Health care is a very water intensive business. From the boiler and chillers, the sterilizers, the patient care and the “hotel” services, water plays a large role in the care of patients. Unfortunately, health care hasn’t always been a good steward of this important resource. With that being the case, opportunities for improvement are plentiful.
Intermountain Healthcare is constantly searching for ways to improve operational efficiency and environmental impact. Through upgrades, control replacements and general maintenance of its boilers, Intermountain was able to reduce water usage by 8.8 million gallons annually. Side benefits were also realized such as chemical reduction, energy savings and in some cases water reuse. The Intermountain team continues to investigate technologies, methods and devices that will assist in water reduction in its buildings, facilities energy plant and landscaping. The Facility Development & Planning Team as well as the Facilities Operations teams have worked hard to reduce the amount of lawn and incorporate xeriscaping into the design of its campuses. Drip irrigation for plants and trees, and moisture sensors sprinklers for lawns areas are replacing traditional sprinkler systems.
Intermountain Healthcare is seriously committed to our water steward role and is currently working on developing a water reduction goal and supporting strategies.