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What is Raw Water?

The biggest health trend on the west coast right now is ‘raw water,’ untreated bottled spring water that is selling for about $10 a gallon.

As the primary product serving the water consciousness movement, raw water is being touted as a purer option to city water. One brand, Live Water, claims their product is free of industrial toxins and rich in healthy microbes because it is not processed or treated. But these marketing claims may actually cause serious harm, says the Centers for Disease Control.

Officials at the CDC say that water is filtered for a reason and warn untreated water may contain bacteria, parasites and viruses – no matter what the water may look like – and can cause gastrointestinal illnesses such as salmonella and norovirus. In addition, cities treat water to remove harmful substances that are naturally occurring, like arsenic and lead. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control calls modern water treatment techniques “One of the Ten Great Public Health Achievements” of the 20th Century, along with control of infectious diseases and the recognition of tobacco use as a health hazard, for its role in controlling water-borne illnesses like typhus.

Raw water is completely unregulated and can come from any source, regardless of claims on the packaging. So why is raw water getting such huge sales numbers? Sterilization is thought to destroy beneficial sources of probiotics and minerals found in spring water. Chlorine and fluorine, both commonly used to treat city water, can also slow the growth of some plant families, leading people to believe it could be harmful for themselves, their pets, or their children. You can actually request a copy of your water utility’s consumer confidence report to find out exactly what disinfectants, if any, are being used to treat water in your area.

When you’re concerned about balancing the needs of your household, skip over-priced and over-hyped ‘health’ water. The best way forward for your family is a reverse osmosis filtering system for your household.

Instead of adding anything to the water, reverse osmosis filters force water through an ultra-fine mesh, removing harmful contaminates naturally found in source water from animals and pesticide run-off, as well as disinfectants used by city treatment processes. Not sure which options are right for you? Call 1-877-FINKENS to talk with a water treatment expert in your community.

Have You Had Your Home Tested for Radon?

We’ve all heard of it, but what actually is it? Where does it come from? Is it in your home? Well, radon is present nearly everywhere as it’s the by-product from natural elemental decay that’s found in soil, rocks, and water. Uranium breaks down to radium and as radium disintegrates, it turns to into the radioactive gas we know as radon.

You can’t see, smell, or taste it, but it could become a health hazard as it accumulates inside a house. Being the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers, it’s clear why homeowners are urged to have their houses tested.

When dissolved, radon can accumulate in water from underground sources. When water that contains radon is used in the home for showering, washing dishes, or cooking, radon gas escapes from the water and goes into the air. Exposure is a preventable health risk and testing radon levels in your home can help prevent unnecessary exposure. For quick accurate testing, contact Finken. For a mere 80 bucks, depending on your location, a professional Finken technician will arrive at your door to conduct it.

One way we can remove radon from your home is by conducting radon mitigation. This is a ventilation system which is installed on an exterior wall and vents radon out of the basement/lower level. We’re the experts.

There’s no better time than now have your home tested for radon because cold weather increases the amount of warm air that is escaping from your house through vents or drafty windows. This escape of air causes a vacuum inside the home. If the air in your home is under negative pressure, radon gas can be pulled in from the soil below the foundation, thus in-most cases, you’ll be measuring the worst-case scenario for your home.

It’s recommended to have radon testing every year if radon is found after the first test, especially because of Minnesota’s position on the EPA map of radon zones. As you can see, we’re positioned at least medium to high on radon levels. If your first test shows no radon, every few years is fine. For quick accurate testing, make sure to call Finken’s first at 1-877-FINKENS.

If you’re curious as to whether or not it’s a health hazard within your specific home, make an appointment today to have a professional Finken technician arrive to perform the test. We’re here to ensure you have a happy, healthy family that thrives with pure, chemical-free air.

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Doug Knese Honored As Community Hero With New Furnace

Doug Knese Honored As Community Hero With New Furnace

A very special hospice employee in St. Cloud received the gift of a brand new furnace for being recognized as a Community Hero by his employer, Finken Companies and Bryant. Doug Knese, house manager for Quiet Oaks Hospice House in St. Augusta, MN, was nominated by Quiet Oaks Executive Director Linda Allen, to receive the Finken Companies & Bryant Community Hero Award, which includes a brand new two-stage Bryant furnace, installed by Finken just in time for the Christmas season.

Linda said Doug is a Community Hero because of the respect and kindness he shows to every hospice resident.

“It’s inspiring to witness him work,” Linda added. “He is tireless, and always goes above and beyond . . . his genuine love for his work is evident at a very intimate level as he cares for our residents and their families during an incredibly fragile time.”

Doug began his role of House Manager at Quiet Oaks Hospice House in 2014, after serving for several months as a personal caregiver for one of the residents. During his time as the resident’s caregiver he had the opportunity to build relationships with other Quiet Oaks residents, families, staff and volunteers. In Doug’s position as House Manager, he utilizes previous experience in maintenance, repair, and construction to continue to maintain the “home-like” feel of Quiet Oaks.

As a testament to Doug’s worthiness as our Community Hero, he has chosen to donate his prize to Quiet Oaks. “It’s a perfect fit, because the furnace we have in the main part of the house is 23 years old!” Doug noted. “I figure it can benefit so many more people here.”

Doug is always giving like this. He makes a point to be present for each resident, assisting them in wrapping up their work here on Earth. Given the nature of hospice care, sometimes these tender relationships last only a few hours or days, and sometimes they last for months. But they are forever in Doug’s heart.

Doug was surprised to hear he had won the Community Hero award, but not surprised about Linda’s nomination of him. “She has such a warm heart . . . she cares about people,” Doug said.

Finken Plumbing, Heating and Cooling in St. Joseph, joined forces with national furnace manufacturer, Bryant, and Minneapolis-based distributor, Auer Steel, to give away a brand new Bryant furnace to a deserving local hero. The Bryant Community Heroes program honors ordinary people doing extraordinary things in their community. A qualifying hero is anyone who demonstrates how a person with passion and determination can use his or her life to make a difference in their community.

“We are honored as a company to have the opportunity to take part in such an important, thoughtful program,” said Tom Finken, owner and president of Finken Companies which includes Finken Plumbing, Heating and Cooling and Finken Water Treatment. “We are so happy to do this for Doug and everyone who benefits from the care at Quiet Oaks Hospice House. For all Doug and the rest of the Quiet Oaks team do for others, we’re happy to be able to do this for them.”