The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Finance Center, in collaboration with the...
SCWA President Discourages Home, Parking Lot Car Washes, Citing Facts on Waste and Alternate Solutions
In an effort to help conserve water during a severe regional drought and educate the public on the benefits of using professional car washes, Southeastern Car Wash Association President Carl Howard offered some startling statistics and alternate solutions to old and wasteful habits.
"Most professional car washes are really in the water management business," explained Howard, "where 100% of all waste water from the car wash is treated, and many car washes even recycle. The small portion of water that is not recycled goes only into approved sewer systems. This keeps water in the local systems during droughts. Pollutants -- road grime, detergents, and wax residue -- rinsed off by home car washers go untreated into city storm drains and eventually end up polluting rivers and streams. Additionally, studies show that as many as 150 gallons of water can be used in a 10-minute home car wash, all of it wasted.
"Moreover, when people think of washing their car at home, they should reconsider. Sometimes damage is done to a car's finish when improper materials and/or an inadequate flow of water are used," continued Howard.
Surveys by the International Carwash Association indicate that even in drought conditions, people will wash their vehicles to preserve their asset. The professional car wash offers them a more efficient and environmentally conscious means of protecting their investment.
"While temporary parking lot car washes and the people who use them mean well, they are actually wasting water and polluting streams," concluded Howard. "Some car wash companies like Autobell Car Wash, the largest car wash company in the Southeast, offer charities and fund raisers discounted certificates that are sold and redeemed at Autobell. Programs like that relieve the fund raiser from most of the hard work, help save and recycle water, and keep our streams and rivers pollutant free."