School District Adopts Innovative Carpet Cleaning System

As a founding member of the Healthy Schools Campaign’s National Green Cleaning Schools Leadership Council, Mervin Brewer, assistant custodial supervisor at Salt Lake City School District (SLCSD), stays on the cutting edge of sustainable solutions.
SLCSD received honorable mention in the Healthy Schools Campaign’s 2010 Green Cleaning Award in K-12 School Districts based on its commitment to green and healthy cleaning as noted on the award site:
“Over the past few years, the Salt Lake City School District custodial department conducted pilot tests of green cleaning products at several schools to evaluate their effectiveness. As a result, they have changed not only the chemicals used in the schools, but also the cleaning and maintenance processes. The department formed an oversight committee, assessed needed changes, set goals, developed a timeframe and systematically implemented green cleaning processes and greener chemicals, paper and other products and equipment. By phasing out products and methods that were inefficient, and updating the processes, the department has been able to accomplish its goals with no increase to the custodial budget.”
With the support of his management, Brewer continues to pilot cleaning programs at SLCSD that are both green and highly effective, right down to the carpet.
“We have close to a million square feet of carpet in our 4.5 million sq. ft. district and all of it is now cleaned at least annually using ElectroChemically Activated (ECA) solutions ─ and without leaving residue,” he says.
The system in place produces two solutions:
 • A Green Seal certified cleaner now in use as the main carpet cleaning product.
 • A disinfectant applied as a follow up on biological spills.
“We strive to reduce the use of harsh or toxic chemicals in the district, and especially in daycare facilities ─ cleaned quarterly with this technology ─ where children crawl on the carpet and may ingest tracked-in soils or chemical residues from cleaning products,” says Brewer. “On-site generation of ECA solutions fits nicely with the district’s green performance, sustainability, recycling, and children’s health initiatives.”
The district uses a centrally-located system that generates several hundred gallons at a time, which is then dispensed into the holding tank of a van-mounted extractor for use in all the schools.
“The performance of our ECA system is excellent,” says Brewer. “The carpet looks great and has a better feel to it, which we attribute to the no-residue outcomes.”
Clearly, leadership in greener, healthier carpet care using ECA solutions does not require a sacrifice in performance.