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Premier Cleaner of Westford Demonstrates Professional Wet Cleaning

Contact: Karen Angelo, 978-430-6303

Feb. 11, 2015, Lowell, Mass. – Rather than using perchloroethylene or hydrocarbons, Premier Cleaner & Tailor chose Professional Wet Cleaning in its shop that’s located on a septic system in the Cornerstone Square Center in Westford. Owner Ryan Chae demonstrated the safer, water-based technology to other dry cleaners on Wednesday, Feb. 11.

“It was really important to me and my business to use water-based technologies because I feel strongly that we have an obligation to protect health and the environment for the next generation,” says Chae.

The Toxics Use Reduction Institute at UMass Lowell awarded Premier Cleaner & Tailor a demonstration grant to show other dry cleaners how professional wet cleaning technology allows for “dry-clean-only” clothes to be effectively washed with water and detergents. Technologies include a computer-controlled washer and dryer as well as tensioning equipment.

“Premier Cleaners is a great example of how a shop that’s on septic can use Professional Wet Cleaning,” says Joy Onasch. “We appreciate that Mr. Chae shared his expertise with other dry cleaners so that they can be inspired to make the switch to the safer system. Cleaners who have switched have reduced utility costs and water usage, while protecting their health and the health of their workers and customers as well as the environment.”

Wastewater discharge from laundries and professional wet cleaners is considered industrial wastewater by the state and cannot be discharged directly to a septic system without a groundwater discharge permit – which can be difficult to obtain. Instead, Mr. Chae installed a holding 500-gallon holding tank within his shop that’s emptied on average twice a month. Although the state requires a certification for the holding tank, the simpler process requires certain design criteria be met, and submission of a form and one-time fee. Find at more on the MassDEP website.

TURI awards grants to Massachusetts dry cleaners to help them make the switch to Professional Wet Cleaning from processes that use toxic chemicals such as perchloroethylene, a solvent classified as a probable human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Learn more by visiting www.turi.org/drycleaning