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Fillmore to buy back water softeners

(8/27/2008) -- The Fillmore City Council approved a water softener buy-back program Tuesday to encourage owners of brine-discharging softeners to relinquish their devices.

The program, which is expected to commence in October, would pay water softener owners $500 to $750 - depending on the value of the softener - to disconnect and remove the devices. Owners would also be granted amnesty for voluntarily reporting the softeners, all but 50 of which are illegal to operate in the city. Fillmore outlawed brine-discharging softeners because they release salt into wastewater, which then ends up in the Santa Clara River and results in fines from the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board.

The City Council did not approve the use of vouchers to be issued after the $50,000 budgeted for the program runs out.

The program will operate on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted. Public Works Director Bert Rapp said the city will immediately begin placing city residents on a list to have their water softeners purchased. To participate in the program, call the City of Fillmore at 524-1500 extension 234.

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