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Thursday, Jul 31, 2014

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washing machine

New washing machine

Photographer: George Mauzy

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New laundry facilities save water, money

Savings could be $50,000 each year


Ohio University residence halls are conserving more water and money than ever, thanks to new, high efficiency laundry facilities. 

On Sept. 1, contractor Caldwell and Gregory replaced the all 200 top loading washing machines at the university with Speed Queen front loading machines. The new machines save an estimated $50,000 a year on water, according to the Facilities Management.

The new washing machines are located inside the following buildings: Armbruster, Atkinson, Biddle, Brough, Brown, Bryan, Convocation Center, Dougan, Ewing, Foster, Gamertsfelder, Hoover, O'Bleness, Smith, Treudley, True, Voigt, Weld, and Wray. 

"When we decrease the water we use on campus, we save double because of the amount we pay for the water consumed as well as the cost of the sewage we send down the drain," said Sonia Marcus, director of the Ohio University Office of Sustainability. 

Front loading machines use less because of their sideways design, Marcus said. Older top loading machines require a water level above the line of clothes at about 32 gallons, but with front loading, the load can be filled with 12 to 14 gallons and still be wet. They also cut down on drying time because they extract more water during their spin cycle. 

The Office of Sustainability recently looked at utilities consumption for the past three years in residence halls with and without laundry facilities. It found that residence halls with more efficient front loading washers cut overall water consumption by 13 percent, and even halls without laundry facilities have still decreased usage by 4 percent. Also, there was a 9.8 percent per capita decrease between this year and last.

Gamerstfelder Hall on East Green along with Treudley Hall on West Green have the most new washing machines, and the halls also boasted the highest water savings at 30 and 39 percent decreases, respectively.

Between September and April, Gamertsfelder saved $5,800 and 750,000 gallons of water, according to Marcus. With the new machines, renovations and updated exhaust lines, Caldwell and Gregory has invested nearly $885,000 at the university.

The contract with Caldwell and Gregory extends for a seven-year period, with three one-year renewable options. Revenue from the machines is split evenly with OHIO, according to Rusty Thomas, contract administrator in Procurement Services.