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The purpose of this website is to educate the community about the Santa Clara River's high chloride (salt) levels, and the reasons and options for reducing chloride levels.
The goal of the Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District (Sanitation District) is to reduce the amount of chloride entering the Santa Clara River, which flows through the Santa Clarita Valley and is the last natural river in Southern California. Wastewater generated in the Santa Clarita Valley, from actions such as flushing toilets and washing laundry, is sent to the Sanitation District's Saugus and Valencia Water Reclamation Plants for treatment. The treated water leaving the plants that is not directly reused for landscape irrigation and other applications is sent to the Santa Clara River. While the water reclamation plants provide a high level of treatment, they do not remove chloride. If levels of chloride go too high, they could harm wildlife or have a negative impact on downstream farms that rely on river water for irrigation.
The Santa Clarita Valley water supply contributes the majority of the chloride coming out of the Sanitation District's treatment plants. The largest added source of chloride is from residences.
The Santa Clara River Chloride Reduction Ordinance of 2008, approved as Measure S by voters on November 4, 2008, required the removal of all residential automatic water softeners by June 30, 2009. Residents that still have automatic water softeners should view the Automatic Water Softener Rebate Program webpage for information on how to remove their units.
Santa Clarita businesses have been prohibited from using automatic water softeners since 1961.