This is a follow up to our November 2018 article about how our team, led by Martin Pharis, worked with our client, Lace House Linen to cut its wash times in half. We helped this fast growing commercial laundry service supplier achieve these significant savings in time and energy by installing a TR-4 high efficiency wastewater heat recovery system from Thermal Engineering of Arizona (TEA). The savings have had a direct favorable impact on the client’s bottom line. We recently installed a TEA rinse water reuse system which significantly reduces the client’s water usage as well.
103-year-old Lace House Linen is located in Petaluma, CA, where there are strict regulations around commercial water use and wastewater discharge, similar to those in many other municipalities around the state. Constantly rising water, sewer and other utility rates make it imperative for high volume commercial users like Lace House Linen to continually find ways to reduce their usage.
The installation of the TR-4 system was Phase One of a three-phase project plan. Phase Two, which entailed installation of a rinse water reuse system, was approved in September of 2019. The work commenced in March of 2020 and was completed in early June 2020. This system not only reduces Lace House LInen’s overall water usage by 30%, it also reduces their chemical usage and subsequent impact on the environment.
Under normal circumstances, the biggest challenge this busy company faces when upgrading its water handling systems is scheduling a time for the installed equipment to go live — when it’s likely to have the least disruptive impact on its 24/7 operations. Final installation was expected to necessitate two-three days of downtime which involved some complicated logistical planning.
As it turned out, all the logistical planning in the world wouldn’t have anticipated the COVID-19 global pandemic which hit in the midst of the project. Incredibly, the pandemic didn’t derail the installation process.
As an essential business, Western State was permitted to continue servicing its essential laundry business clients. With safety precautions in place, WSD staff remained on site and continued all necessary work. There were some minor delays in equipment delivery from Arizona, and, at one point, the team had to scramble to find local lodging for the manufacturer’s representative. Overall, though, the work proceeded in a relatively normal fashion. The silver lining was that the live installation was easier than normal because of Lace House Linen’s reduced operating hours related to the virus-related business interruption.
As the state of California carefully reopens its economy, Lace House Linen will soon be back on its normal frenetic schedule when it will truly reap the benefits of its state-of-the-art rinse water reuse system.
Phoebe Ellis, one of Lace House Linen’s owners, is optimistic about the future: “We’ve been in business since 1915 and have endured many challenges. We survived the Spanish Flu, two World Wars, the Great Depression, the Great Recession, and more,” she explained. “I’m sure we will get through this pandemic and its aftermath as well,” she continued. “As long as we remain focused on providing our customers with the best possible product and service, we will continue to prosper, she concluded.”
To learn how Western State Design can help your laundry business achieve water and energy savings, please contact one of our Laundry Specialists today.