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Drought

Does Another Bout of Drought Spell Doom for Water Softeners?


With the initial months of 2022 being the state and region’s driest January to March on record, it is no surprise that San Jose is experiencing its third year of drought.  To make matters worse, the snowpack measured at the beginning of April was the fifth smallest on record.  As discussed in our previous blog, our state is not prepared for another drought therefore; in order to lessen the blow, Santa Clara Valley Water Board of Directors unanimously voted to limit the watering of lawns and ornamental landscapes in the county to two days a week.  By doing so, the board hopes that the county will reduce their water usage by 15 percent this year.  If caught doing any of the below, customers could face fines ranging from $100 to $1000.  

  • Watering ornamental lawns more than two days a week. 

  • Watering any outdoor landscape between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. 

  • Any outdoor watering that results in excessive runoff onto adjacent properties, private and public walkways, roadways, parking lots, or structures. 

  • Watering outdoors during and within 48 hours of a storm that produces at least one-quarter of an inch 


While it’s a given that our lawns would suffer, the wallets of some San Jose residents might also take a hit as City Council has approved of increasing the rates for drinking and recycled water for the next fiscal year.  This price hike would affect customers of San Jose Municipal Water System.  With operating costs increasing by $8.2 million and the cost of purchasing water hiking up by 15 percent, residents in North San Jose can expect an average of a $24 increase while those residing in Evergreen would foresee a $16 upcharge.  

With rising water costs, homeowners should reexamine their various water-using appliances to reduce expenditures.  If you have a water softener installed, it is time to review your specs sheet.  As they release salt into streams, rivers, and aquifers, water softeners are perceived to be detrimental to the environment.  Furthermore, the Environmental Protection Agency claims that when regenerating, a water softener uses 25 gallons of water equating to 10,000 gallons annually.  In fact, as of 2014, softeners have been banned in 25 California communities.  Understandably, with an average water hardness of 15 grains per gallon (gpg) in San Jose, eradicating water softeners would seem unfathomable.  By installing our Kinetico water softener, you can significantly reduce water wastage and maintain the efficiency of your water-using appliances.  Unlike other water softeners on the market that regenerate daily with a timer in place, our systems are not only demand-based generated but also only utilize 11 to 15 gallons of water and one pound of salt per regeneration.  Our twin-tank, non-electric softeners are best suited for the often drought-stricken Bay Area.  If you would like to learn more about our unique systems, sign up for a FREE onsite water consultation NOW!  

Sources 

Jana Kadah, “San Jose Residents to see Water Hikes Once Again,” San Jose Spotlight, 2022, https://sanjosespotlight.com/some-san-jose-residents-to-pay-more-for-water-higher-bills-rates/ 

Ona Christie Martin, “A Hard Look at Water Softener Safety: Is your water softener harming the planet?” Green Child Magazine, 2022, https://www.greenchildmagazine.com/a-hard-look-at-water-softeners-could-your-water-softener-be-harming-the-planet/