July 2004
Volume 46 Number 7
 

Pipelines: Timberrr… Another Calif. City Falls to Softener Ban
by Ronald Y. Pérez, WC&P Managing Editor   Pages: 

The city of Fillmore has become the second city in California--Santa Clarita was the first--to enact a ban on new automatic softeners as permitted by AB 334, reported the Pacific Water Quality Association (PWQA) website. On May 11, the city--based on a request by the city engineer--acted to formalize the ban drafted a week earlier outlawing the installation of new automatic water softeners within city limits. Representatives of the PWQA were on hand to voice their opposition to the ban as unfair and unnecessary to the citizens of Fillmore. The city is also considering a citywide ballot measure aimed at forcing local residents to remove their existing automatic units. According to observers, the city is considering placing a ballot measure asking residents to either soften all of the city’s water supply by building a treatment plant or build a membrane-based effluent treatment plant. The PWQA went on to say that each of these options would carry a high cost, which is certain to cause voters to turn down both options, giving the city carte blanche to enact further ordinance or impose a special fee on owners of self-regenerating water softeners. At different times, representatives of the city have stated this fee could be up to $180 per month more on a consumer’s sewer bills. For more information, visit www.saveour softeners.com. Local residents have formed a grassroots organization, Save Our Softeners (see April PipeLines), to oppose the city’s ban on new automatic equipment as well as future efforts by the city to make all automatic softeners illegal.

In other PWQA news, the association conducted a membership drive on May 11 and swung 12 new members onto its rolls. The drive was hosted by Performance Water Products, of Buena Park, Calif., and participants included Mark Howlett, past PWQA president Pat Dalee, WC&P Technical Review Committee member C.F. “Chubb” Michaud, Mike Mecca and Tony Pagliaro. For more information on joining the PWQA, contact Kristi Pihl at (760) 644-7348 or email: info@pwqa.org.

In its May 2004 newsletter, the Ohio Water Quality Association (OWQA) estimated that 30 people attended the April 23 seminar held in Bellville, Ohio. As OWQA executive director Dan Schlosser reported, the day began with a two-hour presentation on integrated marketing by Creative Marketing columnist David H. Martin. During lunch, the future of the Great Lakes WQA program was discussed. It was decided that next year’s event will be held at Kings Island Resort and Conference Center in Cincinnati in June. Exact dates weren’t provided; see future Upcoming Events for further updates. Also, Rebecca Petty, of the Ohio Department of Health, outlined areas of the private water system rules to be reviewed later this year. She also asked for input from water treatment professionals in attendance. A copy of Martin’s Power Point slides can be obtained by contacting him by email: dmartin@lenzimartin.com.

The Water Quality Association of Wisconsin (WQAW) lost a charter member recently when Paul Maher passed away in late April. Maher, along with his wife Lydia, were founders of Maher Soft Water Service, of Stevens Point, Wis. He was a pioneer in the treatment of low pH waters found in central and northern Wisconsin. He was also a charter member of the Wisconsin Water Conditioning Dealers Association, which later became the WQAW. Maher was elected to the WQAW board of directors, served as president, and was awarded the WQAW’s Lifetime award. He retired in February 1980, selling his business to his son, William Maher, who is serving as WQAW president this year and is also the WQA regent for Wisconsin. The elder Maher is survived by his wife, three sons and two daughters.