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With so much focus being put on conservation and our economy these days, things such as reusing and recycling water, energy efficient equipment and eco-friendly chemicals are becoming prevalent topics in today's car wash industry. Along with these very important areas, which can largely affect the environmental and economic aspects of a car wash, there are other, sometimes ignored, measures which can have an impact as well.
First, I recommend checking for water leaks. I frequently visit car washes throughout the country and commonly see multiple small leaks at a single site. These leaks may seem inconsequential considering the volume of water used at a typical car wash; however, according to USGS data, a single small drip can leak over 2000 gallons of water a year! If you have several of these, you could be wasting 6000+ gallons in a single year. Depending upon the type of wash you operate, that annual leakage could wash as many as 400 vehicles! To make matters worse, some leaks not only hemorrhage water, but chemical as well, further exacerbating the economic and environmental waste. Most of these leaks can be fixed easily, in many cases by simply applying Teflon tape to the joint or by re-tightening.
Next, take measures to prevent chemical waste. I often see uncovered chemical containers which allow for potential contamination and evaporation of some ingredients. This is another issue which invites waste. One solution is to drill a hole through the container cap or bung screw and thread the delivery line through it. This will help alleviate this problem.
Lastly, make it a point to check timers and clean photocells that control your site's lighting. I frequently notice lighting that is activated unnecessarily. You wouldn't want to operate your location with inadequate lighting, but, at the same time, there is no sense in having security or bay lighting turned on in bright sunlight!
These are just a few conditions you may notice at your wash that, once rectified, will help you save dollars and the environment. Small things can and do add up to large things, and any time we can save a buck – we earn a buck – and the planet thanks you too!
Steve Arnovick — Blendco National Sales Manager
Blendco manufactures a full line of detergents and waxes for the professional carwash industry. You can contact Blendco at: www.blendco.com.