Senator George Runner introduced SB475 recently, which would allow the Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District to adopt an ordinance to require that salt-based residential water softeners by removed. The Santa Clarita City Council was a co-sponsor of this bill.
Now that Los Angeles County has moved up the timeframe for the salty water problem by 2 years, the area is scrambling to resolve the water softener issues before it's too late. The waste water from these water softeners is said to contribute at least 1/3 of the chloride (salt) in the waste water that runs to the Santa Clara River, which has a negative affect on farming and other resources.
The current program where residents can voluntarily give up these water softeners for a $150 rebate simply isn't working, as many of the old salt-based water softeners still remain in use in the Santa Clarita Valley. It's estimated that the annual sewer bills could jump from $125/year to $500/year if a water treatment plant is required to reduce the chloride levels in the area's waste water. The removal of the salt-based residential water softeners is expected to reduce the chloride levels to acceptable levels.
Alternatives to these water softeners are exchange tanks that can be rented from local companies or water conditioners that use newer technologies.