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Jay Famiglietti is concerned, and with good cause. As the senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Famiglietti announced earlier this year that California has only one year’s worth of water left in its severely depleted reservoirs and groundwater supplies. And, there seems to be no end in sight to a drought that has already lasted over four years.
According to Famiglietti, the state is losing 12 million acre-feet of water a year. Total water from rain, snow, reservoirs, and groundwater was 34 million acre-feet below normal in 2014, and dropping rapidly. Groundwater and snowfall are at all-time lows — January was the driest since the state began recording temperatures and rainfall in 1895.
In short, the California drought, along with the drought that is plaguing other areas of our country, continues to be a crisis. On the state level in California, Governor Jerry Brown’s drought restrictions remain in place but on the municipal level local cities are seeking new ways to save water and help residents shift to more eco-friendly water solutions in their homes.
In the city of Brentwood, Calif., one way the local government is attacking this issue is to offer a water softener incentive program for residents. In order to help reduce the city’s chloride levels in the wastewater, the city is offering a $700 financial incentive to residents for removing their salt-based (sodium chloride or potassium chloride), self-regenerating water softeners, and a $300 incentive to first-time purchasers of non-salt-based devices.
Brentwood is offering this incentive as part of the city’s goal to reduce water usage by 35 percent due to the drought and to preserve local marine life. Although chloride, most commonly associated with table salt, is a naturally occurring it is considered harmful to certain freshwater aquatic life in high concentrations.
To prevent the local Marsh Creek watershed from experiencing chloride levels high enough to be harmful to aquatic life, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board’s (“RWQCB”) imposed a limit on the amount of chloride that can be present in the city’s wastewater treatment plant effluent (known as “recycled water”) that currently discharges into the creek. The city’s recycled water was unable to meet the RWQCB chloride limit due to the high amount of chloride found in the city’s wastewater, resulting primarily from water softeners that use salt (sodium chloride or potassium chloride) and discharge the brine to the sewer system. This brine discharge has caused other municipalities in the area to ban salt-systems all together.
When the Brentwood water softener incentive program went into effect in April, local plumbing contractor Henson Plumbing Inc. had an ideal solution for their customers: a non-salt based softening and filtration combo system. A family owned business started by Buddy Henson in 1986, now owned and operated by his son Tom, Henson Plumbing has been awarded more than 10 “Best of Brentwood” awards for their dedication to their customers.
The team at Henson wanted to provide their customers with a turnkey water softening and filtration solution. The plumbing contractor would remove their salt-based softener system as part of the local incentive program and then the same day install a new non-salt based softening solution from Enviro Water Products, which is provided to Henson through Heieck Supply. This ensures their customers have no down time in which scale from hard water can develop in their pipes or affect their water appliances.
The team at Henson prides themselves on providing their customers with an array of solutions, but leveraged Enviro Water Products Pro Combo Filtration and Softening System for this application due to its wide range of benefits beyond just the city incentive.
“The Enviro Water Products system is a great option to share with our customers, especially if they are looking for an eco-friendly solution that allows them to take advantage of Brentwood’s incentive program,” noted Pearl Celli, manager at Henson Plumbing. “When discussing potential softening and filtration choices we like to highlight that Enviro has no salt, no drain and needs no electricity and we know from customer feedback that it is great for their home, helpful with moisturizing the skin and allows them to feel confident to drink water out of every faucet in the home.”
“We also tell our customers to do their homework; we let them know they should visit Brentwood’s municipal site to review the water quality report as well as the Enviro Water Product’s web site where they can find a variety of informational videos and blog posts specifically about California that can help them to make an informed decision about which water treatment solution is best for their home,” Celli added.
On average, salt-based systems waste about 150 gallons of water each week, amounting to 7,800 gallons every year which increases monthly water bills and puts a major burden on community water supplies. Enviro’s NaturSoft softening solution uses no-salt and results in no waste water. In addition, the ongoing purchase and hauling of salt bags or potassium pellets is another reason Henson offered its customers this low-maintenance solution.
Enviro’s Combo System impacts a homeowner’s water in two primary ways. First, it provides bottled-water quality from every tap as it filters a range of contaminants, bacteria and potential impurities such as chlorine, chloramines, pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals and industrial solvents chlorine. Second, it uses Enviro’s NaturSoft technology: a proven, third-party-tested salt-free softening solution that wastes no water, uses no electricity, and provides a low-maintenance cost-saving option for the homeowner that is guaranteed to last a lifetime. Also, Enviro’s NaturSoft solution is the only water softener tested and certified by DVGW, Europe’s largest gas and water industry certification body, and the test proved that it prevents 99.6 percent of scale build-up.
“Also, Enviro is easy-to-install and low maintenance for our customers. We also haven’t had one customer call back or issue, but we have had customers reach out to us to tell us how happy they are with the new Enviro system, which is wonderful because our business is focused on delivering the highest level of customer satisfaction,” Celli said.
“We are thrilled that our partnership with Henson Plumbing and Heieck Supply has achieved such strong results for everyone involved including Henson’s customers,” said Tony Friesl, executive vice president of Enviro Water Products.
To date, Henson Plumbing has helped local residents remove hundreds of salt-based systems and has been able to provide customers with the Enviro Water Products Pro Combo system as a comprehensive solution to help protect their families and their homes.