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Water Softener Efficiency Study

Retailers dispute region’s water softener data

WATERLOO REGION — The Region of Waterloo has pulled data from its water softener facts website after complaints from retailers.

For three years regional staff have tested softeners to find out which one is the most salt, water and hydro efficient. They posted the results on their water softener facts website, to the dislike of some in the industry.

"Obviously some of the suppliers aren't happy so they've challenged whether or not some of it is accurate," Chair Ken Seiling said.

The region removed the results of the testing last week and plans to repost the information soon, after the information's accuracy is verified. Seiling said he stands by the data.

"Our intention is to repost them sometime in the next week," Seiling said. "I think it's pretty clear that when people don't like the result they would question the methodology."

The softeners were ranked by operating cost, said Wayne Brabazon, a technologist involved with the project.

"You can't measure efficiency per se so we tested the salt and water and hydro usage," he said. "The hydro, it's negligible."

With some of the hardest water in Canada here, 72 per cent of local residents have softeners. Guelph has the same water issues and has worked jointly on the research.

Officials estimate the softeners use nearly 45,000 tonnes of salt each year. More than 2.7 million cubic metres of water are used for softener regeneration.

The tricky part is salt efficiency doesn't guarantee water efficiency and vice versa.

Most water softeners have an efficiency setting, Brabazon said. That will set the softener to use less salt, but expect to see an impact on the water bill. He said it's a fair trade-off.

"The salt is about twice as expensive as the water," he said

The Record obtained a copy of the region's original test results from April 2011 which said the most expensive operating cost was $293 per year for the softener ranked least efficient. Salt made up $224.92 of the cost, water made up the rest.

The softener ranked most efficient cost about $141 per year to operate, $94.70 for salt and $46.63 for water.

The average operating cost of the nine water systems in the report was $224.

The tests were based on estimates of the average home's yearly water usage, the price of softener salt, sewer and water rates and energy costs.

Seiling said he thinks local residents can decide for themselves which option they think is best when they see the data.

The Region of Waterloo's water softener site is http://www.watersoftenerfacts.ca www.watersoftenerfacts.ca

Read the original article on TheRecord.com

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Testimonials

  • Dan E.

    "Thanks for following up, we did purchase the 700, I am surprised and impressed with how little water and salt it uses, already we have seen lower water bills. I was also pleased to be able to install it myself. Yes, we would recommend an Aquamaster"

  • Doug H., AquaMaster Dealer

    “We have been selling Aquamaster products since April 2002 and have been thrilled with the results. We have sold dozens of softeners and several RO systems with virtually no service issues. We highly recommend this product."

  • J.R.

    "I am quite happy with the softener, it gets my recommendation to my friends and family because of its small size, integrated tank, and the fact it has a demand mode instead of a timer."

  • Erica R., AquaMaster Dealer

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