For commercial, automatic car wash equipment, water is an essential and expensive resource, as well as quite a sensitive topic. Turnkey Automotive Solutions’ (TAS) commitment to the environment is first and foremost whenever designing and building a carwash for a customer. With every new generation of carwash products, the amount of fresh water consumed by the systems typically decreases to continually improve efficiency. The use of water recovery systems further reduces the amount of fresh water required for vehicle washing, and TAS often recommends an investment in reclaim systems even if they are not required by local ordinances.
TAS’ car wash systems are always an environmentally preferred alternative to washing cars by hand because they consume significantly less water. In markets where environmental standards are less strict or where water is particularly scarce, we expect to see increasing regulation of water use as that will continually be a concern with no end in sight. In Northern Europe, for example, environmental regulations are already strict and hand washing banned. Yet in Scandinavia, one of TAS’ vendors, WashTec, has been awarded the “Nordic Swan” environmental award for its exceptionally eco-friendly water conditioning systems and vehicle washing facilities.
People are often surprised by the facts. The amount of water used for washing a car at home can be anywhere from between a whopping 80 to 140 gallons of water, while commercial car washes average less than 45 gallons per car, according to International Car Wash Association. Some friction, in-bay automatic systems use approximately 35 gallons per vehicle, and a high-volume in-bay site could average 100 cars a day — that amounts to approximately 3,500 gallons a day, 105,000 gallons per month, or 1.26 million gallons per year. A tunnel car wash with a moderate amount of high-pressure applications could use 120 gallons of water per vehicle.
Surprisingly, it takes roughly three gallons of water to clean a pound of laundry generated by a hotel. In the example above, mentioning a reasonably efficient in-bay automatic car wash, you could easily reduce water usage per car by half with a fairly priced water reclamation system. In the cleaning of cars and other vehicles, the majority of water used is for washing, and that water, with a minimum of equipment and effort, can be recycled and reused to provide the bulk of the water needed for the cleaning. You would then potentially only require a small amount of fresh water for the car wash rinse cycle.
When you are building your next wash and working through local ordinances, keep in mind, there are many options in terms of minimizing water usage. For a reasonable cost, via using the newer car wash systems as well as water recycling or reclaiming methods, you should be able to recycle and reclaim upwards of seventy-five percent of your vehicle wash water. As always, feel free to talk to Turnkey Automotive Systems about the best car wash options as well as water recycling and reclamation equipment, in terms of integrating these options into your total car wash equipment package and solution.
Turnkey Automotive Solutions (TAS) is a leading provider of commercial car wash systems, chemicals, installation, design and support. We are a preferred Mark VII carwash service provider. Building and managing a car wash operation is a complicated process. TAS builds on our vast construction experience to deliver full-scale car wash solutions. Many of our clients are major car dealerships handling the likes of BMW, Ford, Chevrolet and other top industry leaders.