Code Section Group

Health and Safety Code - HSC

DIVISION 104. ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH [106500 - 119406]

  ( Division 104 added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 6. )

PART 12. DRINKING WATER [116270 - 117130]

  ( Part 12 added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 6. )

CHAPTER 5. Water Equipment and Control [116775 - 116890]

  ( Chapter 5 added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 6. )

ARTICLE 1. Water Softeners [116775 - 116795]
  ( Article 1 added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 6. )

116775.
  

The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the utilization of the waters of the state by residential consumers for general domestic purposes, including drinking, cleaning, washing, and personal grooming and sanitation of the people is a right that should be interfered with only when necessary for specified health and safety purposes or to protect the quality of the waters of the state. The Legislature further finds that variation in water quality, and particularly in water hardness, throughout the state often requires that onsite water softening or conditioning be available to domestic consumers to ensure their right to a water supply that is effective and functional for domestic requirements of the residential household, but that residential water softening or conditioning appliances shall be available only as authorized in this article.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 969, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2000.)

116780.
  

(a)  Unless the context otherwise requires the definitions in this section govern the construction of this article.

(b)  “Clock control” means the system controlling the periodic automatic regeneration of a residential water softening or conditioning appliance that is based upon a predetermined and preset time schedule.

(c)  “Demand control” means the system controlling the periodic automatic regeneration of a residential water softening or conditioning appliance that is based either upon a sensor that detects imminent exhaustion of the active softening or conditioning material or upon the measurement of the volume of water passing through the appliance. A demand control system activates regeneration based upon the state of the equipment and its ability to continue the softening process.

(d)  “Fully manual regeneration” means the method of regeneration of a residential water softening or conditioning appliance in which operations are performed manually and in which dry salt is added directly to the ion-exchanger tank after sufficient water is removed to make room for the salt.

(e)  “Hardness” means the total of all dissolved calcium, magnesium, iron and other heavy metal salts, that interact with soaps and detergents in a manner that the efficiency of soaps and detergents for cleansing purposes is impaired. Hardness is expressed in grains per gallon or milligrams per liter as if all such salts were present as calcium carbonate.

(f)  “Local agency” means a city, county, city and county, district, or any other political subdivision of the state.

(g)  “Manually initiated control” means the system controlling the periodic regeneration of a residential water softening or conditioning appliance in which all operations, including bypass of hard water and return to service, are performed automatically after manual initiation.

(h)  “Regeneration” means the phase of operation of a water softening or conditioning appliance whereby the capability of the appliance to remove hardness from water is renewed by the application of a brine solution of sodium or potassium chloride salt to the active softening or conditioning material contained therein followed by a subsequent rinsing of the active softening or conditioning material.

(i)  “Salt efficiency rating” means the efficiency of the use of sodium chloride salt in the regeneration of a water softening appliance, expressed in terms of hardness removal capacity of the appliance per pound of salt used in the regeneration process. The units of salt efficiency rating are grains of hardness removed per pound of salt used. One grain of hardness per gallon is approximately equivalent to 17.1 milligrams of hardness per liter.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 969, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2000.)

116785.
  

Except as provided in Section 116786, a residential water softening or conditioning appliance may be installed only if either of the following apply:

(a)  The regeneration of the appliance is performed at a nonresidential facility separate from the location of the residence where the appliance is used.

(b)  The regeneration of the appliance discharges to the community sewer system and all of the following conditions are satisfied:

(1)  The appliance activates regeneration by demand control.

(2)  An appliance installed on or after January 1, 2000, shall be certified by a third party rating organization using industry standards to have a salt efficiency rating of no less than 3,350 grains of hardness removed per pound of salt used in regeneration. An appliance installed on or after January 1, 2002, shall be certified by a third party rating organization using industry standards to have a salt efficiency rating of no less than 4,000 grains of hardness removed per pound of salt used in regeneration.

(3)  The installation of the appliance is accompanied by the simultaneous installation of the following softened or conditioned water conservation devices on all fixtures using softened or conditioned water, unless the devices are already in place or are prohibited by local and state plumbing and building standards or unless the devices will adversely restrict the normal operation of the fixtures:

(A)  Faucet flow restrictors.

(B)  Shower head restrictors.

(C)  Toilet reservoir dams.

(D)  A piping system installed so that untreated (unsoftened or unconditioned) supply water is carried to hose bibs and sill cocks that serve water to the outside of the house, except that bypass valves may be installed on homes with slab foundations constructed prior to the date of installation; or condominiums constructed prior to the date of installation; or otherwise where a piping system is physically inhibited.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 969, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2000.)

