During our 50th Anniversary year, we will plan to run a series of editorials, technical articles and advertisements with some historic significance and relevance.

This Viewpoint Column will serve as a tribute to WC&P founder Jerry Peterson, who wrote this poignant editorial fighting attacks on the industry…attacks that we still are fighting today.

History certainly repeats itself!


Donald A. Mounce

July 1960
From your Editor: New Developments Postpone Discussion
By Jerome R. Peterson, Publisher and Editor

Last month we mentioned the pollution problems in this column with a note that we would carry some opinions on its effects in this issue. Since then, two events have taken place, which at this time make any detailed discussion of pollution premature.

The outstanding event occurred on May 10 when the Board of Supervisors of the County of Ventura, California, adopted an ordinance which, in effect, prohibits the installation, replacement or enlargement of a water softener unless the regeneration waste is deposited into a sewer system that discharges directly into the Pacific Ocean or into a site which the Water Pollution Control Board has found will not result in a water pollution hazard. The new ordinance is similar to those in effect in Ojai and Santa Paula, California.

On hearing of the ordinance, three industry associations – the WCAI, WCF and the Water Conditioning Research Council – appointed a three-man investigative team to fly to California and study the reasoning behind the legislation. The group’s findings will be evaluated and, if the facts warrant, positive remedial steps will be taken.

The second event concerns an article that appeared in the May issue of American Home magazine. Titled, “What You Should Know About Septic Tanks,” it raised the old story of softener regeneration effluent harming the action of septic tanks. The following excerpt is taken from the subject article: “The worst enemies of a (septic) system are strong antiseptics, lye, and the chemicals used in a water softener. The discharge from the regeneration of a water softener should never be allowed to flow into the drain lines connected to the septic tank. The brine used in this process will definitely harm the action of the tank. Pipe the discharge from the water softener to a dry well.”

The WCAI has requested the publishers of American Home to supply positive evidence that the statements made in the article are true or otherwise print an appropriate correction. The association’s action is based on the fact that it has reliable information in its files to show that brine from a softener actually causes the septic tank to act more efficiently rather than causing harm.

Thus, to present a more comprehensive picture of the pollution problem and its effects, both good and bad, we have postponed detailed coverage until such time as the aforementioned industry groups are ready to report their results. This will probably be within the next 60 days.


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