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Winter 2008 Issue of the Finger Lake Sierran

Who Wants to Save Money, Reduce Housecleaning Chores and Feel Good?

by Gene Stolfi, Member of the Finger Lakes Group ExCom

If you could reduce the amount of chemicals and laundry soap by 80% during home cleaning and laundry, would you?

The #1 pollutant in our streams and lakes is laundry detergent. Think about installing a water softener in your home. After I installed one in my home and saw the results, I became a believer. A water softener will pay for itself in one year and save you over $500 a year forever.

You will eliminate the need for harsh chemicals like Lime-away and C.L.R. to remove scale and rust stains from tubs and bathroom fixtures. Yes, I said eliminate— think of all the fun you will miss cleaning out tubs and bowls — think of the time you save.

Appliances will last two to three times longer. Hot water heaters will not scale up inside and will remain efficient - since scale is an excellent insulator. Fixtures will not leak, toilets will not run; the benefits of soft water are too many to list. You will notice softer skin - hard water dries out your skin.

By far the greatest benefit comes from the 80% reduction of chemicals in the environment. Towns that supply water should look into bulk processes that soften water. Soft water extends the life of water pipes and pumps. After seeing the changes in my home, I truly believe cities and towns could save money by softening their water. The cost of replacing water mains under paved streets requires planning, bonds and tax increases. Soft water stops scale build-up in old pipes and even reduces some scale.

Saving money and quality of life living with soft water are more than enough to justify installing a water softener. The real reason is the tremendous reduction of soap and chemical use and the positive effect this will have on our rivers and lakes.

I guess by now you all know that I like my water softener. My regret is that I waited to install it. If I had installed it in 1980 instead of 2004,1 could have saved replacing two water heaters, two dishwashers, three washing machines and too many fixtures to remember.