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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Water Bureau

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Customer Service: 503-823-7770


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Washer extractors are the most common type of commercial washing machine. Many facilities operate large laundries to clean linens, uniforms, and other items. New laundering equipment is now available that is more water efficient than equipment used in the past. Water reclamation equipment is also now commercially available.
Water Conservation Opportunities:
  • Install a rinse water reclamation system – A reclamation system that uses the final rinse water in the initial wash cycle can save up to 25 percent of the laundry's water consumption.
  • Replace conventional washer-extractors with a continuous-batch washer – This will save 60 to 70 percent of the volume of water and steam. 
  • Operate machines only when fully loaded.
  • Evaluate wash formula and machine cycles for water use efficiency.
  • Reprogram machines to eliminate a rinse or suds cycle – Sometimes it is possible to eliminate a rinse or suds cycle in washers. Check health regulations and manufacturer information before proceeding.
  • Reduce water levels. Where possible this can help minimize the amount of water required per load of wash.
  • Talk to your chemical supplier – Discuss ways of reducing water consumption.
  • Shut off water supply to equipment rooms not in use – This will reduce the potential for leakage or other unintended uses.
  • Installing a wash & rinse water treatment & reclamation system – The combination of the two systems can save approximately 50% of the laundry's water consumption.
  • Keep hot water pipes insulated.
  • Consider using ozone laundering systems – Ozone laundering systems can save up to 40% in water consumption.

Contact the Portland Water Bureau Business Industry & Government (BIG) Program for more information: 503-823-4527