From left, inmates Alejandro Ocampo and Darryl Corpolongo assist Officer James Haywood with reclaiming water at California Rehabilitation Center.

From left, inmates Alejandro Ocampo and Darryl Corpolongo assist Officer James Haywood with reclaiming water at the California Rehabilitation Center.

By Lt. Sarah Watson, AA/Public Information Officer
California Rehabilitation Center

The California Rehabilitation Center (CRC) does their part by daily recycling water but Correctional Officer James Haywood has taken the effort a step further.

He has found a way to recycle water in one area of the institution to be used to water lawns and wash vehicles.

With California facing one of the most severe droughts on record, Gov. Edmund G. Brown declared a drought State of Emergency in January and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for water shortages. The state has continued to lead the way making sure California is able to cope with an unprecedented drought.

Officer Haywood, the Maintenance Gate Officer in the Plant Operations yard and supervisor of the institution’s vehicle car wash, has been repurposing water in his home and work for over two years.

CRC water conservation 2Officer Haywood started collecting water from the condensation of an air conditioner located in the Plant Operations yard over two years ago when the State was under its first restriction and the institutions were ordered to stop washing vehicles.  During those first collections, he and his inmates retrieved about 32 gallons every two days.

Since then, Officer Haywood has greatly increased his water conservation efforts.

On April 1, 2015, Gov. Brown ordered mandatory water use reductions for the first time in California’s history, saying the state’s four-year drought had reached near-crisis proportions after a winter of record-low snowfalls.

Over the years, Officer Haywood sought out areas to save water, including the condensation from the air conditioners in the Substance Abuse Program modular buildings, swamp coolers, and two ice machines.  Each day and night, Officer Haywood and his inmate workers place buckets under the air conditioners outside of the Substance Abuse Program modular and swamp coolers, and a large plastic trash bag is attached to the run off of one ice machine and a large plastic drum under another ice machine.

Reclaimed water is used to wash vehicles at CRC.

Reclaimed water is used to wash vehicles at CRC.

The ice machine located in the Engineer’s Shop is connected to a high tech pump made by staff and inmate engineers several years ago; however, it was just to discard the water down a drain.  Now, Officer Haywood uses the pump system to collect the water for reuse.

Officer Haywood collects over 250 gallons of water daily with an additional 300 on the weekends.  All the water is poured through a painter’s filter to discard insects, trash, or debris.  Officer Haywood has allowed CRC to continue washing the institution’s vehicles by using approximately two gallons of reclaimed water per vehicle.  Officer Haywood made a small pump to water the grass.  He also started a sod garden in hopes of one day replanting the institution’s main yard.  He brought the dying grass around the institution’s chapel back to life.  Officer Haywood’s desire is that no water goes unclaimed.

“When I toured Officer Haywood’s work area I was flabbergasted to see how many gallons of water he was able to reclaim.  This is a win-win for CRC. We continue to meet the Governor’s directive while conserving on an average 55 percent against the base year and refusing to allow our precious resources from going down the drain.  Officer Haywood is a CRC hero,” said Warden Cynthia Y. Tampkins.

CRC water conservation 3

Buckets collect condensation water draining from air conditioning units at CRC.