Take this tip from Greenway Express Carwash in Charlotte, NC
In a study by the non-profit Alliance for Water Efficiency, the group investigated water use and conservation opportunities for self-service, in-bay automatic, and conveyor car washes. They found that on a gallon-per-vehicle (gpv) basis, professional car washes use a minimal amount of municipal water when conservation equipment, including reclaim systems, is installed.
For example, a frictionless conveyor car wash for a basic wash consumes up to 85.3 gpv. When a reclaim system with full filtration is used the range is estimated from 8 gpv for in-bay automatics to 31.8 gpv for frictionless conveyor car washes. As technologies continue to improve, projections from a 2013 NIH study indicate current water saving averages around 70%.
From the Professional Carwashing and Detailing Industry projections are for 38 gallons per car for an average across the board car wash usage with an average of 17% gallons lost per car wash. Combine this with municipal water and sewer rates rising by more than 25% since 2006 and there are strong incentives to implement car wash water recycling.
The really great news is that the industry itself is getting ahead of the challenges. Already Florida and California are requiring washes to implement reclamation for muni water.
Some states fear contamination and have not acted but the truth is that car wash reclamation does NOT contain discharge water from toilets, urinals etc. With a properly designed system, the treatment of carwash reclaim water improves the quality of municipal water and puts far less of a burden on the local municipality for the treatment of that wastewater.
When should a car wash owner consider reclamation? A good rule of thumb at this point is that system justification starts when the utility bill is over $1000/month. Reclamation can mean a savings of between $8,000 to over $20,000 per year in water and sewer costs.
If you want to learn more about municipal water savings, visit www.muniapp.net.