Car Wash Regulation: Environmental Laws that Govern Professional Detailing Business
December 13, 2012
Operating your own professional auto detailing facility can be a financially-rewarding and environmentally-sound enterprise. There are lots of technological developments geared towards improving the services that car care experts can offer, while at the same time keeping the environmental footprint to a minimum. Plus, the fact that there does not seem to be a drop in the number of automobiles on the road today will mean that you will always have a steady stream of clients lining up for your services.
Know the rules
Car wash regulations abound not just on the business side of things, but also on the side of environmental protection. Both the state and the federal government have launched aggressive educational campaigns to make car owners and automobile experts alike aware of the implications of engaging in the simple activity of washing vehicles.
In particular, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is advocating the use of professional detailing services over do-it-yourself home car washing for two primary reasons. First, outdoor car washing is likely to use up as much as 40 gallons of water per wash, which can leave a significant dent on the water supply of some communities. Second, all the dirty wash water flows straight into the sewers and storm drains without being treated to remove or at least neutralize the contaminants that have been mixed in with the water.
The issue of outdoor car washing has become so grave in certain areas, like Washington state, such that there have been proposals to ban this activity altogether to prevent the runoff from polluting aquifers and natural bodies of water and killing aquatic life. Water conservation and preservation is an especially important issue in areas that experience droughts, areas that are economically dependent on aquatic resources, and areas that have very low natural water supply.
Commercial car wash outfits are required to set up treatment facilities that can minimize the harmful effects of the runoff produced from every wash cycle. Most vehicle owners are too lazy to collect the wash water in their garage and dump it into the toilet so that it can undergo some form of treatment, allowing the water to flow freely into the storm drains instead.
If you wish to open a detailing shop or are thinking of becoming a franchisee with an existing facility, check if your business complies with current federal and state regulations regarding environmental protection. This can be a key selling point to your customers and potential franchisees in the future.
It’s not enough to simply engage in a lucrative enterprise—you have to do your share in protecting the planet too, even if it just means choosing the right kind of car cleaning method. At present, there are no laws specifying which particular car wash techniques should be availed of, but there is a strong emphasis on eco-friendly products that will not harm the environment. Organic soaps, waterless car wash, and steam cleaning are just some of the available cleaning methods that a car owner can choose from. Whichever one you ultimately pick, it will count as a positive step towards conserving the earth’s limited water supply and preserving our water resources for future generations.