopictus mosquitos, two species known to carry the Zika virus. So far, KCHD has not found a specimen of either species. The project will continue until Labor Day.

“The fact that we have found West Nile in only one area does not mean that it is confined to that ZIP code,” says Adam London, Administrative Health Officer with KCHD. “We expect West Nile to be present to some degree until the first frost. We want people to be aware that they can greatly reduce their own risks by taking some simple precautions. This finding is significant because this is our first alert to the presence of West Nile as it begins to surface at this time of the year.”

Prevention is critical in the fight against WNV an illness that can be deadly in some people, especially those with weakened immune systems and the elderly. The Kent County Health Department recommends wearing a mosquito repellant that contains 10-35 percent DEET, wearing light colored clothing and staying indoors during dusk. You can help stop mosquitoes from breeding by removing any standing water in your yard and keeping your lawn and shrubs cut.

West Nile Virus was first detected in the United States in 1999. Since the first case was diagnosed in Michigan in 2001 more than 1100 people have been diagnosed with the disease. 92 people have died. In 2001 and again in 2012, Kent County had the second highest number of West Nile cases in the state. More about West Nile Virus can be found at www.michigan.gov/westnile.

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Pool Maintenance 101


Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Simple tips to keep your pool clean

(Family Features) For many homeowners, there is nothing better than inviting friends over to cool off from the sun’s warm rays in the comfort of their own backyard pool.

But as every pool owner knows, keeping their pool clean and maintained for everyone to enjoy can take a bit of work. Here are some ways to keep your investment in its best shape all season long.

Keep up with shrubs

If your backyard pool sits near trees and bushes, be sure to keep them trimmed throughout the season. This will help avoid additional debris from flying into your pool, which can create extra cleaning work for you. If possible, consider replacing these plants with those that create less of a mess.

Clean the surface often

Get rid of unattractive stains at the waterline with a quality surface cleaner. For best results, use the cleaner with a pool brush and rub from the top of the waterline to a few inches below the mark.

Check levels regularly

Be sure to monitor your pool’s chlorine and pH levels at least twice a week. The best time to do this is in the evening and several hours after the last swimmer has left the pool. If a rain or wind storm has occurred, wait about eight hours before testing.

Reduce maintenance duties

Besides providing increased comfort to swimmers, more homeowners are choosing saltwater chlorinated pools for ease of use and reduced maintenance. If you’re looking to spend less time keeping your pool maintained, consider installing a saltwater chlorination system, which eliminates the need for buying, storing and handling chemical chlorine. Saltwater chlorinated pool owners also enjoy the benefits of less irritated skin and eyes, as well as a significant cost savings verses their chemical chlorine counterparts. To learn more about saltwater chlorinated pools, visit www.swimincomfort.com.

Run filtration system daily

Water in constant movement is less likely to collect debris, such as dust, body oils and bacteria. Be sure to run your filtration system as much as possible throughout the summer to keep water as clean and clear as possible.

Keep equipment tidy

Pool skimmers are used to pick up yard debris, insects and other undesirable items that can fall into the water. While skimming the pool is typically needed before every swim, you should also clean the skimmers on a weekly basis, or as needed.

A clean, maintained pool will help you get most from those carefree days of summer.

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Three tips to grow a bold, beautiful backyard


BLOOM-Three-tips-bold-beautiful-backyard(NewsUSA) – Summer is here, and it’s time to start heralding warmer temperatures by beautifying the backyard. So, don the appropriate layers, grab some tools and turn your backyard into something ideal for entertaining.

Families love to spend time outdoors, especially if they have a pool, patio or deck, so take the time to administer some TLC to the lawn, pool, patio and garden. The following tips will help you get the most out of your backyard:

1. Grow some privacy. Depending on the size of your backyard, consider installing a fence, arbor, pergola, row of bushes, trees or hanging vines to shelter your property from the neighbors. This helps make gatherings more private and gives your lawn a “secret garden” feel. Plus, a fence, trellis or arbor can offer a wind-break and much-needed shade, both of which can be key for pools. Flowering vines like trumpet vines, clematis or morning glory attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

2. Get cozy outdoors. If you have unused deck space, create a family-friendly area perfect for entertaining outdoors: cook-outs, lounging, games or parties. All you need is some inexpensive patio furniture—clusters with chairs and a sofa—and small tables for surface space. To make it really cozy, add some brightly colored throw pillows and potted plants.

3. Simplify pool maintenance. Family pools tend to make the best summer parties, but all investments include maintenance. Adding a pool cover can reduce pool heating costs by 50 to 70 percent. Or if your pool has problems with cloudy water or chlorine levels, BioGuard’s new Pool Tonic removes phosphate and many other unwanted contaminants for beautiful water that is easy to maintain and enjoy. For complimentary water testing, bring a sample of your pool water to any BioGuard dealer, and receive the right prescription for your pool. Visit www.bioguard.com to find your nearest dealer.

 

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