Mountain House Community Services District board members discussed a proposal to require a type of softener that is deemed better for the environment at the regular meeting May 14.
According to a staff report, water softeners use salts to attract metals and other minerals out of the water. Periodically, the salts need to be changed, and when they are flushed into sewers, salinity levels rise in the district’s waste water.
The proposed regulation calls for units that are picked up by water companies and flushed somewhere else, called off-site regeneration.
Mountain House Community Development Manager Morgan Groover estimated to the board that an average household of three people discharges 258 gallons of sewage per day, so the 4,000 homes in Mountain House would collectively produce 960 pounds of salts per day.
Groover said that restricting water softeners has become a best practice among cities. He referred to a similar rule in Discovery Bay.
If the board passed the ordinance, any new water softener would require a permit from the district before installation to show that it was an off-site regeneration unit.
Existing softeners would be exempt but could only be replaced with off-site regeneration units.
Homeowners found to have installed a standard water softener instead of an off-site regeneration unit would get a warning, Groover said, followed by a $100 fine if they failed to comply within 30 days.
The board is expected to vote on the proposed ordinance after a second reading at an upcoming board meeting.
• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at email@example.com or 830-4225.