The Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District has reached a settlement with the state of California over the district's alleged failure to meet a deadline to comply with our valley’s wastewater chloride levels mandated by the state.
The settlement reduces the original proposed fine from $280,000 down to $225,000.
City of Santa Clarita Mayor Bob Kellar says that while he’s happy the district was able to reduce the fine by 20 percent, he is not pleased with the lack of progress the SCV has made in reducing its wastewater chloride problem.
“What’s more concerning to me (than the fine) is our ability to satisfy the Regional Water Quality Control Board as we go into the future,” said Kellar. The mayor added that while many citizens took the issue to heart, some are still using their old, illegal salt-based water softening systems. “I know we don’t have 100% compliance among our citizens. If we did we might have reached the (state mandated) 100 milligrams per liter” by now.
For ten years, the district has unsuccessfully challenged the state’s wastewater salt limits, including the science used to determine those limits and the timeline imposed by the state.
Kellar said that while greater citizen compliance will help, the only way to meet the mandated chloride level may require an expensive fix. “The only thing that remains for us is to build some form of a system that will remove the chloride from the water. There are two or three different options to do that, and they range from somewhere in the $250 million range down to maybe a million dollar range.”
The Sanitation District’s staff is conducting technical studies and the necessary planning to develop a solution that will put our valley into compliance.
“This issue is not done by any means,” Kellar added. “But we’ve been doing our absolute best to work with the Sanitation District (and) the state to satisfy all concerned.”
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