A person sprays engineered water on a table
Lisa Fike, assistant building supervisor, cleans the dining halls at the University of Wisconsin with engineered water PHOTO COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN

While there will always be a demand for chemical cleaners, distributors of jan/san supplies should consider adding engineered water products to their inventories. Although engineered water is still not widely deployed, the number of in-house cleaning managers and building service contractors using these products is steadily growing.

Consider Mervin Brewer, assistant custodial manager for the Salt Lake City School District. There are 35 schools and facilities in the district, and according to Brewer, every building has been touched to varying degrees by some form of engineered water, with the product being used almost exclusively in several.

Brewer began testing engineered water three years ago, piloting different technologies and settling on several. One system allows the district to create engineered water in-house via an on-site generator, resulting in a split-stream mix of sodium hydroxide and hypochlorous acid. Another generates aqueous ozone; a third uses portable effervescent tablets to make hypochlorous acid.

Brewer’s objective over the next three-to-four years is to have engineered water become the main cleaner and sanitizer in all district buildings.

Then there’s Jodi Krause, assistant director of housekeeping for the University of Wisconsin, division of housing, in Madison, Wisconsin. Krause helps support eight building supervisors and five assistant building supervisors in overseeing 27 buildings housing 7,600 residents. She’s directly in charge of four of those building supervisors and three of the assistant supervisors in eight of the residence halls, which house approximately 5,000 students. For the last six years, they’ve been using an aqueous ozone engineered water.

“We use our water-based cleaning product for all of our daily cleaning and sanitizing — bathrooms, dens, lounges, classrooms, dining halls and resident rooms,” says Krause. “We also use our water-based cleaning for infection control daily. Housing is the only campus partner using water-based cleaning but we use this product in all of our buildings.”

Krause says there are approximately 10 traditional chemicals still on the division’s product list, although it has eliminated the use of products like window cleaners, all-purpose cleaners and disinfectants, which accounted for at least 80 percent of what they use.

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