Celebrating Earth Day brings to mind the preciousness of our planet. What better time to invest in an eco-friendly car wash for your dealership than now? After all, water represents a precious commodity in the arid Western United States. Sure, we’ve had an abnormally wet winter with lots of precipitation and snowfall. But the threat of drought always looms over our region.
With drought comes water restrictions. These can seriously impact your ability to clean cars or even shut down your dealership’s wash. Believe me, we’ve seen it happen. Of course, dirty cars do very little for your dealership’s CSI…
So, it’s crucial that your dealership assesses its “wash footprint” NOW before it develops into a problem later. In this article, we’ll talk about factors effecting water usage at your facility. Then, we’ll briefly describe the three-pronged approach that we’ve used successfully time and again to help auto dealerships just like yours reduce water usage, improve profit margins, AND maintain an eco-friendly car wash.
Factors Effecting Water Usage
During the wash cycle, water consumption rates vary depending on the type of wash, equipment used, the wash cycle, and overall maintenance. According to the International Carwash Association’s (ICA) report Water Use in the Professional Car Wash Industry, washing systems use between 44 and 73 gallons of water per vehicle.
Besides water consumption, there’s evaporation and runoff during the wash. All of this wasted water equates to some hefty bills. Remember, wash owners pay for water twice, once as a part of a water bill and again as part of a sewer bill.
Ultimately, hand washing cars remains one of your absolute worst options for the environment AND your bottom line. Hand washing wastes huge volumes of water. It also introduces soap, fuel residue, and grime into the surrounding soil and waterways. All told, this is no bueno for the environment.
What an Eco-Friendly Car Wash Looks Like
By custom installing our Wash Wise System, we can deliver superior cleaning results using less labor and demonstrably reducing water consumption. For example, we’ve seen averages of 3.25 minutes per wash with a water requirement of about 12.67 gallons per vehicle.
What’s more, Wash Wise allows dealerships to track exactly how much product, water, and time goes into each wash. This means you’ll finally have the analytics and control that you need to maintain an accountable, eco-friendly system. Conserved water and reduced labor costs mean increased profits for you and a brighter future for the planet.
The stats above are based on factors we’ve personally observed and recorded at auto dealerships across the West Coast. They call us in to streamline their water conservation efforts, make their washes eco-friendly, and help them avoid closure due to strict water use restrictions. We always exceed their expectations.
These represent averages, not guarantees. But, as the numbers clearly demonstrate, strategic changes can ensure your dealership stops flushing needless water, soap, and money down the drain.
Water Conservation & Recycling at Your Wash
Installing high pressure, low volume spray tips remains among the easiest and most effective ways of reducing water consumption. Depending on the kind of equipment currently in use at your facility, changing water tips can reduce water consumption by upwards of 25% while providing comparable cleaning power to customers and/or employees.
Another way to reduce water consumption involves identifying and utilizing water normally wasted in the wash cycle in innovative ways. For example, RO “reject” water can be re-used as a pre-rinse or in the wash cycle. When you consider the fact that for every gallon of RO water produced, one to two gallons of reject water are lost, reusing this reject water will decrease water consumption significantly at your facility.
But, by far, the best water conservation measure remains installation of a water reclamation system. A waste water treatment system that restores water ensures your wash will remain open during periods of drought. When installed properly, recycling water makes very good business sense. A good reclamation system can result in savings of upwards of 60% to 90% in water and sewer bills alone. Click here to read more about water reclamation systems.
The Right Detergents for Your Wash & the Environment
Besides water consumption, water run off provides a double whammy to the environment. Not only does it represent costly wastage for your facility, but the car wash cycle results in notoriously polluted water when detergents relying on a “caustic bite” are used.
Alkaline detergents represent good solo cleaners and can eliminate many soils, but their byproduct is dangerously alkalinized waste water. Acidic detergents do not make good solo cleaners, and they also represent a threat to our waterways and environment. That said, there’s another, better way to achieve superior cleaning without harming our planet.
You see, something magical happens when alkaline and acidic detergents are combined in the Two-Step Alkaline/Acidic application that we recommend for cleaning vehicles. The Two-Step Process offers touchless, superior removal of inorganic soils like clay, sand, and dirt. What’s more, the Two-Step Process produces a final, neutral solution that’s optimally safe for the environment and can be recycled using a water reclamation system. Contact us now to find out more about the numerous benefits of Wash Wise, the Two-Step Process, and to set up a complimentary consultation.
The Green Bottom Line
Your dealership has superior, environmentally-friendly options that you may not even know about. That’s where we come in. White Water Solutions has a strong environmental track record with a focus on minimizing the environmental impact of its activity.
Employing a three-pronged program of water conservation, water recycling, and use of the eco-friendly Two-Step Process, we continue to make innovative strides in water conservation while reducing our footprint and still delivering superior wash quality. Not sure what an eco-friendly car wash means for your dealership? Contact us to for a complimentary consultation and assessment.