Wednesday, August 31, 2016 12:00 AM

Saving 1 million+ gallons of water

A $50,000 sterile processing system installed last summer at Community Regional Medical Center is saving 1 million gallons of water a year. It’s one of several water-saving measures Community’s hospitals have adopted during California’s historic drought.

Sterile Processing Technician Sarah Muniz removes surgical instruments from one of Community Regional Medical Center’s new sterile processing machines.
Community Regional uses recycled water provided free by the City of Fresno to pressure wash its campus.
The new high-tech stainless steel sterilizers uses less than 1 gallon of super-heated water to sterilize a larger load of surgical instruments than the old sterile processors, which used 178 gallons per load. The sterilizer uses water that re-circulates through the hospital’s closed loop cooling system so that less than a gallon is lost to steam during the process.

The downtown Fresno hospital has also been using recycled water that the City of Fresno is giving away to pressure wash its campus, saving another 7,000 to 12,000 gallons a month. American Mobile Wash uses two small tanks to truck the water from the city processing tank to the Community Regional campus to keep hospital entrances and sidewalks clean.

And Clovis Community Medical Center partnered with the City of Clovis to use recycled water for drought resistant landscaping on its 125-acre campus, creating a parklike setting and helping the city with its ambitious conservation goals. The Clovis hospital was the first and largest private landowner to use the Clovis city’s water that would otherwise be routed to percolation ponds for evaporation or sent down creeks and canals.

Erin Kennedy reported this story. Reach her at