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Car Wash Regulations and Environmental Laws

  • March 18, 2013

    In the past, if you wanted to clean your car, you just haul out your trusty bucket or hose, pick your favorite car shampoo and sponge, and get to work right in the middle of your garage. These days of wanton and wasteful car wash practices are nearly over, as more car owners and car care professionals alike are waking up to the reality that the simple act of a weekly car wash can create a huge impact on local water resources. Legislators at the state and the federal level also recognize the role that certain industries can play in conserving our planet’s resources.

    The grim picture

    Consider this: every car owner who gives his car a do-it-yourself wash wastes about a hundred gallons or more of water every time. Moreover, the dirty runoff is not filtered or treated in any way to neutralize the harmful chemical compounds that it may carry before it goes into the nearest storm drain. Say that you have a hundred cars in your neigborhood, and each one is washed once a week for an entire month. That means that all in all, you waste at least 40,000 gallons of water in a single month.
    Due to the growing number of cars on the road and the increasing demand for more earth-friendly ways of taking care of them, detailers have a commitment to make their car wash business compliant with even the most rigorous environmental laws.

    Environmentally-Friendly Car detailing Practices

    There are three main areas of concern that a conscientious car detailer must focus on to become an environmentally-friendly enterprise:

    1. Efficient water use: while a DIY cleaning job is the most wasteful means to wash your car, it is not the only water-intensive method that is still in use today. Conveyor belt car wash systems also use up a lot of water per cycle, but the good news is that every rinse is collected, filtered, and used again at various points in the cycle to get the most out of every drop. Water recycling is not something that you can efficiently do at home, but almost all car wash facilities are equipped to handle this.
    2. Water treatment: all the bad stuff that you’re washing off the surface of your car will surely end up somewhere. Commercial car wash facilities are required by law to set up water treatment procedures that will reduce the amount of harmful chemicals mixed up in the waste water, before it can be discharged into the storm water system. This way, aquatic pollution is minimized and marine flora and fauna will still thrive. At the same time, the risk of contamination of local water supply is significantly decreased.
    3. Use of Eco-friendly products: a professional detailing job may be achieved by using non-hazardous cleaning compounds that will still clean your car effectively, just as if you were using the old products you patronized in the past. There are also some cleaning methods that use up little to almost no water at all, such as steam cleaning or waterless car wash, further reducing the water imprint of car wash businesses the world over.

    Do you want to be environmentally friendly, then schedule an appointment to clean and green your car.

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