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Water-Related News

Universal Orlando reducing water usage amid oxygen shortage

Faced with a potential citywide crisis, Universal Orlando, one of the Orlando Utilities Commission’s major customers, has cut back on cleaning, landscape irrigation and even dishwashing to save water.

The moves came after the city of Orlando and OUC asked residents and businesses to start conserving water in late August due to a pandemic-related shortage of liquid oxygen.

The resort reduced its overall water consumption by 38%, or nearly 1.3 million gallons daily, since OUC requested they conserve water Aug. 20, OUC spokesman Tim Trudell said. It is among OUC’s 10 largest commercial customers and the only theme park it supplies with drinking water.

Universal has started spot-cleaning parts of its theme parks instead of hosing down broad areas and reduced its potable water usage in irrigation, resort spokesman Tom Schroder said in an email.

The resort’s onsite hotels began using paper products in employee cafeterias to cut down on dishwashing, turned off potable water sprinklers and delayed pressure and window washing, he said.

Universal already employs an “aggressive” water conservation system between using recycled and repurified water in its rides and pools and reclaimed water for most of its irrigation, Schroder said.

Universal’s repurified water is processed using liquid chlorine, he said. The resort does not use liquid oxygen, which is employed in a higher-end treatment process for drinking water used less commonly than chlorine treatment systems.