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Water Softeners: A Scrooge in a Southern California Community

Hard water affects over 85% of North America, clogging pipes, stressing appliances and reducing their efficiency.Home owners and operators of industrial machinery have often chosen to install a water softener.This “solution” comes with its own tradeoffs though: a huge price tag for the environment, one’s health and one’s pocketbook.

In Santa Clarita Valley, California, the level of chloride pollution in the valley’s river and waste water system is so high that it is crippling the water treatment facility. City officials claim that residential water softeners account for nearly half of the chloride coming into the treatment plant.

As a result city officials banned the use of residential water softeners in 2003.This ban applies to both sodium and potassium chloride-using softeners. In September, 2006, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a Senate bill that allows Santa Clara Valley residents to vote county-wide to remove water softeners. Removal of water softeners would be an ecologically way to solve the chloride issue, protecting both the Santa Clarita River and it’s habitat as well as air quality and a quality of life for valley residents.

Too much chloride in water can cause leaf burn on agricultural crops. Chloride in water also harms aquatic health.Research in Minnesota, where chloride pollution comes from salt de-icing agents, have shown that chloride in water reduce reproduction rates of fish and result in fish mortality.

Chloride in the water also affects those susceptible to vaporized chloride-rich water.From appliances to the workplace, those exposed to vaporized chloride-rich water may experience irritation to the respiratory track, irritated eyes and skin including more severe reactions to prolonged exposure.

Furthermore, new research shows that drinking mineral-rich water protects against cardiovascular disease, some types of cancer, neural tub defects, renal stone formation, diabetes, eczema, low birth weight, just to name a few.Softened water and “purified” water from popular water treatment systems like reverse osmosis and distillation produce this de-mineralized "unhealthy" water.

If this Los Angeles County community votes to remove water softeners it will be a vote for a healthier community.Sadly, the alternative would be to build a 0 million dollar reverse osmosis plant to treat city water, of which would consequence the reported “10 out of 11 households that currently comply with the city ordnance” to remove water softeners.The public reverse osmosis system would increase the risk of illness and disease among the million and half residents due to removing minerals from their water.

Until then, it is to what ever pipes Santa Clarita residents choose to have clean and working properly, the one’s in their homes or their body.

About the Author: To learn more about the author and how you can easily resolve scale buildup and yet reap the health benefits of minerals, go to

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