Wisconsin researchers have determined that long-term exposure to a chloride concentration of 395 milligrams per liter or higher can be harmful to freshwater life — a concentration equal to about half of a tablespoon of salt in five gallons of water. Wastewater chloride sources are water softening systems, industrial sources and winter ice control. It's easy to add salt to water, but costly and energy-intensive to remove it. To build treatment technology to reduce chloride at the treatment plant would be costly -- meaning higher sewer bills. Fortunately, there is another way. Rather than adding costly treatment to continue protecting our freshwater life, we can reduce chloride at the source. Together, we can take steps to reduce the amount of salt put into water.
Help us reduce chlorides at our Wastewater Treatment Plant. By upgrading your water softener to a demand-initiated regeneration control model you can help make a difference. Demand-initiated regeneration control means that the water softener will regenerate based on the amount of water that has been treated instead of a timer, reducing the amount of salt you use and send to our Wastewater Treatment Plant. Wastewater Treatment Plants cannot break down chlorides (residual of the salt) therefore the chlorides are released into our streams and rivers. By reducing chlorides we will help protect our natural resources.
The utility has started a water softener rebate program to help customers upgrade to demand-initiated regeneration (DIR) water softeners, please click here for info and rebate form.
City of Waterloo ordinance 340-12 (G) requires that new water softeners have demand-initiated regeneration controls with a minimum salt efficiency of 3,350 grains’ hardness per pound of salt.