Bill AB2270 expected
to go to governor’s desk soon.
state legislature will almost certainly pass a sweeping water softener ban law
very soon, observers say. The bill, AB 2270, passed out of the Senate
Appropriations Committee by party line vote July 7. It is expected to pass the
whole Senate as early as next week and move to Governor Arnold
The State Water Resources Control Board
told the legislature that bans will not cost state government significant amounts
of money. However, the law could cost homeowners untold sums.
The bill gives water boards the power to
decide whether towns can ban softeners. If a town chooses to announce a ban,
policing power to enforce it would be necessary.
California created water softener
efficiency standards in 1978, when researchers in the water treatment industry
began looking at the problem of salinity. The state set up guidelines to make
sure that before a community bans water softeners, independent scientific
studies show such a measure will significantly improve local ground conditions.
The current proposal to ban water
softeners would overturn this approach, says the Water Quality Association,
which is opposed to this bill.
“Those in the industry and homeowners
need to make sure the governor knows how damaging this law would be,” said
, WQA executive director. “This drastic bill
would do very little good for the environment and cause a lot of problems for homeowners
Censky says studies have shown that
the vast majority of salinity in the ground in California ― close to 90 percent
― comes from natural processes, mainly farming techniques and other sources.
Water softeners contribute only slightly more than one-tenth of the salt.