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Chloride in Santa Clarita

(11/4/2008) -- The installation of automatic water softeners—the kind that use rock salt or potassium chloride pellets—has been banned in the Santa Clarita Valley since 2003. Though the majority of households do NOT have automatic water softeners, many units continue to be used.


Automatic water softeners discharge a salty waste into the sewer system that is treated by a process that does not remove salt and is released into the Santa Clara River. Too much salt in the river may potentially harm downstream agricultural crops.

The Sanitation District’s goal is to reduce salt in an environmentally friendly, cost-effective and timely manner. Measure S, approved by voters on November 4, 2008, enacts the Santa Clara River Chloride Reduction Ordinance of 2008. The Santa Clara River Chloride Reduction Ordinance of 2008 requires the removal of all residential automatic water softeners by June 30, 2009. Residents affected by the ordinance that own their units are eligible to take advantage of the Automatic Water Softener Rebate Program. The Automatic Water Softener Rebate Program compensates residents for 75 percent of the reasonable value of their units and the reasonable cost of removal and disposal.

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