Ban on water softeners could spread
In November 2008 residents of Santa Clarita County in California voted, by a majority of two to one, to ban the use of all water softeners from first of January 2009. This has meant that more than 3,500 residential softeners will no longer be allowed to be used and must be removed by June of this year. The authorities have offered compensation to water softener owners. The aim is to stop the salinisation of ground water. Water softeners discharge a mixture of salt and water when backwashing. Commercial and industrial softener installation had been banned in the county since 1961.
A bill was also passed by the California legislature to ban all water softeners last year but Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill. However the pressure for this change is unlikely to go away.
The trend towards banning water softeners has brought an upsurge in interest for Fluid Dynamics International manufacturer of catalytic water conditioners that prevent scaling caused by hard water without using chemicals.
'If the only reason for installing a water softener is to prevent scaling then by installing a catalytic treatment unit you can have the same effect without any waste of water or discharge of salt into waterways' Says Robert Spencer. President of Fluid Dynamics who has been manufacturing catalytic water treatment units for 35 years. 'We have never seen such interest in our products' he added 'Responsible, environmentally conscious people are now seeking alternatives to these salt discharging products and alternatives to other chemical water treatment systems as well.
Fluid Dynamics sales are up 20% this year and these are expected to grow substantially as a network of US dealers is being set up to distribute the Housetron and Scaletron catalytic scale preventers in the US market.
Already Corporations such as Unilever, Kellogg’s and Coca Cola are using Fluid Dynamics Colloid-A-Tron catalytic scale prevention systems for water treatment in some of their plants eliminating the need for chemical treatments or acid cleaning.
“there is no doubt” says Spencer “ that if using by a non-chemical solution you can achieve the desired result of scale prevention without having to use chemicals or salt or acid then for the sake of the environment you have an absolute obligation to use that system. Whether the system is catalytic, magnetic or electric anything is preferable to adding contaminants to our waterways and politicians are likely to put increasing pressure on to ensure this is the case.