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U.S. Water Services lab scientists working to develop new and sustainable solutions for water reduction and water purity.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Water Services

While the drought officially is over in California after a near record-level stretch of statewide precipitation, conserving water use remains a way of life in the state.

That mindset includes health care facilities, too, as evidenced by recent efficiency and water treatment measures taken by PIH Health Hospital–Downey (Calif.), near Los Angeles.

Through a water analysis of the hospital’s systems, the facility took steps to improve the operation of its cooling towers and chillers and, at the same time, saved 3 million gallons of water annually.  

The hospital facility staff worked with U.S. Water Services Inc., St. Michael, Minn., to conduct the audit and implement a new water treatment program that increased cycles of concentration. It also increased the efficiency of heat-transfer surfaces, which enabled the system to achieve optimal water temperatures.

To achieve higher cycles of concentration, a system to automate pH levels was needed. U.S. Water recommended a fully automated web-based control system to safely reduce pH, or the level of acidity or alkalinity in the water, and to increase the system’s cycles of concentration.

The web-based automation management program enables the hospital and U.S. Water Services to monitor water treatment continuously, and trend and graph key performance indicators. In addition to the water savings, the hospital has cut $12,000 in annual costs.   

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California's Water Savings Incentive Program provided financial incentives for customized water-efficiency programs, which enabled the hospital to receive partial funding for its program.

The automated solution from U.S. Water Services improved both cooling tower and chiller operations so that it maintains optimal condensing water temperatures between 70 and 80 F. Chillers maintain a water temperature of 43 F and cooling towers are running at five cycles of concentration.

Another benefit: The automation program has preserved temperature and humidity compliance in the hospital’s operating rooms.