SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Intermountain Health is making big strides in its ongoing conservation efforts after having made key upgrades to its washing machines — saving millions of gallons of water in the process.

According to a news release by the organization, these innovations made at the Intermountain Central Laundry facility in North Salt Lake, involve upgrades to two of its industrial washing machines, which were set to be replaced.

Now, after about a year of use, these new machines have reportedly saved more than 11 million gallons of water through normal use. Even more promising, the organization says they expect those conservation numbers to grow in the future.

“Reducing the impact that we make on the environment has a direct impact on our health,” remarks System Sustainability Director Glen Garrick. “In the last couple of decades, there’s been a drought in Utah. Water scarcity is going to be a real issue — we need to start doing everything we can now to be as efficient as possible with our water resources.”

Each month, it’s reported that Intermountain’s Central Laundry handles the cleaning of linens from 160 different healthcare and hospital facilities spanning from Burley in southern Idaho to Delta in central Utah.

At this facility, caregivers are said to clean, fold, and deliver more than 1.3 million pounds of laundry every month.

“We do more laundry in a day than a family of four would do in a lifetime,” says Laura Thurston, Operations Manager at Intermountain Central Laundry.

With so many millions of gallons already saved, how can these upgrades conserve so much water?

Intermountain Health states that these new machines not only use less water during their cleaning operations but can also recycle any water which would have otherwise gone down the drain.

As these machines are expected to last over the next twenty to twenty-five years, Intermountain Health is poised to expand its conservation efforts even further.

Garrick comments, “Every gallon of water we don’t have to use in the process of providing care is a gallon that can stay in our waterways and benefit our communities.”