UW News

February 24, 2005

UW Consolidated Laundry installs state-of-the-art water recycling system

The University of Washington Consolidated Laundry in Seattle’s Rainier Valley has installed a water recycling system that is expected to conserve approximately 18 million gallons a year.

The laundry serves UW Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, UW Medicine Neighborhood Clinics, the UW Health Sciences Center and VA hospitals in Seattle and American Lake. The 65,000 square foot laundry facility at 2901 27th Ave. S. processes 10 million pounds of linen per year. Prior to installation of the recycling system in January, the water used to wash this linen averaged 29 million gallons per year.

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and Puget Sound Energy partnered with the UW Consolidated Laundry to provide more than 60 percent of the funding for the water recycling system in the form of rebates. The UW laundry expects to save $227,000 annually in water and energy costs, enough to pay for the system within 14 months.

“This partnership benefits not only the UW Consolidated Laundry by reducing its operating costs, but the community as well by conserving our natural resources,” said Kathleen Sellick, executive director of UW Medical Center.

“SPU is pleased to partner with the UW Consolidated Laundry to install this innovative water recycling system,” said Chuck Clarke, SPU Director. “Our commercial indoor water-saving programs offer substantial rebates to help businesses cut down on water use and reduce utility bills.”

The system, created by AquaRecycle of Marietta, Ga., filters contaminants from the laundry wastewater—including lint, chemicals, organics and oil and grease—and is the first of its type to be used in Washington state. Disinfection of the recycled water is accomplished with a combination of ozone and ultraviolet light. The clean, disinfected water is returned to the washers for reuse in both hot and cold water supply. Currently the laundry is using more than 60 percent recycled water, and expects to increase to 75 percent over the next several months.


About UW Medicine

UW Medicine includes the School of Medicine, UW Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, UW Medicine Neighborhood Clinics, and the UW’s involvement in the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. UW Medicine has major academic and service affiliations with Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Centers in Seattle and Boise. Consistently among the top five recipients of federal funding for biomedical research, the School of Medicine has among its more than 1,700 regular faculty five Nobel Laureates, 26 members of the National Academy of Sciences and 26 members of the Institute of Medicine. For more information about UW Medicine, visit http://www.uwmedicine.org