by Keith Bancroft
When it comes to laundry, Best Western Corte Madera Inn is on the cutting edge. The Marin County Green Business is part of a pilot program with MMWD to evaluate the water-saving effectiveness of ozone laundry systems.
Ozone, a form of oxygen found naturally in the Earth’s atmosphere, is one of the most effective cleaning agents—better than chlorine and other commonly used disinfectants. Ozone removes electrons from the soils, breaking down the molecules so that they are released from the linens. Because it works best in cold water, ozone saves energy as well as reducing detergent, chemical and overall water use.
Ozone systems can benefit businesses such as hotels and gyms with large commercial laundry facilities. A 2009 study found that ozone laundry systems in hotels saved over 4,000 gallons of water per year per room, reduced the amount of hot water used for laundry by 98 percent, and cut annual utility bills by an average of $13,000.
MMWD is working with the county to expand the ozone laundry pilot program to Marin County Jail. Initial estimates are for annual water savings of over 400,000 gallons.
Although MMWD rebate programs are temporarily suspended, rebates for ozone laundry systems are available from PG&E for hotels /motels with fewer than 250 guest rooms and for fitness and recreational sports centers. The ozone laundry system(s) must be a newly purchased product and added on to a new or existing commercial washing machine(s). Learn more about the water-, energy- and money-saving benefits of ozone here.