UC Davis Health is well on the way to achieving ambitious sustainability goals while also improving its environment of care. Recent water conservation fixture retrofits by Water Saver Solutions (WSS) will save the hospital 16 million gallons of water annually, reduce sewer and energy costs, and provide antimicrobial fixture benefits. The project incorporates WSS’ Fixture Care™ program, which provides annual preventative maintenance, summary reports and documentation to support the hospital’s Legionella Water Management Plan.
Under its Sustainable Practice Policy, the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) has set a goal to reduce growth-adjusted potable water consumption on all campuses and health locations by 20% by 2020 and 36% by 2025 (compared to a three-year average baseline of fiscal years 2005-2008).
In June 2018, WSS contracted with UC Davis Health through its Energy Manager to perform a campus water audit on 39 buildings and 142 acres. Results of the audit identified projects that would potentially reduce water usage by 24% with a combined ROI of less than 3 years.
First phase projects were met with infection control concerns, but after Patient Care Services learned how WSS’ Fixture Care™ program benefited UC Irvine Health, the project received their approval and support. WSS’ Fixture Care™ program, which is unique in the healthcare industry, helps hospitals to be proactive in reducing potential fixture biofilm and provides compliance documentation that hospitals can use to meet Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS) requirements for water management policies.
In June 2019, WSS retrofitted 1,091 toilets and 2,652 faucet and showerhead fixtures. The entire project was completed in just over three weeks.
Toilets were retrofitted with dual-flush handles that reduce water usage by 30%. Faucets were retrofitted with anti-microbial, flow-optimized faucet laminars that use silver ion polymers to help reduce biofilm. Showers were retrofitted with anti-microbial Medi-Shower™ showerheads that allow flushing and cleaning in-place to reduce biofilm; the showerheads’ Medi-Flush inserts can be replaced quickly without removing the showerhead, reducing costs.
Building on the success of the completed retrofits, UC Davis Health plans to continue with retrofitting the hospital’s sterilizers and landscape irrigation systems.
“We’re proud to be helping UC Davis Health move closer to achieving UCOP goals for water reduction,” said Charles Bragdon, President of WSS.
A nationally renowned 625-bed facility, UC Davis Health is a leading referral center for the most seriously injured or ill patients and the most medically complex cases. It is ranked one of the nation’s best hospitals and one of California’s five best hospitals by U.S. News & World Report.
An innovative, antimicrobial shower head now offered by Water Saver Solutions (WSS) gives hospitals a solution for minimizing the risk of bacteria growth while improving the environment of care. The Medi-Shower™ shower head allows flushing and cleaning in-place to reduce biofilm.
“Shower head maintenance is a service that our hospital clients have requested for many years,” says Charles Bragdon, President and founder of Water Saver Solutions. The Medi-Shower™ features Medi-Flush inserts that can be replaced quickly without removing the shower head, reducing costs. Color-coding provides visual confirmation of maintenance.
Medi-Shower™ is widely used in the U.K. and introduced in the U.S. only recently by Pall Medical. WSS is partnering with Pall Medical, a global leader in filtration, separation and purification systems and the exclusive U.S. distributor of Medi-Shower™, to sell the shower heads, which it also installs and maintains. “Thanks to our relationship with Pall Medical, we are now able to provide the Medi-Shower™ as well as ongoing shower head maintenance,” says Bragdon. “We’re excited about the possibilities Medi-Shower™ offers and look forward to expanding the services we deliver to help hospitals enhance their environment of care.”
WSS clients Prime Healthcare and Citrus Valley Health Partners are excited about the new shower heads and maintenance capability, too. They are the first U.S. healthcare facilities to take advantage of the new technology and WSS’ maintenance program.
As part of its faucet and shower head maintenance program, WSS creates a summary report that can be included in a hospital’s Legionella Water Management Plan, enhancing documentation of the hospital’s compliance with ASHRAE standard 188 as required by CMS guidelines.
Centinela Hospital Medical Center, part of Ontario, CA-based Prime Healthcare system, is enjoying rapid ROI on water conservation measures implemented by Water Saver Solutions (WSS)—and other Prime Healthcare hospitals should soon see substantial savings, too.
In April 2017, retained WSS to survey water usage at its 11 local hospitals.The surveys are part of a unique partnership between WSS and Southern California Gas. The utility contracts with WSS to audit Level 1 and Level 2 hospitals in its service area and recommend ways hospitals can reduce their use of water and natural gas. WSS provides the audits for free, then works with hospitals to find and maximize available rebates and incentives to reduce the costs of the proposed changes.
WSS’s audit estimated that Centinela Hospital Medical Center could save 7.7 million gallons of water annually by putting its recommendations into action. In September 2017, WSS retrofitted faucets at Centinela Hospital Medical Center with flow-optimizing laminars, installed anti-microbial showerheads, and retrofitted five medical sterilizers with water-saving kits.
Internal measurement verification conducted by WSS found that these changes surpassed the savings goal and cut the hospital’s water costs by an average of 39% on two of its three water meters between 2016 and 2018.
Thanks to the success of the Centinela Hospital Medical Center project, Prime Healthcare has retained WSS to carry out its water conservation recommendations at other California hospitals. WSS began work on Huntington Beach Hospital and Garden Grove Hospital in December 2018.
The partnership with Southern California Gas has been so successful that the utility recently extended WSS’s contract through December 2019.
The City of Oceanside has raised its rates by 44% since 2015—but water costs at Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside, CA, have gone down, thanks to water conservation measures by Water Saver Solutions (WSS).
Since January 2015, the hospital’s water cost per unit has soared from $8.60 to $12.14. But water-saving equipment that WSS recommended and installed has significantly reduced water usage. Best of all, ROI on the project was less than a year.
“Between 2015 and 2017, we saved 8 million gallons of water,” said Chris J. Miechowski, Director of Facilities & Construction at the full-service, 397-bed hospital. This year, the facility is on track to do even better: Miechowski estimates saving 13 million gallons in 2018.
In 2015 WSS installed low-flow showerheads, flow-optimized faucet laminars, pre-rinse sprayers and sterilizer retrofit kits at Tri-City Medical Center. WSS also negotiated incentives and rebates from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and San Diego Gas and Electric that reduced the project’s net cost to the hospital by 52%.
In 2016 WSS retrofitted the facility’s toilets and urinals with water-saving dual-flush handles; this time, utility company rebates and incentives slashed the project’s net cost by 64%.
‘[WSS] did all the work [to obtain the incentives]—I didn’t have to do anything,” said Miechowski. “They provided everything I needed to sell the proposal to the board, and since ROI was less than a year, I didn’t have to ask for any money from the board.”
WSS audits hospitals’ water and energy use and makes recommendations for conservation. The company then works with local utilities to find, negotiate and manage rebates and incentives that drastically reduce the hospitals’ cost of implementing the recommendations. In addition to saving water and gas, WSS helps protect faucet spouts and shower heads from bacteria growth by installing faucet laminars and shower heads with an antimicrobial component and providing an ongoing maintenance program.