COVID-19 Update: 6/19/2020 - Local public health guidelines are shifting toward allowing more services, including aesthetic interior home work. Given this guidance from public health experts, we are restarting the full program. Please see the list of providers below to schedule any appointments.

Why should you participate in our chloride reduction program?

We rely on salt to keep our roads safe in the winter and to soften water in our homes year-round but using more salt than is needed comes with a heavy price. It's easy to add salt to water, but costly and energy-intensive to remove it. Each day, Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD), our local wastewater utility, receives water with over 100 tons of dissolved salt, mostly from water softeners. The treatment plant isn't designed to remove chloride (a component of salt), so the salt passes through treatment and into freshwater waterbodies. It only takes 1 teaspoon of salt to pollute 5 gallons of water to a level that is toxic to freshwater ecosystems. If chloride levels continue to rise, downstream waters may become too salty for aquatic life, and the treatment plant will be facing expensive upgrades. Treatment to reduce chloride would cost over 400 million dollars: meaning higher sewer bills for everyone. Rather than adding costly treatment, we can reduce chloride at the source.

To reduce rising levels of chloride pollution in our environment, the Town of Dunn is partnering with MMSD to initiate a pilot program that improves or replaces inefficient home water softeners throughout Town sanitary districts. This unique and limited time program allows specialized local service providers to evaluate water softeners free of charge! Trained providers will evaluate home water softeners and determine if they are inefficient units that should be replaced with a new softener, or if they have the potential to be reprogrammed to use less salt. If the service provider deems the water softener a ‘clunker,’ a $200 rebate will be offered to residents who replace their inefficient water softener. 

It is the Town’s goal to have every water softener evaluated throughout the Town’s sanitary districts. You have the power to make a difference in your community by helping us protect our water resources by reducing salt use. By eliminating the use of just one bag of salt, you will protect 20,000 gallons of freshwater! Please consider participating in this innovative program while we still have a limited window of opportunity to keep sewer bills low and protect water.

Here’s how to participate in our chloride reduction program:

1. Self-screen your home softener: Is your softener more than 15 years old? Are you using more than one bag of salt per month? There are certain clues that indicate an inefficient softener. For general guidance on the condition of your softener, you can take a home softener screening here.

2. Contact a trained service provider to schedule a service: If self-screening your home softener indicates you may have an inefficient softener, please contact the following providers to schedule a water softener evaluation or optimization. These providers have qualified service technicians trained specifically for this pilot program:
Addie Water Systems: (608) 755-1031
All Comfort Services: (608) 838-7300
Capital Water: (608) 241-1511
Culligan Total Water: (608) 226-5270
Dave Jones Inc: (608) 222-8490
Hellenbrand: (608) 849-5717

Check back for updates as more technicians join the list!

Visit the Salt Savers website by clicking here.

Water softeners must be evaluated by participating providers and deemed a 'clunker' based on program criteria to receive the $200 rebate towards the purchase and installation of a new softener or water conditioning unit. Free water softener optimization/evaluations or softener rebates are for new services only. Rebates cannot be applied retroactively. For further questions contact Kelsey Shepperd at Town of Dunn, KShepperd@town.dunn.wi.us, or Emily Jones at Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District, EmilyJ@madsewer.org.