Scottsdale Is Going Salt-Free and Offering Big Rebates

The Rundown

The City of Scottsdale is offering a large rebate to its residents as an incentive to convert to salt-free water softeners, or completely remove their salt-based softeners altogether and return to hard water. Scottsdale’s residents and businesses output more than 23 million gallons of wastewater and sewage down its sewer system every single day. Yes, you did read that right, every-single-day! This averages out to be roughly 90 gallons of water per resident. Astonishingly, 100% of the wastewater and solids created becomes recycled in some sort of fashion. While the City of Scottsdale doesn’t process the 1% of solids through their own wastewater treatment plant, they do send them to a different facility; in return, they process the solids through a sewer system that generates reusable energy. Scottsdale does, however, process the 99% of wastewater it creates. The leftover 99% of filtered, reclaimed water is used in partnership with 23 golf courses in Scottsdale, which accounts for over half of its establishments, to reduce their dependence on our freshwater resources.

Ready for another interesting fact? The City of Scottsdale actually has one of the most advanced filtering plants in the world! The city’s filtration plant processes 20 million gallons of water a day. In the desert, it’s no secret that water is a precious resource– advertently, cities are following in Scottsdale’s steps by making big advancements in filtration technology and the processes involved to recycle water. 

There’s One Problem…

Slurry pulled from a blocked toilet tankWhile the City of Scottsdale has an incredibly advanced facility that does a great job filtering and reusing water, there still lies an underlying issue… saltwater. Primarily, salt-based softeners add sodium to water which is incredibly challenging to remove. Furthermore, saltwater is harsh on the landscaping for the golf courses in Scottsdale using the recycled water; this can be detrimental to the city’s economy considering it’s one of the top 5 places to visit for golf and creates a lot of revenue for the town! Salt systems may not seem like they put a lot of sodium into your water, but the truth is salt-based softeners remove the minerals from the water and replace them with sodium. Additionally, the backwashing process of the softener uses salt; every time the system backwashes, it dumps saltwater into the city sewer line. 

The City of Scottsdale isn’t alone in their concerns with salt-based softeners; the City of Tucson is also worried about the negative side effects of their usage. If we branch even further out to Arizona’s close neighbor California, then we’ll see that many places are considering the long term effects of sodium in water. As of 2014, California vastly amped up their efforts to remove salt-based softeners from their communities by deauthorizing the installation of new units, making them illegal. Saltwater is difficult, even with advanced filtration processes, to remove from reclaimed water sources. How do we stop this silent war? The simplest solution is to quit putting saltwater down our sewer systems in the first place.

I Don’t Need a Softener 

The downside of not having a softener at all is hard water, which is a real problem in Scottsdale and the surrounding Phoenix area. Hard water is harsh on our skin, hair and even on our plumbing systems and appliances. Hmmm, maybe that’s really why they call it hard water – ha ha ha. Salt-based softening systems eliminate hard water and are gentle on our skin and hair, but they can be tough on our precious plumbing systems and appliances. Salt and metal are far from a perfect match and salt-based systems will likely reduce the lifespan of your plumbing fixtures in the (maybe not so) long run like your water heater.

Well, What’s the Answer? 

Looking at the big picture, what’s the best solution? How can you eliminate hard water without using salt? An answer that we love is the NuvoH2O, which happens to be approved by the City of Scottsdale’s rebate program. NuvoH20 is a softening system that doesn’t use salt, but instead uses citrus. This citrus-based cartridge system is affordable, easier to maintain and even has added filtration options to better test the water in your home.  

One of my favorite upgrades from switching to a NuvoH20 after having a salt-based softening system is the reduction of wastewater. Your salt system backwashes and regenerates, cleaning its brine filter and wasting nearly 50 gallons of water in the process– all while also putting saltwater into our sewer systems each time it backwashes. The NuvoH20 doesn’t have to backwash a brine filter, ultimately eliminating the waste entirely. Another difference that I love is that the NuvoH20 does not require electricity and is more energy efficient than its salt-based competitors. NuvoH20 has an additional huge perk that our clients love and that is its ease of maintenance. Salt-based softeners require big bags of salt that are heavy, awkward and crowd up a lot of space; the NuvoH20 uses a cartridge system that is incredibly easy to replace and only needs to be changed every six months. Furthermore, our clients love the surface space saved by the system because a NuvoH20 unit is only about the size of a fire extinguisher on the wall; it’s neat, compact and allows for a more streamlined look. All of these improvements are major bonuses, but my absolute favorite difference is not just that it protects your plumbing and appliances allowing them to last longer, but it has the ability to reverse hard water buildup in your plumbing system and plumbing appliances. Of course, I am a plumbing nerd who takes pride in her work and I love helping plumbing systems, including appliances like tankless water heaters (gas or electric) and hybrid water heaters, live as long as they possibly can.  

So, About That Rebate…

If you’re considering removing your salt-based softener to help reduce the salinity in your water supply, improve your water’s overall quality, minimize clutter in your garage, and have an easier system to maintain, then now is certainly the time to do it! The City of Scottsdale is offering a rebate of $250.00 to your water bill, which means big savings considering how much water we use. There are some rules that apply, so let’s cover those before we get ahead of ourselves:

  • You must be a resident/business using the City of Scottsdale’s water
  • You need to have an existing saltwater softener installed on your home or business.
  • You need to have pre authorization by the City of Scottsdale to be eligible for the rebate
  • There is a deadline to apply for authorization. You only have until 2/28/2011 to be authorized so this offer is time sensitive and procrastinating could cost you $250.00
  • There is a deadline for the removal of your saltwater softener to either be bypassed or to be replaced with a saltless approved system like the Nuvo H20.  You have until 3/31/2011 to have the system removed and the notification sent to the approved authority at the City of Scottsdale 

Schedule With Us

If you’re ready to take impactful steps in the right direction moving away from salt-based systems to a more eco-friendly softener like the NuvoH20, then take advantage of Scottsdale’s rebate program now and give us a call to schedule a consultation and estimate.  We’re here to help guide you through the process and educate along the way so you can make an informed decision that is best for your home and family.