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Proposed Water Softener Restrictions in Malibu, California

The city of Malibu, California, is taking steps to limit commercial and, eventually, private use of water softeners. Malibu residents should contact their councilmen to voice their opposition to this misguided policy that will ultimately affect the water quality in Malibu homes and businesses.

Next City Council meeting:
October 28, 2019, 6:30 p.m.
City Hall - Council Chambers
23825 Stuart Ranch Road

What’s at stake?

The proposed policy changes are the result of a new wastewater treatment center. Under the proposed ordinance, installation of new softeners would be prohibited. Residential water softeners would follow, meaning homeowners who have spent thousands of dollars to improve the quality of the water in their homes might be forced to remove their softeners.

Why is this so important?

Three top reasons:

1. Soft water is good for your home and appliances
2. Softener water can save you money by keeping appliances at top efficiency
3. You can lower wash temperatures without a decline in performance

Research shows the benefits of softened water

A 2009 study commissioned by the Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF) and conducted by the Battelle Memorial Institute found that adding a water softener helps water heaters and major appliances operate as efficiently as possible, while preventing clogs in showerheads, faucets, and drains.

As for water heaters, the researchers found that when they used softened water, the units maintained their original factory efficiency rating for as long as 15 years. Running hard water through the units cut efficiency by up to 48 percent. Scale buildup shortened the lifespan of the heating elements inside electric water heaters, and some tankless water heaters using hard water failed after just 1.6 years.

Additional findings for gas water heaters:

Each five grains per gallon of water hardness causes a 4% loss in efficiency and 4% increase in cost for gas storage tank water heaters when using 50 gallons of hot water per day. (On 30 gpg hard water, that’s 24% less efficient than with softened water.)

Each five grains per gallon of hardness causes an 8% loss in efficiency and 8% increase in cost when using 100 gallons of hot water per day in a gas storage tank water heater. (On 30 gpg hard water, that’s 48% less efficient than with softened water.)

Additional findings for electric water heaters:

Up to 30 pounds of calcium carbonate rocklike scale can accumulate in these heaters over time, according to the study. The life of the heating element will be shortened due to scale buildup because of increased operating temperature of the heating element.
Also, each five gpg of water hardness causes 0.4 pounds of scale accumulation each year in electric storage tank household water heaters. Such scale adversely affects the water heater’s performance.
The study found that tankless water heaters completely failed to function because of scale plugging in the downstream plumbing after only 1.6 years of equivalent hot water use on 26 gpg hard water. Softened water saves 34% of costs compared to operating on 20 gpg and saves 47% compared to operation on 30 gpg hard water.

More information

For more information, please contact the Pacific Water Quality Association at info@PWQA.org. To reach the mayor and councilmembers click here.


Benefits of Soft Water

High quality water is good for your home and appliances. Softened water can save you money by keeping appliances at top efficiency, and making them last longer. The amount of dish and laundry detergent you use can be cut by half, or even more, if you use softened water. You can also lower wash temperatures from hot to cold without a drop in performance, according to two other independent studies.

In addition, it can significantly extend the life of various appliances and equipment in your home. One example are water heaters, where running hard water through the units cut efficiency by up to 48 percent. Scale buildup shortened the lifespan of the heating elements inside electric water heaters, and some tankless water heaters using hard water failed after just 1.6 years.

More information can be found here:
https://www.wqa.org/improve-your-water/benefits-of-good-water-quality

Softener Benefits – Evaluating Energy Savings:

Click here for Part 1.

Softener Benefits – Evaluating Detergent Savings & Stain Removal:

Click here for Part 2.

Salinity and Water Issues:

Water falling from the sky is soft. But salinity eventually finds its way into our water – both from nature and from human activity. The problem of salinity is not new, but it has been gaining more attention from policymakers. Salinity can be a genuine problem.

Controlling all sources of salinity is necessary to properly protect our water supplies. The water softener industry has made great strides in addressing the salinity challenges we face, especially in the southwest. There are now devices available that provide the same benefit as existing water softeners but operate more efficiently, resulting in less salt discharge into the sewer system, if at all.

The Water Quality Association has demonstrated its commitment to finding meaningful solutions to the issue of salinity. We hope this toolkit will help provide answers to crucial questions as we work together to serve consumers and the environment.

Salinity Management - Water Treatment Industry Toolkit

To reach the mayor and councilmembers, click here.
For the Malibu City Council Meeting Agenda, click here.

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Pacific Water Quality Association

PO Box 3959
Mission Viejo, CA 92690-3959

Phone: 760-644-7348
Fax: 714-242-7715