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From the Boathouse: Raise a toast to tap water


Did you know that May 4-10 is Drinking Water Week? Well, now you know.

The American Water Works Assn. and its members want to inform everyone about your drinking water and the water infrastructure. The AWWA has been celebrating this week for the past 35 years in both the United States and Canada.

I think that Drinking Water Week is a worthy cause; however, I do not remember seeing any publicity about it from any local media or the Mesa Water District, which is the water provider at my house.

"Water is an essential element in our daily lives, but for North Americans, water service is a convenience that we too often take for granted until a serious issue occurs," says AWWA Chief Executive Officer David LaFrance. "We need to be aware of critical issues affecting our water supply now so we can protect against them for the future."

What LaFrance says hits home, because we are fortunate to live in an area where our drinking water is of excellent quality and very safe to drink from the tap. As a matter of fact, the Mesa Water District's reports show that its tap water is above par and very high-quality H2O.

The AWWA has many tips and tools on its website (, but I want to remind you of three ways that you can lessen the impact on our harbors and ocean.

Let's start with one that is common, and that is not to overwater your lawns. Letting the sprinklers run excessively will not only waste water, but the excessive water run-off carries fertilizer and trash into the storm drains. Remember the saying, "What starts at the drain, feeds the harbor when it rains."

Then let's move inside your house, where you will fully load your dishwasher and clothes-washer or dial down the water levels before running them. Remember, the waste water is sent to the water treatment plant in Huntington Beach, and the water treatment plant has a pipe that empties the treated sewage out into the ocean.

Lastly, you can help preserve the quality of the available water supply by not overusing pesticides and fertilizers, avoiding flushing medications down the toilet or sink and disposing of hazardous materials properly.

So, let's tip a glass of tap water together and do our share to protect our water supply.

Tip of the week is that I will be the guest speaker at the Little Ships Fleet Yacht Club's dinner meeting on May 23 in Long Beach. I am looking forward to sharing my experiences as a yacht delivery captain while cruising up and down the Pacific Coast.

Additionally, I have been sent several models of boaters' sunglasses to test this summer, and I will release my review in the fall. I will wear the different glasses while I am actively boating, sailboat racing at the Lake Arrowhead Yacht Club and autocross car racing in our team's Subaru BRZ.

My evaluation of the glasses will primarily be focused on the level of comfort, lenses for visibility, durability, style — one has to look good! — and protection. Of course, other factors will weigh in through the next months, but finding the correct sunglasses with the proper lenses for boating can be a challenge. So, if you see me in different sunglasses every day, now you know why.

Lastly, the weekend's weather will be great for outdoor activities in Southern California. The air temperatures along the coastline will be warm into the high 70s, and nighttime temperatures will dip 20 degrees in the high 50s. The skies are going to be mostly sunny, especially after the morning coastal fog burns off before noontime.

The sea conditions will not be favorable for boating on the ocean this weekend, but a harbor cruise will be perfect. King Neptune will kick up the swells to six feet from the west along the coast with a two-foot sea from the south.

The afternoon winds are not expecting to blow over 10 knots, but I would recommend keeping an eye to the east for a wind shift. Ten-knot winds will create a two-foot wind wave on top of the westerly swell.

As always, just keep an eye to the weather for any changes. Please be boat smart and boat safe. Lastly, please boat responsibly and look behind you before you turn the wheel at the helm.

Tune in to the No. 1 boating radio talk show in the nation, "Boathouse Radio Show," broadcasting live coast-to-coast on the CRN Digital Talk Radio syndicated network. See times at, and

Safe voyages!

MIKE WHITEHEAD is a boating columnist for the Daily Pilot. Send marine-related thoughts and story suggestions to or go to

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