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Ozone Update

Since ozone first started finding it’s place in laundries across the United States and abroad, an increasing amount of laundries have been taking a serious look at incorporating ozone into their laundering process. Hence, the use of ozone technology is growing. But not without merit. Laundries have been finding many benefits from the technology, including reductions in gas, water and chemical consumption as well as softer linens and a cleaner work environment.  

This month, we’ll be reporting on four different facilities that choose to add ozone to their procedures, and hearing how the technology is working for them.

THE SAGAMORE RESORT , LAKE GEORGE , N.Y.

“If I was in the hospital I would want my sheets done in ozone not chlorination,” said John Conley and he ought to know.  He’s been overseeing the use of ozone technology for the past 5 years in his capacity as Assistant Director of Engineering at the Sagamore Resort in Lake George, NY.

Not only are the resort’s towels fluffier and whiter due to ozonation but, according to Conley, staff infections are eliminated. “It’s been proven under chlorination you can still find active staff infections but not with ozone,” he said.  “With ozone being an oxidizer, its a proven killer for bacteria.”

And then there are the savings.   Since installing 6 new Continental washers along with an ozone system by Ozone Water Technology, the resort laundry, which handles 1.5 million pounds a year, has cut their water use by 50 percent.  Since they can wash at lower temperatures  (65-70 degrees versus 140 degrees prior to using ozone) there are also utility savings.

“We have also seen a reduction in the chemicals we are using,” said Conley.   Further, drying time is cut down due to the new low 17 percent moisture content of laundry coming out of the new washers compared to the earlier 40 percent.

ST. JOSEPH LIVING CENTER , WINSTED, Ct.

“We’ve been using ozone technology since June 2004 and in that six months we’ve cut our chemical costs in half, “ said Faith Bauer, Director of Housekeeping and Laundry at St. Josephs’ Living Center, a 120-bed nursing home in Winsted, CT.

But that’s not the only place they’re saving money since installing three 60-pound Edro Dyna Wash washers with DynOzone. Monthly chemical costs in the OPL, which handles 1,800 pounds of laundry a day, went from $480 down to $270 while machine loads per machine went from 14 down to 10.  Water usage at the facility has fallen from 4297 cubic foot in 2003 to 3642 cubic foot in 2004 and electrical usage fell from 421,200 KWh in 2003 to 406,524 KWh in 2004, according to Bauer.

“You can’t use chlorine bleach with ozone so we use oxidized bleach which is hydrogen peroxide and that combination is better at disinfecting and makes clothes hypoallergenic,” said Bauer who added that linen was lasting longer.  “We no longer have to wash clothes twice for those with sensitive skin, for example once with chlorine bleach to disinfect and then again without.” And according to Bauer, “The peroxide makes the clothes softer.”

ST. JOSEPH’S MANOR , TRUMBULL , Ct.

For Mike Sicola, laundry manager for 19 years at the 296-bed nursing home, St. Joseph’s Manor, in Trumbull, CT, one of the nicest things about using ozone, besides the savings, is the fresh smell it brings to an often not so pleasant environment.

“When we first had the ozone installed it almost eliminated the odor in the laundry,” he said.  “It smells like citrus.” Another benefit is the fact that they can achieve clean results on heavily soiled incontinent products using low temperature.

The facility handled 1.7 million pounds of laundry last year with the help of four 125-pound Washex washers, one 35-pound Unimac washer, four 170-pound Unimac dryers, two Braun small piece folders and ozone technology by Wet Tech.

Besides the 25-30 percent savings in detergent use the laundry is now also saving a great deal of hot water since they can wash effectively in water as low as 60 degrees compared to the pre-ozone required temperature of 140-145 degrees.

Still the initial wash water has to be heated to 160 degrees. “If we didn’t have the ozone technology we would need 2000 gallons of water an hour at 120 degrees to get a rate of rise to reach 160 degrees,” explained Mike Ceresa, plant engineer.  “Currently we can maintain with 1,080 gallons of water an hour at 120 degrees to reach 160 degrees.”

ADVENTIST MEDICAL CENTER , PORTLAND , Ore.

After just one year of using a loop ozone system by Purotek, the Adventist Medical Center in Portland, OR has saved a total of $37,000 on utility and some chemical costs according to Steve Raffaele, laundry manager.

“We don’t wash anything above 110 degrees now,” he said. “We also no longer use a boiler, now we just use a water heater.”

The laundry handles 2 million pounds of laundry a year for the hospital as well as 22 other clinics and a nursing home.   “When we first put the ozone system in it didn’t work well because we were using too many chemicals,” said Raffaele.  “Now we’re using 40 percent less chemicals than we did before.”  Other plusses include whiter, softer linens, the elimination of softener and a quicker drying time.

“It helps to have good water,” said Raffaele.   “Out here in the Northwest our water doesn’t have a lot of chemicals and byproducts in it.  Ozone will go in and if the water is dirty that will delete the ozone and you will have to use more in your wash.”

Quick Rinse - News From Around The World

Emerald Textiles Chosen As Linen Services Provider For Eisenhower Medical Center

SAN DIEGO, Ca. — Emerald Textiles™, a Southern California commercial healthcare laundry provider, announced its selection as exclusive vendor of linen rentals and services for Eisenhower Medical Center. Emerald Textiles operates a technologically-advanced commercial laundry facility that saves the county of San Diego more than 700,000 therms of natural gas and expects to save 40,000,000 gallons of water annually.

“We are pleased with the quality and cleanliness that Emerald is providing and proud to work with a provider who is focused on sustainability and the environment,” said Dana Francis, director of environmental services for Eisenhower Medical Center. “Since Emerald began managing our linen services, we have happier employees and patients.”

Emerald recently received the SDG&E Savings by Design Award, in recognition for its advanced design and extreme energy efficiency. Savings by Design is an award created by the California Public Utilities Commission and San Diego Gas & Electric