Phasing Out Water Softeners: A Coming Necessity In Drought?

water softener diagram imageCivilizations have collapsed from water becoming too salty: to the point where foods can no longer be grown and where drinking water is either unpalatable or dangerous. Farmland and water salinization risk is greatest where annual natural evaporation and transpiration are high compared to precipitation, water consumption is high, and where prolonged drought is severe . Remind you of California?

One California community, facing increased water salinization, targeted domestic and commercial water softeners for removal. An existing voluntary removal program succeeded in getting rid of roughly half the residential softeners. Now. following a ballot measure passing in the November election, a mandatory removal program is set to kick in for 2009. Commercial softeners may be next.

Voters here approved on November 4 a local referendum that will require the removal of all salt-regenerated home water softeners that discharge into the sewer system of the Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District...Taking effect January 1, it likely will be the first law in the nation mandating home softener removals to reduce chloride discharges into wastewater streams of a large community. The city of Santa Clarita has a population of about 177,000.
Via:WaterSecretsBlog, Santa Santa Clarita,CA Votes to Ban Salt Water Discharge Water Tech Online, Santa Clarita voters mandate removal of softeners

Background: water softeners commonly substitute the more soluble sodium (Na++) ion for the "hardening" calcium or Magnesium ion. The end result is more chlorides in the waste water and in drinking water. Hence: increased "salinity".

Use of relatively salty irrigation wells worsens the problem. (There's a particularly toxic version of this in the Mekong Delta and in Bangladesh, where arsenic salts originating from irrigation wells and upland erosion have built up on alluvial soils and shallow aquifers.)

More of the Hard Stuff from our archives.
Water Softeners: The Life Cycle Treatment
Cool but Ugly: Argentinean Water Recycling Toilets
Dishwasher vs Handwashing: the Winner

Tags: California


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