Condensate Capture and Re-Use: Cost and Water Savings Benefit Customers

Enwave Seattle is an advocate of water reduction projects for building retrofits and new construction. Steam condensate is distilled water. Once it has passed through a building's heating system, this water is available to use on site for any number of purposes. Working with customers and Seattle Public Utilities, the company has implemented several projects that have saved money and recycled water for additional uses.

W Hotel

The W Hotel in downtown Seattle implemented a water and condensate recovery system that has recycled 1.5 million gallons of water, saving the hotel $56,000 in water, sewer and energy charges. Seattle Public Utilities supported the $140,000 project with a $60,000 grant. The hotel expects a return on its investment within three years. The AquaRecycle technology reclaims 100 percent of the wastewater from the laundry and is fed with steam condensate to make up the water loss from the laundry dryers, thus requiring no new City water.

Hilltop House

The Hilltop House, a non-profit senior retirement community on First Hill, redirects condensate to flush toilets and supplies water to their commercial clothes washers and dishwashers. With financial support from Seattle Public Utilities and the City of Seattle, the community expects to save thousands of dollars in annual utility bills.

The new Hyatt at Olive 8 in downtown Seattle opened in 2008 and is certified LEED Silver by the US Green Building Council. Its eco-friendly practices include a design that, in the near future, will recapture and re-use steam condensate in the laundry, toilets and swimming pool. Olive 8 is an example of how collaboration with Seattle Steam engineers during design can lead to innovative environmental and long-term cost savings.

The Fairmont Olympic opened its doors in 1924, the same year it connected to Seattle Steam. Today, the hotel has significant thermal energy requirements, and it uses its steam with great efficiency. With 450 rooms and a large number of events, the hotel uses steam in the laundry facility to dry the many hundreds of sheets and linens the hotel needs daily. The hot condensate created in the steam converter is used to preheat potable water for the hotel and guest needs, as well as in the laundry and dishwashing pre-cycles to reduce purchased potable water and avoid the costs of both water and sewage disposal. Every energy unit possible is extracted from the steam; not a drop of water is lost, as the hotel recovers and reuses 100 percent of the steam condensate.

Seattle Steam