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Medical Industry
Waste Prevention Round Table

Managing Energy and Water Seminar

March 29, 2001
Bellevue Community College, Rm. L212

Water Conservation (WC)

Bill Anderson, Business and Industry Resource Venture

  • Anderson began the WC session with mention of the regional 1% for Water Conservation program. The idea of the program (being offered by numerous local water providers) is that if everyone can reduce their water use by a mere 1% per year for each of the next 10 years, we will accommodate population growth over the next decade without increasing the amount of water use. [Editor's note: Due to months of cumulative dry weather, the City of Seattle and area water utilities announced on April 5, 2001 that they are entering the "Voluntary Stage" of water curtailment. Water saved today will stay in the reservoir for the summer months, and help avoid the need for mandatory water curtailments later. Consequently, customers are being asked to reduce water use by 10%.]
  • He described how his organization, Business and Industry Resource Venture, can provide information, assistance, and referrals to help local companies reduce their water use. Services include a Web site (, fact sheets, and on-site visits and water audits.
  • Anderson also described financial incentives being offered through Seattle Public Utilities' Water Smart Technology Program. The program covers up to 50% of the cost of installing or replacing inefficient fixtures and equipment. A list of eligible projects is on the Resource Venture's Web site.

Michael Laurie, BRACO Resource Services

  • Laurie started by highlighting roof-top cooling towers and single-pass equipment (vacuum pumps, air conditioning units, etc.) as some of the best opportunities for water savings. He also mentioned deduct meters, a product that can reduce your utility bill (specifically sewage charges) by calculating the amount of water that is not going down the drain due to reuse. This information can be provided to the City of Seattle for a credit on your bill.
  • Harborview's conversion to a new, water-efficient vacuum pump is estimated to save them $17,000 per year with a payback period of 4½ years.
  • He recommended that water users pay close attention to their water bills. Graph your utility usage and look for any unusual increases. This can help detect leaks. The Polyclinic tried this and saved a few hundred dollars a month.
  • Laurie also talked about businesses (like some hospitals) that have on-site laundry services. These services provide an opportunity for water reuse. If you don't have a service on-site, Laurie suggested talking with your vendor about water reuse at their facility.
  • A second tier of water conservation targets includes toilets and urinals, ice machines, landscaping, showerheads, and faucet aerators. A few specific tips regarding toilets:
    • Check the diaphragms in the flush valves since pipe disruptions from nearby construction and maintenance projects can clog them. Clean (or replace) if necessary.
    • Be sure to get the right size flapper to avoid leaks. Flappers are tank-specific.
    • According to Laurie, with tank-style toilets, you get what you pay for. A Web site ( ranks toilets.
    • Laurie emphasized that there are now good-quality, low-flush toilets available.
    • Dual flush toilets saved over low-flush toilets.
    • The use of bottles or toilet dams in the toilet tank is more effective with 5-gpm toilets than with 3.5-gpm toilets.
  • The water-saving alternative to a water-cooled ice machine is an air-cooled ice machine. They are very cost-effective if the machine is used a lot.
  • Laurie noted a number of water-efficient landscaping practices:
    • Reset controller 3-4 times during the watering season (May - September).
    • Make adjustments based on soil conditions and slope of the area.
    • Use drip irrigation; it's 30-50% more efficient.
    • Apply compost and mulch to retain water (reduce evaporation).
    • Choose drought-tolerant plants (native plants are especially good).
  • He highlighted, again, the financial incentives available through the Water Smart Technology Program mentioned by Bill Anderson. He added that the typical payback for such projects over the last 6 years has been 2 years.

Energy Conservation

John Roberts, Seattle City Light (SCL)

  • After a brief overview of the current energy situation, Roberts noted that SCL offers two types of services: financial incentives and technical assistance.
  • He said that, at the moment, there's an added incentive for medium and large commercial customers called 10+10 Conservation Incentive Bonus. Essentially, the bonus amounts to an additional 10% funding for signing up by July 31, 2001, and another 10% for completion by Nov. 30, 2001. More information is available at
  • SCL will also pay for design assistance and commissioning services (up to $10,000 per project).
    • Cash incentives focus on:
    • lighting
    • equipment rebates (such as chillers, A/C units, and heat pumps)
    • custom incentives (such as control strategies not required by code and variable flow pumping)
  • Harborview, for example, has used SCL for their commissioning plan, design assistance, and financial incentives.
  • Other conservation measures include:
    • under-floor displacement ventilation
    • CO and CO2 controlled variation
    • chillers with VFDs
    • variable-flow chilled water
    • variable-flow fume hoods
    • constant volume CFM setback
  • Just as Michael Laurie did for water conservation, Roberts recommended graphing out your facility's energy use to identify peak times.

