What it is: Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District is partnering with the Pleasant Springs Sanitary District (PSSD) on a pilot project to improve water softener efficiency, with an end goal of reducing chloride to the sewer system. PSSD was one area chosen for the pilot because it's a smaller, measurable area of the sewer system that connects to the sewerage district's treatment plant. In this project, the District and PSSD are testing out a project structure in which residents can get discounted improvements made to their water softener by trained professionals. These discounts are reimbursed by Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District in the form of rebates issued by PSSD.
Eligibility: At this stage of the project, you are eligible if all of the following are true:
- You have an existing water softener in your home.
- You live in PSSD and are connected to the the District's sewer system. You are not eligible to participate if you have a septic tank. If you're unsure of the eligibility of your location, search for your address on this map to confirm your home is in the project area.
- Your softener service is performed by a trained service provider who submits a report documenting the service to PSSD staff.
Project period: This pilot is active as of July 2021, meaning reports submitted for eligible softener services in this period are eligible for a rebate from PSSD. Softener optimizations or replacements that occurred before July 1, 2021 are not eligible for rebates. There is not a defined end date for the project, as the District is evaluating the pilot as it progresses, but we anticipate the pilot will continue at least through the end of 2021.
How it works:
- Gather as much information as possible about the condition of your water softener, including its age and brand. It's okay if you can't find this information, but having general information about your softener can help your service provider make a determination about its condition. You can complete the home softener evaluation developed by the District to get an idea of whether your softener would qualify for an optimization or replacement.
- Call a trained service provider on this list and request a service to your softener. To accommodate COVID-19 precautions, you may be able to have your softener evaluated remotely using photos or a video call. The provider list indicates providers who are providing remote softener evaluations.
- The service provider will make recommendations for you to improve your softener so it uses less salt. Depending on the state of your softener, the provider will optimize your softener to run more efficiently, if possible, or will recommend replacement of an inefficient "clunker" with a more efficient unit.
- After the service, PSSD will receive a report from the provider documenting the service. If the report is complete and meets eligibility requirements, you will receive a rebate depending on the type of service:
- $75 off an evaluation and optional optimization
- $200 the installation of a new, efficient softener or other water conditioning unit if it is replacing an identified “clunker.” So if a service provider identifies your old softener as a clunker, you will be eligible for this rebate off a new installation. Keep in mind that to receive the rebate, a new softener needs to meet an efficiency of at least 4000 grains per pound.