December 2014

Welcome to the inaugural issue of John Mickelson’s soapbox!

Lets get busy and start with a facility right here in the Reno area.

St. Mary’s Center for Health & Fitness,
Wellness Center Owned and Operated by St. Mary’s Hospital

Loren Beccard, Facility Engineer

Key Issue: Towel Service

Towel Service is a huge responsibility in their operation. They have between 1500-2000 member usages per day, their towel usage is huge, with the washers and dryers operating from opening till closing.

As you might have heard, Nevada and California are in the middle of a “history making” draught. Water is as precious as gold or silver and water municipalities are ever raising their water rates. Loren’s task was to reduce water usage, improve cleanliness of towels, make sure the towels are soft to the touch, find a way to extend the towel life expectancy and lower laundry chemical expenses.

Working with the folks from EcoLab, samples of Petra towels were sent back to their research lab for testing and research. Results from their research allowed Loren to produce a protocol that accomplished the following:

  1. Reduce wash water by almost half
  2. Increase the cleanliness of the laundry, also able to remove make-up and shoe polish versus conventional laundry systems
  3. Adjust drying procedures so towels were never overheated eliminating the crispy feel of the towels
  4. Proper cleaning and drying protocol increased the towel life expectancy by 20% – 25%
  5. Implementing the above protocols provided a total dollar savings of about 20%

The towel system has reduced my replacement cost from almost $20,000 per year to just above $10,000 ….along with reducing wash temperatures …measurable energy savings from not having to heat the reduced wash water” adds to the savings.

We hope you have found this brief expose’ of interest. Should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact Loren Beccard at or feel free to e-mail and I’ll be happy to assist.

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