McFarland Salt Savers Program

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Through McFarland’s Salt Savers pilot program, residents could receive a rebate for assessments and improvements made to their water softener by a trained professional. If possible, the technician would optimize the water softener to use the lowest possible amount of salt. If a water softener was deemed too old or inefficient by the technician, a rebate on a replacement unit was available. These rebates were funded by the District and issued by the Village of McFarland for eligible softener services completed through May 31, 2022.

The McFarland pilot programs is now complete and the District is evaluating the outcomes of the pilot to determine the effectiveness of reducing salt to the sewer.


Residents were eligible for the program if all of the following statements were true:

  1. You have an existing water softener in your home.
  2. You live in the Village of McFarland and are connected to the District’s sewer system. Most addresses within the village are on the sewer system, but you were not eligible to participate if you have a septic tank. Also note that if you have a McFarland street address but are located in the Town of Dunn, you may have been eligible for a separate pilot project taking place in that community. If you’re unsure of your eligibility, search for your address on this map.
  3. Your softener service was performed by a trained service provider who submitted a report documenting the service to Village of McFarland staff.

Project period

This pilot launched in the Village of McFarland in November 2020 and remained active for completed services through May 31, 2022. Softener replacements or optimizations that occurred prior to September 3, 2020 were not eligible for rebates.

How it worked

  1. Gather as much information as possible about the condition of your water softener, including its age and brand. It’s OK if you couldn’t find all the history or details, but having general information about your softener helped service providers determine its condition. You could also complete the home softener screen developed by the District to get an idea of whether your softener would qualify for an optimization or replacement.
  2. Call a trained service provider on this list to request service. Some providers offered remote evaluations using photos or a video call; providers offering this service were indicated on the list.
  3. The service provider would make recommendations on how your softener can use less salt. Depending on the condition of your softener, the provider would either optimize it to run more efficiently or recommend the replacement of an inefficient softener with a more efficient unit.
  4. After the service, the Village of McFarland would receive a report from the provider documenting the service. If the report was complete and met eligibility requirements, you would have received a rebate depending on the type of service. Rebates were as follows:
    • $75 off an evaluation and optional optimization
    • $200 off the installation of a new, efficient softener or other water-conditioning unit if it was replacing an identified inefficient unit. The service provider must identify your old softener as needing replacement to have been eligible for this rebate. To receive the rebate, a new softener must have met an efficiency of at least 4,000 grains per pound.