Making a Difference: One Step at a Time

Cleaning with the Power of Tap Water – 

Sound too good to be true? I must admit, two years ago I was a bit skeptical when we first began investigating this technology. I’m happy to say it’s not as crazy as it sounds. The science is solid; water combined with an electric charge becomes a cleaning agent. It’s similar to what happens with your traditional chemical cleaners – they are made with approx 98% water and a chemical reaction places an electrical charge on the water molecule, which attracts dirt and grime. The difference here is no chemical is needed to produce the reaction, just electricity which is produced from a battery. The water remains “activated” for only 45 seconds, but that is plenty of time to get some chemical free cleaning done on hard surfaces.

We initially started out using this technology in handheld sprayers in our Ithaca, NY store. The next step was testing floor scrubbers in two Rochester, NY stores. Those tests measured cleaning efficacy with traditional chemicals over a period of time and then with the EC-H2O floor scrubber from The Tennant Company. We discovered the “activated” water machine cleaned just as well as a machine with traditional chemicals but used a lot less water. By converting to this greener method of cleaning for our 79 stores, we will conserve approx 1 million gallons of water and use about 20 thousand fewer gallons of floor cleaning chemical annually. The “activated” scrubbers were rolled out chain-wide last month.

Eliminating chemicals in our floor scrubbers not only benefits the environment, but also our people — the new machines get more done using less water which means fewer trips to the hose to fill up the machine. We are already working on more ways to use “activated” water in other areas of our stores.

Less water, no chemicals and more efficient; that’s a triple win for the environment, our people and our business. That’s Sustainability at Wegmans.