Drop by drop, penny by penny
Presenting other ways to save water throughout your property.
Along with water reclaim equipment and various other forms of water-saving initiatives within the carwash tunnel, there are other ways to use less water throughout your property. These water saving methods are not as well known or used in the industry, but they can be a way to use less water and bring in more money at your wash.
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These ideas, while perhaps a bit prosaic, can potentially save you hundreds of gallons of water over time. After all, according to the water conservation group, Water Use it Wisely®, a single drip every second of the day, adds up to 5 gallons of water. Sometimes thinking outside of the wash can be the way to solve water problems.
A rain barrel is a pretty simple, manageable concept, yet, for some reason, they still are not part of the norm, whether on business properties or in residential areas. However, perhaps peoples’ minds will be swayed when they hear a single rain 55-60 gallon barrel can save up 1,700 gallons of water per rainy season. How much water is that? According to the Great American Barrel Company, 60 gallon can cover about 100 square feet of ground.
How does one work? According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a rain barrel is a system that “collects and stores rainwater from your roof that would otherwise be lost to runoff and diverted to storm drains and streams.” They are usually composed of a drum, a vinyl hose, PVC couplings, a screen grate (to keep out debris and insects) and a spigot. A bucket is filled directly from the barrel from the spigot. You can also attach a hose, although the pressure isn’t great. The water can then be used to water plants, to water your landscaping, to wash down your windows, parking lots and sidewalks, etc.
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Available online and at garden and home improvement stores, many barrels are painted or come in a variety of styles to be more aesthetically pleasing or to better match a carwash or detail shop’s color theme. With drought affecting many parts of the country, and carwashes using whatever measures possible, this is a great way to showcase the carwash industry’s commitment to saving water, and to do it in a way that will get people talking.
Synthetic turf has come a long way since it was first introduced in the 1960s. Today’s grass looks and feels real and is being used more and more in drought-stricken areas, such as California.
According to the artificial grass company Purchase Green, it takes between 28-37 gallons of water per square foot per year to keep a lawn green. However, every 660 square feet of artificial grass can save 24,000 gallons of water per year. That’s big water savings, and just like with rain barrels, it’s a water conservation method that will get people talking.
So, what’s the catch? Some might be afraid of the cost. However, prices range from $1-$5 per square foot, so depending on the size of your property and your lawn area, it might not cost too much. Also, once it is installed there is not maintenance involved, no mowing, weeding, or watering, etc. and that time and energy can be put to other uses. Also, it will always look perfect, and cleanliness and presentation are two important aspects to your car cleaning business.
When you’ve optimized the water savings in your carwash, look outside of it to see additional ways to save water, and save money along the way.
Even more ways to save
- Purchase WaterSense® labeled toilets which use less water per flush.
- Check all hoses, connectors and faucets regularly for leaks.
- Install automatic shutoffs on the sinks in your bathrooms.
- Have a water-use and water loss audit conducted at your business.
- Only wash towels when the load is full.