Salinity is the presence of inorganic ions or compounds dissolved in water or soil. The most common ions in water are sodium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, carbonate, bicarbonate, sulfate and nitrate, which we commonly refer to as salts.
In layman’s terms, “salt” is a generic term used to describe certain pollutants that cannot be removed from wastewater in an economically feasible manner. Salts come from detergents, soaps, shampoos, water softeners, fertilizers, or other commonly used household product.
Salinity is a silent threat to the Central Valley water supply and to the environment. Salts can collect and concentrate in our underground water supply, making the water unsuitable for human consumption or agricultural use. If not properly addressed, salinity will impact our future groundwater resources, resulting in the requirement of costly treatment processes before groundwater can be used for human, agricultural, or industrial consumption.
Solutions for this issue in the Central Valley depend on the development and implementation of effective regional land use and water supply policies. It is also imperative that customers use less salts, and choose the salts we do use wisely, in order to protect the environment and Central Valley water supply for years to come.