eMERGE GUELPH SUSTAINABILITY
With winter around the corner, we expect to see salt trucks working to prevent icy roads and vehicle collisions. A lot of that salt eventually winds up in our waterways.“We all know that road salt is bad for our beloved Speed River, but what about that invisible source in our basements - water softeners," said Evan Ferrari, Executive Director at eMERGE Guelph Sustainability.
Water softeners can actually compete with volumes of road salt that we pour into our rivers. The added salt is bad enough, but this also means we use more water to operate them. "All of this negatively affects the plants and animals - including us - that rely on our rivers. But there are ways we can cut household salt use by up to 60 per cent while reducing water and saving money at the same time." continues Ferrari.
Water softeners can be found in more than 70 per cent of households in Guelph. They provide several real and perceived benefits, but come with a few drawbacks. Many people see them as a necessary evil given that Guelph water is considered to be amongst the hardest in the country. “Softeners account for about one quarter of our residential water use - that's at least 1.9 billion litres of backwash water per year. And with that water comes 25,000 tonnes of salt each year that flow from our sanitary sewers to our wastewater treatment plant and then the river. This chloride pollution then negatively impacts the potential water supply of communities downstream of Guelph," continued Ferrari.
While many water softeners in Guelph are set up to soften all of the water in our single-family homes - experts tell us that we only need to soften the hot water that we use. A simple plumbing change in our homes, costing on average about $300, could pay for itself in salt and water savings in less than three years.
To help people navigate their way around water softeners, eMERGE is hosting Salty Softeners, Salty Rivers, Efficient ways to save salt, water and our rivers. This webinar will be bringing in two water conservation and softener experts to help people learn how to cut salt use by up to 60 per cent, benefit our rivers, fight climate change and save money.
Salty Softeners, Salty Rivers
Efficient ways to save salt, water and our rivers
7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020
For more information and registration go to: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/salty-softeners-salty-rivers-tickets-126245270001