Gardening: Is your garden hose water safe?

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You’ve been picking peas, harvesting herbs and watering watermelons all day.

Really? It took you all day to do three simple tasks?

It probably was the 100-degree heat — slows me down too.

Clarence Schmidt

Anyway, you’re dehydrated and need a drink of water. The house is 219 steps away. The garden hose is in your hands. Easy decision?

It could depend on the quality of your hose.

Gardeners want to grow crops as close to toxic-free as possible. Organic seeds, healthy soil, organic fertilizers and avoiding harmful herbicides and pesticides are all essential. However, one important item deserves more attention. Garden hoses.

Better known as agricultural streaming devices (actually, nobody ever called them that), garden hoses were not designed to supply drinking quality water.

In 2011, 2012 and 2013, Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Ecology Center (ecocenter.org) tested over 200 garden hoses for water leaching and hazardous metals. “Municipal drinking water held in

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Apparent garden hose in North Carolina yard was a large black snake

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April 20 (UPI) — A North Carolina man who nearly picked up what he thought was a black garden hose outside his home said he abandoned his plan when he realized it was a 6-foot snake.

Brian Walsh said he was at his Huntersville home when he spotted what he thought was a length of black garden hose in the yard.

Walsh said he was only a foot away from the object when he realized it was actually a large black snake — and it was alive.

“The sheer size of it! At first, it completely caught me off guard and not going to lie — terrified,” Walsh told the Charlotte Observer.

Walsh’s wife, Tiffany, posted a photo of the serpent on a Snake Identification Facebook group and members said the 6-foot animal was an eastern rat snake, a non-venomous species.

“We’ve come across black rat snakes before, never this

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