U.S. Water News Online
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Red Lion Hotels has won the 1996 BEST Innovation Award for waste water recovery and recycling improvements in its central laundry in southeast Portland.
The demonstration project, a micro-filtration system that recovers heat and recycles water, is the first project of the Hospitality Industry Forum on Energy Conservation (HIFEC).
The hotel consortium was formed by the Department of Energy to speed the introduction of energy-efficient technologies into the hotel/motel industry. Consortium members include Red Lion Hotels, Holiday Inn, Promus Corporation, Sheraton, and La Quinta. The consortium represents about 30 percent of all hotel/motel square footage in the United States.
Red Lion's central laundry facility, located in Portland's Central East Side Industrial Area, goes through an average of 70,000 gallons of fresh water per day and has the capacity to wash 25,000 pounds of laundry per day. The facility now consumes about 26 million gallons of water per year.
The micro-filtration system -- expected to be a model for the rest of the hospitality industry -- became operational in December, 1995. The system, which is manufactured by Wastewater Resources, Inc., uses a series of filters and a membrane to filter out suspended solids and oils from laundry waste water normally discharged to the sewer and recycles the water for reuse and heat recovery.
The old system continually heated 52 degree F. city water to 150 degrees F. and dumped it after a single use. Now, a microprocessor directs the new system to recycle 110 degree F. water through a mechanical shaker screen, pressurized stainless steel strainer, and into the submicron membrane filter.
Together, they remove particulates to 0.5 microns. The filtered water is then heated by the existing gas steam boiler to 150 degrees F. and run back through the washers.
The innovative recycling project is expected to yield a number of benefits, both environmental and economic. The system is expected to reduce water use at the Portland laundry facility by at least 40 percent. Most of the thermal energy from hot water discharges will be recovered, which will lead to an estimated gas bill savings of 40 to 50 percent.
Overall, water and energy cost savings of $40,000 per year are projected. The filtration system may even allow for the recovery of some cleaning detergents. Water that goes back to the city water system is restored to its pH balance before discharge. Capital costs for the filtration system came to $180,000, with a payback of about 3.5 years.
The technology used in this demonstration project is being monitored and evaluated for HIFEC by DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The unit was co-funded by Red Lion Hotels and U.S. DOE through its Energy Saver Program. Other project supporters were the Oregon Department of Energy, which provided a tax credit, the City of Portland, Northwest Natural Gas, and Portland General Electric.
Return to the U.S. Water News Archives page
Return to the U.S. Water News Homepage