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CORRECTION: SCV Sanitation District to discuss rate hikes

Corrects date of meeting in subheadline: District is expected to recommend increases Wednesday

Posted: May 6, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: May 6, 2014 1:34 p.m.

The Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District meets at City Hall this Wednesday to take up the issue of rate increases to underwrite chloride removal from local wastewater.

Sanitation District staff members are expected to recommend a series of rate increases over six years’ time to fund the process of reverse osmosis, ultraviolet light treatment and deep-well injection to reduce chloride — a naturally occurring substance that with sodium makes up common table salt — in water dumped into the Santa Clara River.

State water quality regulators insist the district reduce chloride to 100 milligrams per liter of water in the river at the Los Angeles-Ventura county line — a level demanded by downstream farmers who say salt in the water harms their avocado trees.

After years of wrangling, Sanitation District officials have reduced the cost of wastewater chloride treatment from an initial estimated half a billion dollars to the currently estimated $130 million system — a reduction made possible in part by Santa Clarita Valley residents’ willingness to give up salt-discharging water softeners in their homes.

The rate increase to single-family residences is expected to be about $100 a year, but that increase would be phased in gradually over six years’ time under the plan expected to be submitted to the district’s three-member board Wednesday. The rate-setting process needs to be complete by July.

Sanitation District officials hope to win some concessions from state water officials, along with grants and other funding assistance, that could further reduce the costs of wastewater chloride reduction.

The meeting is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday at Santa Clarita City Hall Council Chambers, 23920 Valencia Blvd.


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