Oct 16, 2009

Schwarzenegger Signs AB 1366

Law may lead to more restrictions, bans on water softeners in certain regions in California

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently announced he has signed legislation aimed at reducing California’s greenhouse gas emissions and creating new jobs.

One of the bills he signed was AB 1366, introduced by Assembly member Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles), which addresses excess salinity from residential water softeners. The bill gives greater discretion to local water agencies where surface and groundwater supplies are particularly susceptible to salt contamination with additional authority to manage these salt discharges. The bill applies to the South Coast, Central Coast, San Joaquin Valley, Tulare Lake and the lower half of the Sacramento Valley hydrologic regions.

The Water Quality Association (WQA) and Pacific Water Quality Association (PWQA) opposed the bill.

The PWQA planned to discuss the implications of AB 1366 at its annual convention and tradeshow in Palm Springs, Calif., this past week.

The text of the bill states:

“Under existing law, a local agency, by ordinance, may limit the availability, or prohibit the installation, of residential water softening or conditioning appliances that discharge to the community sewer system if the local agency makes certain findings and includes them in the ordinance.

“This bill would authorize any local agency that maintains a community sewer system within specified areas of the state to take action, by ordinance or resolution and after a public meeting, to control salinity inputs from residential self-regenerating water softeners to protect the quality of the waters of the state, if the appropriate regional board makes a finding that the control of residential salinity input will contribute to the achievement of water quality objectives. The bill would state related findings and declarations of the Legislature, including findings and declarations concerning the need for special legislation.”

The full text is available here here.