(September 22, 2015—NAPA, Calif.) This month, Queen of the Valley
Medical Center entered a new, innovative phase of its water efficiency
efforts when it started recycling runoff condensation from the hospital’s
air handling units and reusing the water to irrigate the Fountain Courtyard garden.
The medical center has installed piping to carry the runoff water from
the roof into a 3,000 gallon tank by the main hospital. The recycled water
is then pumped out through the sprinkler system to irrigate the Fountain
“The runoff water from the condensate lines used to run into the
roof drain,” said Ardy Van Winden, lead groundskeeper who conceptualized
and built the project. “We’re using reclaimed water to keep
this area green so our patients, staff and visitors can reflect and enjoy.”
This project is expected to save approximately 40,000 gallons of water
a year. Currently in its pilot phase, The Queen has plans to expand the
project to other areas of its campus in the future to reduce the amount
of well water used for irrigation. The Queen has implemented other measures
to reduce irrigation of its 30 acres of gardens including upgrading its
irrigation system and replacing plants with drought-tolerant ones.
“We’re trying to be a good steward of the water. Roses are
very hardy and we now water them once a month instead of once a week,”
said Van Winden. “We’ve cut back on watering by 40 percent
campus wide. I am focusing irrigation around the building where patients
are looking outside their rooms and enjoy seeing color.”
On April 1, 2015 Governor Brown implemented mandatory water reductions
in cities and towns across the state to reduce urban potable water usage
by 25 percent through February 28, 2016. The medical center reduced its
May-June water consumption 35 percent from the same period in 2014.
“By implementing engineering and mechanical best practice solutions,
we are being conscientious and saving this very valuable commodity,”
said Philippe Taquin, director of facility engineering and safety officer,
The medical center has been at the forefront of water conservation efforts;
it started taking strides to save water three years ago. Across its campus
the hospital saved a total 15 million gallons of water per year compared
to its 2012 consumption.
“Our engineers have been vigilant to conserve this critical resource,
so we are ahead of the game,” said Philippe Taquin, director of
facility engineering and safety officer, plant maintenance.
The most significant savings have been in the main hospital, which decreased
water usage from 21.8 million gallons in 2012 to 17.1 million gallons
in 2014. Taquin attributes these savings to a remodeling of the refrigerator
systems. Recycling water from the hospital’s steam condenser reduced
water consumption in the Outpatient Surgery & Procedures Building
from 3.9 million gallons in 2012 to 1.6 million gallons in 2014.
In addition, the Herman Pavilion which is among the first hospitals in
California to receive a Gold LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building
Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED), has
seen a nearly 30 percent decline in water usage after adjusting the size
of its soft water tank earlier this year.
About Queen of the Valley Medical Center
Queen of the Valley Medical Center is a 211-bed, acute-care facility founded
by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. The Queen is the largest health
care facility and one of the largest employers in Napa County. Services
provided include a Regional Heart Center, a Regional Orthopedic Center,
a Regional Cancer Center approved with commendations by the American College
of Surgeons, the Peggy Herman Neuroscience Center, maternity and infant
care, inpatient and outpatient minimally invasive surgery, and full-service
emergency department, among many other specialty services. More information
about Queen of the Valley Medical Center can be found at
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