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E-M:/ Re: water softners

Enviro-Mich message from Ruth Shaffer <rshaffer@mi.nrcs.usda.gov>

USGS did a study of ground-water quality in urban areas (SE Mich) as past of the
Lake Erie-Lake St. Clair Basin National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA). I heard
a summary of their current findings at a Liaison Committee meeting last September.

They found statistically significant increases in chloride in ground water, and
were able to attribute this to manmade sources (possibly road salt, septic system
effluent and water softener backwash). Secondary MCLs for Cl were exceeded in
several wells. (Secondary MCLs are not for health risk but involve levels capable
of causing objectionable taste and odor). You could contact Mary Ann Thomas at
USGS-Water Resources Division in Colombus OH  for more details. Their office phone
is 614/430-7768.

Ruth Shaffer, Water Quality Specialist
USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service
East Lansing, MI

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