Reclaimed water helps conserve at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center

June 18, 2015

Working closely with the city of Burbank, Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center will save some 15 million gallons of water each year to run its air-conditioning system by tapping into a line that provides reclaimed waste water.

With California suffering its worst drought in recorded history – and the triple-digit summer heat approaching – the Burbank hospital is seeking ways to cut water use.

“Stewardship – the careful protection of our resources – is one of the Providence core values,” said Chief Executive Julie Sprengel. “These values date back nearly 160 years, but are timeless. We all have to pull together do what we can to protect our water supply.”

The city of Burbank has been at the forefront of water reclamation, treating waste water for non-potable uses. In 2013, Providence Saint Joseph linked into the system for outdoor watering and after working with state healthcare regulators vastly expanded its use of reclaimed water to run the chilling system that powers air-conditioning, said Ian Watts, director of facilities.

The city and the Metropolitan Water District, he said, also helped defray the costs of installing the new system. The project was much more expensive that it would be for a typical commercial use because hospital infrastructure standards are specialized to ensure patient safety.

“We appreciate the city’s support in helping us realize these savings,” Watts said.

In addition to the use of reclaimed water, Providence Saint Joseph has installed water-saving features within the hospital.