116786.
  

(a)  Notwithstanding subdivision (b) of Section 116785, a local agency may, by ordinance, 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 all of the following findings and includes them in the ordinance:

(1)  Limiting the availability, or prohibiting the installation, of the appliances is a necessary means of achieving compliance with waste discharge requirements issued by a California regional water quality control board. In determining a necessary means of achieving compliance, the local agency shall assess both of the following:

(A)  The technological and economic feasibility of alternatives to the ordinance.

(B)  The potential saline discharge reduction of the ordinance.

(2)  The local agency has adopted and is enforcing regulatory requirements that limit the volumes and concentrations of saline discharges from nonresidential sources in the community waste disposal system to the extent technologically and economically feasible.

(b)  Notwithstanding subdivision (b) of Section 116785, a local agency may, by ordinance, 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 all of the following findings and includes them in the ordinance:

(1)  Limiting the availability, or prohibiting the installation, of the appliances is a necessary means of achieving compliance with the water reclamation requirements or the master reclamation permit issued by a California regional water quality control board. In determining a necessary means of achieving compliance, the local agency shall assess both of the following:

(A)  The technological and economic feasibility of alternatives to the ordinance.

(B)  The potential saline discharge reduction of the ordinance.

(2)  The local agency has adopted, and is enforcing, regulatory requirements that limit the volumes and concentrations of saline discharges from nonresidential sources to the community waste disposal system to the extent technologically and economically feasible.

(c)  Local agency findings shall be substantiated by an independent study of discharges from all sources of salinity, including, but not limited to, residential water softening or conditioning appliances, residential consumptive use, industrial and commercial discharges, and seawater or brackish water infiltration and inflow into the sewer collection system. The study shall quantify, to the greatest extent feasible, the total discharge from each source of salinity and identify remedial actions taken to reduce the discharge of salinity into the community sewer system from each source, to the extent technologically and economically feasible, to bring the local agency into compliance with waste discharge requirements, water reclamation requirements, or a master reclamation permit, prior to limiting or prohibiting the use of residential water softening or conditioning appliances.

(d)  Any ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall be prospective in nature and may not require the removal of residential water softening or conditioning appliances that are installed before the effective date of the ordinance.

(e)  To comply with this section, any local agency described in subdivision (f) of Section 116780 is authorized to adopt an ordinance.

(f)  This section shall become operative on January 1, 2003.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 172, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2004.)

116787.
  

(a) Notwithstanding subdivision (d) of Section 116786, the Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District, or any successor district, may, by ordinance adopted subsequent to an ordinance adopted pursuant to Section 116786, require the removal of all installed residential self-regenerating water softeners, if the district makes all of the following findings and includes those findings in the ordinance:

(1) The removal of residential self-regenerating water softeners is a necessary and cost-effective means of achieving timely compliance with waste discharge requirements, water reclamation requirements, or a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) issued by a California regional water quality control board. In determining what constitutes a necessary and cost-effective means of achieving compliance, the district shall assess all of the following:

(A) Alternatives to the ordinance.

(B) The cost-effectiveness and timeliness of the alternatives as compared to the adoption of the ordinance.

(C) The reduction in chloride levels to date resulting from the voluntary program implemented pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (c).

(D) The potential reduction in chloride levels expected as a result of the program implemented pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (c).

(2) The district has adopted and is enforcing regulatory requirements that limit the volume and concentrations of saline discharges from nonresidential sources to the community sewer system, to the extent that is technologically and economically feasible.

(3) Based on available information, sufficient wastewater treatment capacity exists in Los Angeles County to make portable exchange water softening services available to residents affected by this ordinance.

(4) Based on available information, the adoption and implementation of the ordinance will avoid or significantly reduce the costs associated with advanced treatment for salt removal and brine disposal that otherwise would be necessary to meet the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for chloride, established by the Regional Water Quality Control Board, Los Angeles Region, for Reaches 5 and 6 of the Santa Clara River, in Los Angeles County that took effect May 4, 2005.

(b) (1) An ordinance adopted pursuant to subdivision (a) shall not be effective until it is approved by a majority vote of the qualified votes cast in a regularly scheduled election, following the adoption of the ordinance, held in the district’s service area, in a referendum in accordance with applicable provisions of the Elections Code.

