California bans salt-based water softeners due to their environmental and economic impacts and supports salt-free water softeners as a strong alternative.
California, November 26, 2019 – Homeowners in California have long depended on conventional salt-based water softeners to remove “hardness” from their water supplies. However, these systems have come under fire due to the negative impact they have on the environment and the economy.
Salt-based water softeners use “ion-exchange” to “soften” water by removing the hardness minerals (primarily calcium and magnesium) in the hard water and replacing them with sodium and potassium chloride. Statewide, these units discharge hundreds of thousands of pounds of salt into the environment, which adversely affect aquatic and marine life, and damage the biochemical balance in the soil, forcing farmers to take land out of production.
Furthermore, excess sodium discharge into septic or sewage treatment systems must be treated at the expense of municipal utility ratepayers. As expected, salt removal in these treatment systems is extremely expensive, as additional microfiltration and reverse osmosis processes must be used to remove chloride from treated wastewater.
In response to those concerns, some localities across California have already imposed outright bans and restrictions on salt-based softeners, even implementing unannounced home inspections complete with substantial fines for offenders. But while these restrictions might help lessen the amount of salt discharged into the environment, residents need an effective alternative to combat the growing “hard” water problems plaguing their homes.
There are still debates in local communities regarding the degree to which chloride causes harm to the environment, but the blazing trend right now is that many more communities are voicing and enforcing their support of salt-free water softeners.
Tommy Strickland from Springwell Water Systems declared that “An effective way to protect the environment from high salinity levels and reduce the cost of municipal sewage treatment associated with excess salt discharge into the sewers is to minimize the salt discharge into the environment in the first place.”
When asked about the current salt water woes in California, he said that “Replacing existing salt-based water softeners with newer salt-free water softeners is the best eco-friendly move for California and other states.”
Considering that salt-free water softeners do not discharge any harmful substances into the environment, his argument could prove valid. Unlike salt-based softeners that use ion-exchange to condition water, salt-free water softeners use a physical process known as Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC) to convert the hardness minerals to a crystal that sticks to any surface. A system like Springwell’s FutureSoft® Salt-Free Water Softener is designed to produce great-tasting water without using salt and provides 99.6% scale prevention. What’s even more intriguing that this salt-free softener wastes little to no water and does not discharge salt brine into the environment (unlike the salt-based variants).
Using a salt-based system that dumps excessive amounts of salt brine into dwindling freshwater supplies seems especially unnecessary when Springwell Water Systems offers a host of salt-free alternatives. Check out their website at www.springwellwater.com to learn more or get in touch.