- Yavapai County covers over 8,000 square miles in Arizona
- The name Yavapai means "People of the Sun"
- Popular new age destination, Sedona, Arizona is in Yavapai County
"We started using stabilized aqueous ozone (SAO) on carpets, hard floors, and upholstery," explains Thompson, "and quickly realized that it worked better than the harsh chemicals we had been using." Though Thompson found early success switching from traditional cleaning chemicals to SAO - the journey wasn’t easy.
A custodial supervisor in one of the most picturesque, environmental geographies in North America, Thompson oversees 52 employees in 40 different locations and is responsible for cleaning and sanitizing over 600,000 square feet of building space in Yavapai County Facilities and Parks and Rec Department. "Obviously, in a place like Yavapai, you simply have to be highly sustainable and environmentally conscious. There’s no way we can justify pouring chemicals into our beautiful lands."
A few years ago, Thompson searched for an alternative to cleaning chemicals and came across SAO. "We did a test and removed all the cleaning products from a building - with the custodians kicking and screaming the entire way," laughs Thompson. "Right away, we noticed great results on carpets. The fabric looked newer, brighter, and was softer. In fact, the more we used the SAO, the better the carpets got. We realized the old chemical residues were being rinsed from the fabric, restoring its appearance."
Thompson also realized another benefit: longer times between cleanings. "People don’t realize that chemical residues attract dirt and so when you use chemicals you have to clean more often."
Despite the early success, Thompson says he met resistance every step of the way, though. "After a thirty-day trial, we started switching all our buildings to stabilized aqueous ozone. I have employees who’ve been with us for over 20 years and they believe if it doesn’t make your eyes water, your breathing difficult, or your skin burn, it’s not working. They were not excited." Over time though, they all became believers.
Today, the county uses stabilized aqueous ozone to clean glass, carpets, stainless steel, chrome, porcelain, tile, linoleum, and virtually any hard surface. Says Thompson, "We have switched approximately 80% of our buildings from old chemicals to new stabilized aqueous ozone - and we’re moving towards 100% in the near future. We are sold - not because of some sales gimmick, but because it works."