Members of the Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District’s governing board Friday addressed a water issue many SCV residents address daily — mineral-heavy water that causes scaling.
Scaling is the buildup of the corrosive substance that gathers inside pipes and on elements inside household appliances, such as dishwashers and kettles, which comes from what’s considered “hard water.”
Dissolved amounts of calcium and magnesium are what gives water its hardness. “Hard water” is water high in dissolved calcium and magnesium. These leftover minerals are to blame for most scaling in pipes and water heaters, according to the Water Quality Association, based in Illinois.
“The basics are the same,” said Bryan Langpap, spokesman for the Sanitation District.
“Minerals can cause scale, but whether scaling occurs and how much occurs depends on several factors including the mineral, its concentration in water, the ounces per gallon, the temperature of the water and the pH (acidity) of the water,” he said.
On Tuesday, board members agreed unanimously to pay $96,000 over the next two years to a chemical company for services and chemicals that would prevent scaling, fouling of metal surfaces and corrosion loss of metal inside boilers at the Valencia Water Reclamation Plant.
“What we have on our site is an industrial process to convert water to steam,” Langpap said.
“All minerals left after boiling the water to make the steam have to be managed, which is what the (chemical company) specializes in,” he said.
“At home, whether with your water heater or cooking pasta, you heat the water but don’t typically boil to where only minerals are left,” he said. “The concerns of scale build-up are much smaller at home.”
The plant on The Old Road, near the Rye Canyon T-intersection, uses steam from the boilers to heat up “digesters.” These digesters use microbes to break down solids captured during the treatment process.
Tamco Chemical Inc., is expected to receive a purchase order from district staffers for its services and product.
In making the decision, board members — Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste, Councilmember Cameron Smyth and Los Angeles Supervisor Kathryn Barger — considered the fact that Tamco has been providing “satisfactory water-treatment services and chemicals” to the Valencia, Lancaster and Palmdale water reclamation plants since 2013.
When hard water is heated as in a home’s hot water heater, solid deposits of calcium carbonate can form, called scaling.