Runner’s Legislation Will Alleviate Future Rate Increases for the Residents of
Santa Clarita Due to the Continued Use of Self-Regenerating Water Softeners
Senator George Runner (R-Antelope Valley), Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Santa Clarita Marsha McLean, and James F. Stahl, Chief Engineer and General Manager of the Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District will discuss a legislative solution to potential wastewater rate increases facing residents of Santa Clarita. These fees could be levied because high chloride levels do not meet current water quality standards in the Santa Clara River partially as a result of the use of self-regenerating water softeners in Santa Clarita.
“This legislation is intended to be a measure of last resort and will provide a backstop to curb a potential 400% wastewater rate increase. In addition, this legislation is designed to allow the people of Santa Clarita to be involved with the decision-making process,” said Runner.
“We are very pleased to partner with Senator Runner on this important bill. This bill will save Santa Clarita Valley residents a great deal of money and will help our friends down stream with their issues related to chlorides in the river,” said Mayor Pro Tem Marsha McLean.
“The two water reclamation plants serving the Santa Clarita Valley provide the highest level of treatment in the entire watershed, considering point and nonpoint sources alike,” indicated Jim Stahl, Chief Engineer and General Manager for the Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District. “This legislation is needed to allow the District to further improve the excellent quality of the treatment plant discharges by reducing chloride levels in a manner that is good for the entire Santa Clara River watershed, and at the same time is cost-effective.”
SB 475 allows the Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District to adopt an ordinance that requires the removal of residential water softening/conditioning appliances that discharge to the Santa Clara River. Removals must be approved in a vote of the people through a referendum. It must also contain findings related to the necessity and cost-effectiveness of the removal. Before the ordinance takes effect, a sanitation district would be required to offer a voluntary program that compensates owners for the reasonable value of the unit and reasonable cost of removal/disposal. After the ordinance became effective, compensation would be for 75% the unit value and the reasonable cost for removal/disposal.
In a further demonstration of "good faith," the Sanitation District is proposing this enabling legislation, which, in the event it is necessary, would allow the enactment of a Sanitation District ordinance mandating the removal of existing self-regenerating water softeners. However, it is still hoped that implementation of this measure will never prove necessary.