Water softeners to be removed to decrease salt content of ground water.
Guaranteed Water Systems and the Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District of Los Angeles County (Sanitation District) have entered into an agreement today that will remove by 2009 approximately 50 automatic water softeners currently rented to Santa Clarita Valley residents.
This voluntary agreement between Guaranteed and the Sanitation District is another move toward the goal of eliminating use of all automatic water softeners, and will reduce chloride levels in the discharge of highly treated wastewater and thus help to ensure protection of the Santa Clara River.
Approximately one fourth of the remaining automatic water softener units in the Santa Clarita Valley are rented to residents. Guaranteed’s agreement will not affect portable exchange or alternative units, which are not problematic because they do not add salt to the water before it enters the sewer.
“The agreement to remove all of their salt-discharging water softeners in the Santa Clarita Valley will make a positive contribution to the community by improving water quality in the Santa Clara River and helping to avoid costly wastewater charge increases that would impact rate payers,” said Steve Maguin, Chief Engineer and General Manager for the Sanitation District. “Getting these units out of the community is a high priority, and we appreciate the efforts of Guaranteed Water Systems to help accomplish this goal.”
In an effort to rid the valley of remaining automatic water softeners, the Sanitation District launched a new automatic water softener rebate program in May, offering residents 100 percent of the reasonable value of their automatic water softener—ranging from $325 up to $2,000—as well as free removal and disposal by a licensed plumber. These rebates are consistent with the terms of SB475 legislation authored by Senator George Runner, (R – Senate District 17) and signed into law in 2006. Residents wishing to have their softener removed should call the toll free line at 1-877-CUT-SALT.
“Guaranteed is very pleased to work with the Sanitation District to remove automatic water softeners in the Santa Clarita Valley,” said Guaranteed representative Bud Lantzy. “We want to do our part to help protect the Santa Clara River. Guaranteed plans on offering all of their automatic water softener customers acceptable alternatives for their water treatment needs.”
The Sanitation District’s water reclamation plants provide extensive treatment and produce water equivalent in quality to drinking water, but do not remove salt. Current chloride discharge levels are above the level that the State Regional Water Quality Control Board has established. If salt levels discharged into the river do not decrease, the Sanitation District may have to install additional treatment equipment resulting in Valley residents’ annual sewer bills substantially increasing to more than $500 per household, because treatment for chloride may cost more than $350 million. If all automatic water softeners aren’t removed now, sewer bills may be higher forever.
In March 2003, it became illegal to install new automatic water softeners in the Santa Clarita Valley. Through a response to public education efforts, the fraction of households in the Santa Clarita Valley operating automatic water softeners has dropped, but not enough to comply with the Regional Board’s strict chloride requirements for the Santa Clara River set to protect downstream agriculture. With the new rebate program, the time has come for everyone to remove their automatic water softener.
Alternatives to automatic waters softeners use salt-free water conditioning techniques that are not harmful to the Santa Clara River . Residents can easily identify the best replacement system for their home. The Sanitation District provides an interactive Web site that allows residents to research 50 alternative products, including reviews of the products by fellow Santa Clarita Valley residents. A full list of approved alternatives can be found at www.lacsd.org/chloride.
The Sanitation District serves the wastewater management and solid waste needs of the Santa Clarita Valley. The role of the Sanitation District is to construct, operate, and maintain a regional system to collect, treat and dispose of wastewater and to provide for management of solid wastes. The Directors of the Sanitation District are the mayor and a designated City Council member of Santa Clarita and the Chairperson of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.