Some west Saint Johners have been installing water softeners since the September switchover to the South Bay Wellfield in September.
It's one of the recommendations by the city to reduce water hardness, but what many don't know is they have to pay the city a $65 plumbing permit fee, plus an extra fee of $20 per fixture.
Councillor Greg Norton says it's not right and he wants the city to waive the fee for west siders.
"If we're going to recommend a solution, I think the least we could do is remove that plumbing permit fee for west side residents that are already borne with a number of overhead costs as it relates to the water hardness," says Norton.
UPDATE: Motion to alleviate plumbing permit fee(s) for residential & commercial customers was passed 8-1. The City Manager will be bringing back recommendation(s) to achieve alleviating the fee(s) at an upcoming council mtg for common council consideration https://t.co/70coeXh5mn pic.twitter.com/nk4OMFWS4E
— Greg Norton (@GregNortonSJ) February 12, 2018
Some of those added costs include leaking pipes — the city has received more than 100 reports since September.
"Others in the city may not have to face [these issues] because the water hardness at Spruce Lake used to be about 10 parts per million, and now we're looking at something that's excessively more."
Common Council has sent the matter to the city manager to provide recommendations.