Water Softeners

Chlorides and Water Softeners

In December 2013, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reissued the City‘s wastewater discharge permit. The permit is updated and reissued every five years and contains water quality requirements that the City must meet to protect our lakes and streams. This permit includes a limit for chlorides. Excessive amounts of chlorides can adversely affect water quality in lakes and streams.

We need your help. If you have a water softener, whenever your softener regenerates, it’s discharging chlorides to the wastewater treatment plant. Removing chlorides at the treatment plant would be very costly. So, here’s how you can help:

•      Only soften water that really needs it. You don’t need to soften exterior and cold water kitchen tap lines.

•      If you have an older style "timer" softener, you may be able to increase the amount of time between regeneration cycles without affecting hardness. Start by increasing the interval one day at a time and monitor the effect on dishwashing, laundry and showering.

•      When you find that you are using more soap to obtain the desire amount of suds, set your timer back one day. You could also call in a water softener vendor to check calibration of softener.

•      When purchasing a new softener, purchase a "demand" softener. A "demand" softener will only regenerate when needed, using less salt and water and saving you money. Check with your local water softener vendor to find out which "demand" softener would be best for you.

•      If you aren’t ready to upgrade your "timer" style softener, remember to turn the unit off when you are on vacation.

•      If you want to check the hardness of your own water, go on line and search for Water Softener Test Strips. Strips will test for Total Hardness as Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3). 

By keeping your softener in good working condition and regenerating only when needed, you can help the City meet permit limits, keep sewer rates low, and help protect water quality in our lakes and streams.

Any questions, call Sun Prairie Wastewater at 837-6292.