Dom Amor, Puget Sound Energy (PSE)

  • According to Amor, PSE electricity customers have seen little rate increase. Natural gas customers, on the other hand, have seen a 70-80% increase over the last year and a half. These have been wholesale pass throughs.
  • Assistance from PSE comes in three forms: energy audits/analysis, efficiency grants, and rebates (for things like lighting, "Exit" signs, sensors, and programmable thermostats).
  • On the horizon:
    • time-based rates - 4 daily time zones (filed for with the WUTC)
    • business e-newsletter
  • Schedule 93 rate is PSE's voluntary load curtailment program for its large electric customers. Customers can receive financial credit for reducing usage on short notice.
  • More information is available at PSE's Web site,

Stormwater Pollution Prevention (P2)

Bill Anderson, Business and Industry Resource Venture

  • Anderson notified everyone that the City of Seattle recently changed its Stormwater Code (SMC 22.800) in order to meet Washington state requirements, and that these changes will impact all kinds of businesses.
  • Additionally, there are different requirements for different types and sizes of businesses and business activities related to stormwater.
  • The Resource Venture can help Seattle companies through the specific, and often complex, regulations with information on its Web site (, fact sheets, and on-site visits.
  • Businesses are encouraged to request a site visit from the Resource Venture as the visit can serve as a "dress rehearsal" for an actual inspection by a city inspector. Visits are conducted by the Resource Venture's consultant, Environmental Coalition of South Seattle.

Kevin Burrell, Environmental Coalition of South Seattle

  • Burrell explained the role that businesses play in creating stormwater pollution, and stressed the need for companies to reduce their impact.
  • He then outlined several P2 steps that businesses can take. A list of stormwater P2 practices is found at the Resource Venture's Web site above. There are also links to stormwater "best management practices" fact sheets, the Source Control Technical Requirements Manual, and Seattle's Stormwater, Grading and Drainage Control Code on the site.
  • Activities identified in Seattle's new stormwater code are broken out into 2 main types: operational source control and structural source control. Operational controls are divided into requirements for all businesses and requirements for "businesses engaged in high-risk pollution generating activities (HRPG)." The Code also now requires certain structural source control measures for businesses involved in high-risk activities that seek building permits after January 1, 2001. A list of activities that pose a high risk of stormwater pollution and examples of structural measures are available on the Resource Venture's Web site.

Seminar Adjourned

Dom Amor, Puget Sound Energy
Bill Anderson, Business and Industry Resource Venture
Denise Bender, Immunex
Kevin Burrell, Environmental Coalition of South Seattle
Domenic Calabro, EPA Region 10
Rose Dammrose, Northwest Hospital
Elizabeth Daniel, Business and Industry Resource Venture
Kinley Deller, King County Solid Waste Division
John Fauver, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Jason Ferguson, Children's Hospital
Matt Fikejs, Business and Industry Resource Venture
Rob Houston, St. Joseph Hospital
Bob Johnson, Unisource Worldwide
Allen Jones, Alan B. Jones, Ph.D.
Steve Ketchum, Trammell Crow Health Care Services
Kellie Kuhlman, Puget Sound Energy
Michael Laurie, BRACO Resource Services
Ibtissam Massalkhi, University of Washington
William Montgomery, St. Joseph Hospital
Kathleen O'Brien, O'Brien & Company, Inc.
Tom Nance, Trammell Crow Health Care Services
Phil Paschke, Seattle Public Utilities
Peter Rackers, Harborview Medical Center
Art Ricketts, St. Clare Hospital
Sandy Rock, Pollution Prevention Resource Center
John Roberts, Seattle City Light
Bill Rowe, University of Washington
Carol Sangster, Chubb Insurance
Brenda Schiffman, Trammell Crow (at Swedish)
Mike Smith, Swedish Medical Center
Kevin Snively, Trammell Crow (at Swedish)
Jenny Yoo, Dept. of Ecology
Kelly Zarling, Trammell Crow (at Swedish)