Salt Regulations

    • Regulations are in place NOW & more are being considered
    • Most industrial brine generators are currently required to properly manage & dispose of their wastewater
      • Some haul, some use solar evaporation, some use alternative treatments
      • Some wastewaters are regulated for one pollutant but are allowed to discharge with other pollutants
      • These regulations need to be updated to assure that reclaimed water is of high quality for re-use
      • These management practices cost businesses a lot of money & fail to take advantage of the opportunity to re-use the water if the salt level was reduced
    • Water softeners are increasingly looked at as a salt pollution source
      • Over 50 communities in CA have regulations in place now
      • Scottsdale, AZ offers rebates to homeowners who remove a softener
      • Madison, WI offers rebates to businesses that reduce water softener salt discharge & is looking at incentives for homeowners (92% of homes have a softener)
      • MI has more bans than any other state due to concerns that septic systems will fail
      • DE, FL & CT regulate softener discharge to septic systems
      • 24 communities in MN have high chloride levels in their wastewater & are asking homeowners to “turn off” their softener
      • Banning softeners is politically unpopular so utilities are looking for a better idea
    • CA requires that all water management entities have a salt & nutrient management plan
    • The Bureau of Reclamation has a major initiative to reduce salts in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency, The US Department of Agriculture, The US Geological Society & others – funding is available from multiple programs within the agencies

    salt regulations

    Green dots are areas that have enacted regulations and that have or propose rebates

    Yellow dots are areas in  various stages of problem identification or regulation development

    Large dots are state-wide initiatives









    Note:  15% of annual softener sales are into

    CA & AZ   

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