Thursday’s decision may result in unnecessary treatment expenditures and quadrupling of sewer bills
A Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Water Board) decision this Thursday could force unnecessary construction of desalination treatment, costing Santa Clarita Valley residents and businesses $350 million dollars.
Residents and business leaders may attend the meeting and speak before the Regional Water Board prior to the decision.
The meeting will take place this Thursday, August 3, at 9 a.m. at Santa Clarita City Hall located at 23920 Valencia Blvd. Valencia.
In 2005, the Regional Water Board adopted a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the amount of chloride (salt) allowed to enter the Santa Clara River from two water reclamation plants in the valley, and salt levels in discharged water are above the TMDL level. The TMDL allows the District time to conduct scientific studies to validate the science on the appropriate level of chloride to protect downstream agriculture and public outreach to control sources of chloride that enter the sanitary sewer system.
The District and the City of Santa Clarita are aggressively and effectively reducing chloride levels through an outreach campaign and a rebate program to encourage removal of automatic water softeners – the source of about one third of chloride contributions.
The Regional Water Board is now proposing to shorten the agreed upon timeline which included five years for studies and outreach. If they modify the existing schedule this Thursday, the District will be forced to prematurely commit to costly and possibly unnecessary capital expenditures for advanced treatment to remove chloride from the wastewater.
Advanced treatment could cost the community more than $350 million, and each household sewer bill could quadruple to $500 or more per year. Since automatic water softeners became illegal to install in March 2003, the fraction of SCV households operating the units has dropped from one in seven in 2003 to one in eleven in 2005.