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Benefits of reclaim

Thomas Gibney, vice president and general manager of Verwater Environmental Water Restoration Systems, shares the top ways reclaim systems can save you money and energy.

May 21, 2014
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Naturally, being a business that is environmentally friendly is something everyone wants to do, but let’s face it, everyone is in business to make money so if there isn’t a return on investment sometimes the investment takes a second place to other things.

The reality is with tax revenues down in most cities and states they are looking for ways to replace those lost revenues. One quick way is to look at the city’s sewer and water departments and raise rates on both. To some degree rate increases are understandable when as with lower tax revenues they have less money to spend on maintaining or upgrading their sewer and water plants. By raising the usage rate they can offset lower operating budgets with increased rates. I would be surprised if anyone reading this article has not read in their local papers about rate increase for water and sewer and in some cases double digit increases over multiple years.

In some cases rather than increasing the rates they go to the companies and businesses that are using and sending the dirtiest water to the sewer plants and make it mandatory that those companies clean their waste water to a defined level before sending their waste water to the sewer plant. Now it’s easier to clean the waste water and the operating costs to do so go down. In turn if companies don’t comply they are faced with surcharges or penalties. These charges once again make up for lower city operating budgets.

In that a vehicle washes heartbeat is water, washes have to address treating and cleaning their waste water so that the water can be reused throughout the wash to include re-mixing chemicals. Without truly achieving a restoration of water and re-using 90 to 95 percent of the water, a reclaim system should not be purchased. To achieve maximum return on investment today and into the future a system needs to truly restore the waste water for use throughout the wash.

Marketing opportunities and drought survival

In years past vehicle washes weren’t too interested in telling the public that they reused the water because the consumers felt they were getting their vehicles washed with dirty water, and they were. In some systems sold yet today the water comes out a brown or grey color because the chemicals haven’t been removed in the treatment process.

Today with the advancements in using natural bacteria to consume chemicals from the waste water like sewer treatment plants operate a vehicle wash can feel comfortable in advertising that they are washing the consumers’ vehicles with clean restored water.

With water being the lifeblood of the vehicle wash industry, a waste water treatment system that truly restores the water is a must have to ensure the wash stays open in drought periods but also to reduce water and sewer bills which add to the profitability of the wash.