The use of water softeners in the District was prohibited on November 10, 2014 in order to reduce the level of Total Dissolved Solids TDS (salts) entering our wastewater collection flows. As a wastewater treatment utility, we are bound by certain State and Federal regulatory requirements, one of which is a limitation on the amount of TDSs in our treated wastewater, which is first collected from all District customers.
A Water softener is used for converting hard water into soft water. The resin present in your tank exchanges ions, enabling the softening process. The minerals used for this exchange are typically sodium or potassium (salts) added into the softener. The specific minerals which turn the water hard are calcium and magnesium. When the quantity of these minerals exceeds a certain level, your water will be converted into hard water. Cherokee’s groundwater contains a natural hardness of around 100 mg/l which is considered moderately hard. When using a softener, you are exchanging the different minerals to create a softer household water, but not changing the mineral content of the water that is collected in the wastewater streams. The amount of minerals, particularly sodium or potassium, are elevated through this exchange. This increases the Total Dissolved Solids (salts) in the wastewater, which is strictly regulated by the State of Colorado. A prohibition on water softeners helps Cherokee control these TDSs and therefore maintain regulatory compliance.