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Hunt for illegal water devices hardens

Utilities: District officials estimate about 400 to 500 softeners in area

Posted: July 4, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 4, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

Officials are coming down hard on owners of salt-generating illegal water softener systems.

The Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District announced last week that its hunt for owners of the systems is under way.

“We’re still seeing chloride spikes out there,” said district spokesman David Snyder, referring to levels of chloride observed in the regular monitoring of wastewater.

“We feel there are between 400 and 500 out there who are still discharging chloride,” he said.

In all, district heads estimate as many as 2,000 people in the Santa Clarita Valley own banned water softeners.

In 2008, residents voted in favor of a ban to remove all brine-generating water softeners from area homes in an effort to reduce the amount of chloride discharged into the Santa Clara watershed.

Sanitation officials have identified many of the 2,000 water softeners through sales receipts, rebate inquiries and tips, they said.

Those residents will be given 30 days to apply for the water softener rebate program.

Those who don’t respond to the warning can expect a visit from district workers intent on inspecting homes.

Residents caught with banned softeners will be given another 30 days to apply for the rebate or 60 days to get rid of banned machines.

If they don’t, they face a $1,000 fine.

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