A.7 Hospital Installs Water-Efficient Laboratory and Medical Equipment
Like most hospitals, Providence St. Peter uses sterilizer equipment to disinfect and
sterilize surgical instruments, medical waste, and other materials. The hospital’s four
existing instrument steam sterilizers all are outfitted with orifice venturi equipment,
which uses water to produce a vacuum. By replacing the venturi equipment with
electric vacuum pumps, Providence St. Peter was able to eliminate the water use
associated with the vacuum operation in its sterilizer units. Additionally, piping was
modified so that steam condensate was recovered
from the sterilizer jacket, which is now redirected to
the boiler plant for reuse instead of discharged to
Instead of using potable water for single-pass
cooling of its liquid-ring central vacuum pumps,
Providence St. Peter uses recirculating chilled water
from the central chilled water system, although
some fresh water is required to flush the system
clean of any medical fluids. Providence St. Peter has
also replaced its liquid-ring, non-medical (control)
air compressors and waste anesthesia gas pumps
with non-water-using equipment.
In addition to addressing the water efficiency of some of its medical equipment,
Providence St. Peter has also improved the efficiency of its sanitary fixtures,
mechanical equipment, and outdoor water including:
Installed dual-flush valves on existing flushometer-valve toilets and installed
several new high-efficiency toilets, making use of available utility rebates.
Installed 1-pint urinals.
Installed water-saving showerheads that meet patient expectations of
Worked with a manufacturer to design dual-flush bed pan washers.
Eliminated single-pass cooling in air conditioning units and ice machines.
Maximized the cooling tower’s water efficiency; the cooling tower is the largest
user of water at the facility, consuming approximately 3.2 million gallons of
make-up water even under an efficient control scheme.
Installed a weather-based irrigation controller on its irrigation system.
Replaced the garbage disposal with a food separator and compost system.
Providence St. Peter has additional water-efficiency projects that it is considering,
including: collecting and reusing rainwater; installing submeters to better monitor
water use; reducing and/or reusing clean dialysis reject water; and collecting and
using air handler condensate as cooling tower make-up water.
Medical air compressors