City of Saline residents thinking about investing in a water softener might save some money if they can live with hard water for another month.
The city has had a hard-water issue for months because one of the pumps feeding the reverse osmosis unit at the water plant went down. The reverse osmosis system has been running with just one re-conditioned pump – and that pump hasn’t been cleaned, lately, because it’s the only one still running, according to water superintendent Steve Wyzgogski.
Wyzgoski was speaking at Monday’s meeting of Saline City Council, answering a question from Councillor Janet Dillon.
“There’s been a lot of chatter about us having really hard water in Saline,” Dillon told Wyzgoski during his regular report to council.
Wyzgoski said the city sent the malfunctioning pump way for repair – only to learn the pump can’t be repaired. Instead, the city is buying a new pump that will be delivered April 22. Answering another question from Councillor Dillon, Wyzgogski said the city has been working with the problem for a couple of months.
Wyzgoski said the city’s water is harder than normal, but that “all health parameters were being met.”
He also said that he’s spoken to City Manager Todd Campbell about buying an extra pump to have on hand in case a pump malfunctions in the future. Mayor Brian Marl said it he thought it was it a good idea.
“To have people deal with hard water for a protracted period is not acceptable,” Marl said.
Councillor Christen Mitchell asked if the city has provided information about the water situation to residents. Wyzgoski said he’s communicated with residents as they’ve posed questions. Campbell said the city would notify residents via social media and its webpage.
The issue gained traction in the Saline Posts Facebook group when a new resident to the community said she was surprised by the spots and resident left on dishes and soap scum left in the bath tub. Lim Hoon said her husband bought a water testing kit and the “hardness” was close to the highest level. She also reported high alkalinity.
City of Saline drinking water has had a reputation for being hard for years. In 2005, the city started using reverse osmosis to remove calcium and magnesium from the water. This softened water is then blended with raw water to produce hardness in the approximate range of 110-120 mg/l. Chlorine is then added for disinfection and fluoride is added to help prevent tooth decay