Calif. hos­pi­tal taps pipeline in wa­ter con­ser­va­tion ef­forts

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Adam Ruben­fire

Providence St. Joseph Med­i­cal Cen­ter is join­ing the list of Cal­i­for­nia hos­pi­tals tak­ing steps to min­i­mize wa­ter us­age dur­ing one of the most se­vere droughts the state has ever faced.

The Bur­bank hos­pi­tal is ex­pected to save about 15 mil­lion gal­lons of wa­ter an­nu­ally by us­ing re­claimed wa­ter to run its air-con­di­tion­ing sys­tem. The hos­pi­tal has been us­ing re­claimed sewage wa­ter for about 90% of its grounds ir­ri­ga­tion for the past three years, but a new wa­ter line will al­low the hos­pi­tal to use re­claimed wa­ter for all of its ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tems and the 41,000 gal­lons it uses daily for its cool­ing tower.

Costs for the $430,000 pro­ject, ex­pected to be com­pleted in July, were par­tially de­frayed by the city of Bur­bank, which made the re­claimed wa­ter line avail­able in 2013. Since then, the hos­pi­tal has been work­ing to put the in­fra­struc­ture in place for the air-con­di­tion­ing sys­tem and ob­tain ap­provals from the city, Los An­ge­les County and the state.

Reg­u­la­tory ap­proval hinged on Providence’s abil­ity to pre­vent cross con­tam­i­na­tion of the non-potable re­claimed wa­ter with potable wa­ter used for other hos­pi­tal func­tions. Though it isn’t drink­able, the wa­ter is treated by the city be­fore reach­ing the hos­pi­tal, and the air-con­di­tion­ing sys­tem em­ploys va­por elim­i­na­tors and chem­i­cal pro­tec­tion to en­sure it is bi­o­log­i­cally ac­cept­able.

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