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Shedding light on the chloride issue

Posted: August 7, 2010 4:30 p.m.
Updated: August 8, 2010 4:30 a.m.

There is, of course, considerable debate among Santa Clarita Valley residents about the rate increases proposed by the Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District of Los Angeles County.

The significance of the chloride concentrations in the Santa Clara River for both the agricultural water users in the Lower Santa Clara River hydrologic area (i.e., Ventura County) and the urban residents in the upper Santa Clara River hydrologic area (i.e., the SCV) has been argued for quite some time, and a well-informed debate is important for a beneficial resolution. 

In fact, the amount of chloride found in our imported water is comparable to, and in many cases lower than, the concentrations found in local groundwater.

The SCV Consumer Confidence Report, which was recently mailed to all SCV businesses and residents and is available online at, reports the concentrations of chlorides in both the imported state water and in the local groundwater.

Chlorides are listed in a single row and each source has a different set of columns, one with lowest reported value, one with the average or typical value and then the highest value.

The highest reported values for chlorides in the groundwater sources generally exceed the highest chloride values for imported water. 

Consequently, groundwater is also contributing to chloride loading in the river, generally at the same level that imported water is contributing to the loading.

Suffice it to say, while it is certainly possible for SCV residents to disagree on the extent to which there is a chloride problem or what should be done about it, that discussion must be illuminated by accurate information.



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