‘Salinity Fact Sheet’ put out by CA agencies
(8/27/2009) -- FOUNTAIN VALLEY, CA — Water and wastewater agencies in Southern California have produced a “Salinity Fact Sheet,” the purpose of which, as they put it, is “to help inform the discussion around Assembly Bill 1366, which is intended to restrict the use of self-regenerating water softeners to help control salinity in our water supplies.”
Assembly Bill 1366, or AB 1366, is now before the California legislature. It would give local California agencies more power to ban the use of salt-regenerated water softeners, which discharge chlorides into wastewater streams. Some wastewater agencies in California support such a ban, saying it will reduce the cost of wastewater treatment and recycling, and reduce the flow of chlorides into natural drinking water and irrigation water supplies.
The fact sheet, produced by the Southern California Salinity Coalition, a nonprofit group of water and wastewater agencies in the region, recommends three ways citizens can help reduce salinity: remove salt-regenerated water softeners, use centralized portable exchange services for regenerating water softeners, or use salt-free anti-scaling devices. “Hard water poses no health hazard,” the sheet says.
The fact sheet says about 20 to 25 percent of California homes have water softeners. It also says that by not using a salt-regenerated softener, a consumer would save an estimated 70 to 300 gallons of water per week that otherwise would be used in the regeneration process.
Water treatment dealers in California, who sell and install salt-regenerated water softeners, oppose AB 1366. They say that modern water softeners are more salt- and water-efficient than older technology and that home water softeners are only one among many sources of salinity. The dealers’ trade associations, the Water Quality Association (WQA) and its regional affiliate, the Pacific Water Quality Association (PWQA), have mounted a strong lobbying campaign in Sacramento to defeat AB 1366. The WQA is also backing new studies, results of which are expected this fall, that are looking at how water softeners save energy and water and reduce soap consumption.
A bill similar to AB 1366 was passed in 2008 by the California legislature, but was vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and never became law.
To see the Salinity Fact Sheet, click here.
For related information, click here.