Commercial, institutional and industrial (CII) laundry facilities clean large quantities of fabrics in a wide range of varieties and uses. Some are on-site facilities dedicated to washing fabrics used at the location; these are often referred to as an On Premises Laundry (OPL). OPLs are typically found in hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, universities, etc. Centralized contract laundries that launder fabrics from other businesses (such as uniforms, restaurant table cloths, bed linens, etc) are usually referred to as “Industrial Laundries”. In either case, both types of facilities use vast amounts of water at varying degrees of efficiency. The potential for water conservation exists in most all facilities and should be part of every utility?s CII water conservation strategy. |
Water and wastewater costs represent more than 50% of the total operating costs in the typical commercial laundry. The managers of these facilities are likely to be very interested in participating in any water conservation strategy deemed cost-effective. Keep in mind that the quality of their service is paramount to the success of their business: all water conservation measures must maintain the effectiveness of cleaning the fabrics.
Commercial laundries deal with fabrics that are soiled beyond the level of typical residential clothes in both: variety of dirt, grime, stains, food, chemicals, bacteria, grease, biological hazards; and the concentration of these substances embedded in the fabric. You cannot compare the water use of residential clothes washers with commercial laundering equipment .
The greatest water conservation opportunities often exist in the various methods of reusing or recycling water from the machines. The extent of a laundry ability to recycle water usually lies in the facility?s ability to filter, clarify and sanitize the effluent water from the washing machines .
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