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.....On Tuesday, February 25, the Los Angeles County Sanitation District, in conjunction with the Santa Clarita City Council, voted to ban installation of self-regenerating water softeners. The area affected is estimated to be about 250,000 in population.
.....The Sanitation District took the action because it is in violation of chloride waste water standards of 100 mg/L which the Regional Water Board is pursuing through a TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Level). The Santa Clara River, to which the affected treatment plants discharge, has been designated "impaired" for chlorides under the Clean Water Act Sec. 303(d).
.....The Sanitation Districts, along with WQA and PWQA, spent four years arguing to the Regional Water Board that the standards are unreasonably low and that "interim" standards of 180 mg/L be made permanent. The State Water Board refused to endorse its regional board's recommendation. So in the end, the USEPA stepped in and asserted its authority to impose the standards on the state.
.....The Sanitation District undertook a comprehensive study of the chloride situation and showed that home water softeners add the most significant level of chlorides to the waste stream. In addition to the residential ban, the District is enforcing brine and RO discharge limits of 100 mg/L on commercial dischargers and has reduced the amount of chlorine it uses as a disinfectant.
.....Besides testifying over the past four years during Regional Water Board hearings, WQA and PWQA argued at recent Santa Clarita local hearings that the ordinance denies consumers the most convenient and affordable options in this high-hardness area. Several consumers at the recent Santa Clarita hearings voiced their concerns about the ban to the City Council and several others wrote the districts in support of the ordinance.
.....The ordinance goes into effect March 25, 2003.