(2) Information regarding the projected cost differences between advanced treatment for salt removal and brine disposal without the removal of installed residential self-regenerating water softeners, alternatives identified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), and the removal of installed residential self-regenerating water softeners shall be included in voter information material.

(c) (1) Prior to the effective date of any ordinance adopted pursuant to subdivision (a), the district shall make available to owners of residential self-regenerating water softeners within its service area a voluntary program to compensate the owner of the appliance for 100 percent of the reasonable value of the removed appliance, and the reasonable cost of the removal and disposal of the appliance, both of which shall be determined by the district, with consideration given to information provided by manufacturers of residential self-regenerating water softeners and providers of water softening or conditioning appliances and services in the district’s service area regarding purchase price, useful life, and the cost of installation, removal, and disposal.

(2) On and after the effective date of any ordinance adopted pursuant to subdivision (a), the district shall make available to owners of residential self-regenerating water softeners within its service area a program to compensate the owner of the appliance for 75 percent of the reasonable value of the removed appliance, and the reasonable cost of the removal and disposal of the appliance, both of which shall be determined by the district, with consideration given to information provided by manufacturers of residential self-regenerating water softeners and providers of water softening or conditioning appliances and services in the district’s service area regarding purchase price, useful life, and the cost of installation, removal, and disposal.

(3) Compensation pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2) shall only be made available if the owner disposes of the residential self-regenerating water softener and provides written confirmation of the disposal which may include, but is not limited to, verification in writing provided by the franchise refuse hauler that provides the service of removing the appliance or verification in writing of the appliance’s destruction by the party responsible for its recycling or final disposal.

(4) If the owner of a residential self-regenerating water softener is in the business of renting or leasing residential self-regenerating water softeners, the owner may voluntarily waive compensation pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2), and shall not be required to dispose of the appliance if the owner provides the district with written confirmation that the appliance has been removed from the home within the district’s service area for use in a location outside the district’s service area.

(5) The terms of compensation included in paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be included in an ordinance adopted pursuant to subdivision (a).

(6) (A) Upon the request of the district, the providers of water softening or conditioning services and appliances to residents of the district’s service area shall provide the district, within 60 days, copies of purchase agreements or receipts, or any other specific records of sales of residential self-generating water softeners in the district’s service area.

(B) The information in this paragraph shall remain protected and confidential in accordance with applicable provisions of the Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code).

(d) Any ordinance adopted pursuant to subdivision (a) and approved in accordance with subdivision (b) shall not take effect until January 1, 2009.

(e) For purposes of this section, “residential self-regenerating water softeners” and “appliances” mean residential water softening or conditioning appliances that discharge brine into the community sewer system.

(Added by Stats. 2006, Ch. 393, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2007.)

116790.
  

Any water softening appliance in place at a residential dwelling prior to January 1, 1980, in those areas being served by sewage treatment facilities that have been limited with regard to salt loading pursuant to Division 7 (commencing with Section 13000) of the Water Code and for which the appropriate regional water quality control board makes a finding, after adoption of waste discharge requirements and subject to a public hearing, that the control of residential salinity input is necessary to provide compliance with those limitations, may be continued in operation for a period no longer than four years after the regional water quality control board has made its findings. After the four-year period has elapsed, any water softening appliance at that site shall be set at a salt efficiency rating of no less than 2850 grains of hardness removed per pound of salt used in regeneration when regeneration is initiated with clock controls or manually-initiated controls, or shall have regenerations initiated with demand devices. Also, after the four-year period has elapsed, those water-saving devices in shower heads, on faucets, and in toilet reservoirs, as recited in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 116785, shall be installed unless already in place or prohibited by local and state plumbing and building standards. The salt efficiency rating of the water softening or conditioning appliance and the installation of water-saving devices shall be certified in accordance with Section 116795.

(Added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 1996.)

116795.
  

The certification required by this article shall be provided by the new user of the appliance and shall be completed by a contractor having a valid Class C-55 water conditioning contractor’s license or Class C-36 plumbing contractor’s license and filed with the local agency responsible for issuing plumbing permits.

The certification form shall contain all of the following information:

(a)  Name and address of homeowner.

(b)  Manufacturer of the water softening or conditioning appliance, model number of the appliance, pounds of salt used per regeneration, and salt efficiency rating at the time of certification.

(c)  Manufacturer of the water-saving devices installed, model number, and number installed.

(d)  Name, address, and the specialty contractor’s license number of the C-55 and C-36 licensee making the certification.

(Added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 1996.)

HSCHealth and Safety Code - HSC