Lifestyle changes in recent decades have meant a rise in domestic and industrial water consumption, and frequent car washing is one of the contributing factors. In fact, washing a car at home can use up to 100 gallons of water per wash!
The Power of Water-Recycling Technology
Car wash companies have an important role to play in reducing water waste because they are able to implement water recycling technology that isn’t available to motorists at home. A commercial car wash program can use as little as 16 gallons of fresh water if the maximum amount of water is reclaimed and recycled.
In contrast, the water from washing your car at home can’t be reclaimed - it either soaks into the lawn or flows straight into the stormwater drain. This makes using a commercial car wash more environmentally-friendly than washing cars at home and represents an unprecedented opportunity for green-minded car wash companies to expand their business.
How Water is Treated in a Car Wash System
How does water recycling in a car wash bay work? In the first cycle - rinse and soap - the water released from the overhead arcs can flow down the sides of the car and into grates leading to an underground treatment system. These systems have up to three stages of filtration that leave the water clean enough to be pumped back up into the arc for another rinse-and-soap cycle.
Recycling water not only saves the car wash company money but also reduces the costs of hooking up to the sewage system. Water that is recycled only needs go to the sewer when the collection and filtration tanks are being cleaned, which is usually completed every six months or so.
Decrease Evaporated Water with Air Drying
Another way that car wash companies can reduce water waste is by picking up as much water from the final rinse cycle as possible, rather than letting this watery film evaporate off the cars after they drive away. The water used in the final rinse is by necessity fresh water. By using pressured air-drying systems, car wash companies are able to collect this precious resource and add it to their filtration systems for reuse in another rinse-and-soap cycle on a different car.
The Importance of Car-Care Products in Keeping Cars Clean
Finally, cars can go longer without a wash if they are treated to prevent dirt from sticking to them in the first place. Car wash companies can reduce their number of washes and amount of water used by selling waxes, polishes, and spot-cloths to keep cars cleaner for longer.
With the right water-recycling technology, biodegradable soaps, and sale of car-care products, car wash companies can reduce their water waste and their spending on fresh water by more than half! Now that’s a win-win solution.
Want to learn more about eco-friendly business ideas? Have a look at 5 Tips for Running an Environmentally Friendly Restaurant and Eco-Cities of the Near Future to learn more.
Guest post by Jordan McDowell
About the Author
Jordan McDowell is a writer and content strategist. He specializes in technically-oriented B2B and B2C content for a number of digital companies and clients including Los Angeles’ N/S Corporation.