- Created on Monday, 03 September 2001 03:33
- Written by Petra Lattmann
Edison, New Jersey -- There is nothing wishy-washy about the water saving efforts over the last five years at Marriott Textile Services in New Jersey. The three-step project spearheaded by director of engineering, Steve Stark, has met with remarkable water conservation results.And that’s no small feat considering that the central laundry processing 30 million pounds for 18 Marriott hotels required 30 million gallons of water yearly.
The first step in the laundry’s water saving effort was to reduce the facility's dependence on the city water supply by drilling four wells. Then an iron filter system was installed to remove hardness from the well water. With the new wells producing about 72,000 gallons of water daily, city water costs were reduced by $75,000 a year and Mariott’s return on their investment was realized in 18 months.
“All wells have to be approved by the EPA, so we joined a water conservation program (now called WAVE), showing the need and the savings,” said Stark. “And in return, the EPA assisted us in obtaining the necessary state permits.”
Next the facility underwent a $8.5 million renovation in order to expand their processing capacity -- taking a close look at tunnel washer water consumption. A decision was made to replace their two 18-pocket tunnel washers (at 75 pound loads) with three 16-pocket Lavatec tunnel washers (at 110 pound loads.) This would result in 16 more loads per hour and a savings of 23 gallons of water per load largely due to the increased efficiency of the Lavatec tunnels, explains Stark. At the same time, a fifth well was drilled for more water.
In the facility, sheets and towels are separated as goods move from the tunnels to one of 18 Lavatec 220 pound dryers. Sheets are sent to one of three sheet ironers manufactured by Braun and Lavatec and terrys are sent to one of ten Braun folders after they are dired.
Food and beverage linens are washed in one of nine Washex machines prior to being sent to a Cissell or Challenge dryer then off to a Passat small piece folder.
That was then….this is now…..
Currently, Marriott Textile Services handles laundry for 31 Marriott hotel properties in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Their production has jumped 12 million pounds (approximately 40 percent) to 42 million pounds a year, with the additional poundage costing only about $7,000 – a significant indicator that the facility’s water conservation efforts are successful.
The facility also has a water reuse system in place that captures water from the first wash cycle, filters it and stores it for use in their conventional washers first rinse cycle. “The third change we plan to make in the future is to extend our water use to a third pass, so our reused water will also be reused,” said Stark, estimating that potentially an additional $40,000 a year could be saved in sewer discharge costs. This third initiative will also be augmented with the addition of another storage tank for reused water to further reduce the need for new hot water and to actually generate electricity in the 105,000 square foot building.
“We continue to generate savings through our water conservation efforts which is not only a benefit to us, but also allows other smaller businesses in the area to be established or expanded,” said Stark. “There is only so much water in each area’s watershed, and we’ve made a successful effort to reduce our consumption.”
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