Car Wash Regulations and Environmental Laws
March 18, 2013
In the past, if you wanted to clean your car, you followed only three simple steps. One, haul out your trusty bucket or hose. Two, pick your favorite car shampoo and sponge. And three, get to work right in the middle of your garage. Those days of wanton and wasteful car wash practices are nearly over. 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. Therefore, legislators at the state and federal level are working on car wash regulations to limit this harmful impact and streamline the process.
Why We Need Car Wash Regulations
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, they do not filter or treat the dirty runoff in any way. Consequently, they cannot neutralize the harmful chemical compounds that the runoff may carry before it goes into the nearest storm drain.
Now, let’s do some simple math. Say that you have a hundred cars in your neighborhood. Each owner washes his or hers once a week for an entire month. All in all, you waste at least 40,000 gallons of water in a single month.
The number of cars on the road is growing. So is the demand for more earth-friendly ways of taking care of them. Therefore, detailers have a commitment to make their car wash business compliant with even the most rigorous car wash regulations and environmental laws.
Environmentally-friendly Car Detailing Practices
There are three main areas of concern that car wash regulations focus on:
Efficient Water Use
A DIY cleaning job is the most wasteful means to wash your car. However, 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. The good news is that they collect, filter, and use again every rinse 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 can handle it.
All the bad stuff that you’re washing off the surface of your car will surely end up somewhere. Car wash regulations require commercial facilities to set up certain water treatment procedures. These aim at reducing the amount of harmful chemicals mixed up in the waste water before it goes 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.
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 little to almost no water at all as recommended by the car wash regulations. Such are steam cleaning or waterless car wash, further reducing the water imprint of car wash businesses the world over.
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