When we think of businesses who strive to preserve water, it might be easy to overlook car washes. In fact, we may even assume car washes to be some of the greatest water users in our towns and cities!
While car washes do have the potential to use large volumes of water, they also have the potential to be key water savers. With appropriate systems in place, car washes can effectively reduce water use and limit their impact on the environment.
In this blog from PSD Codax the UK’s leading car wash access system provider, we outline some key ways to improve water efficiency at a car wash. For more informative content surrounding running your car wash business, take a look at our blog – articles include: Marketing Tips for a Car Wash Business, The Different Types of Car Wash Services, How to Improve the Customer Experience at Your Car Wash.
Why is Water Efficiency Important?
It is estimated the UK wastes approximately 3 billion litres of water per day. (source) There are a number of ways water can be wasted, from a leaking pipe, to over use of the resource for everyday activities. Water is a valuable and scarce resource, and ensuring we use water as efficiently as possible will be important to preserve this resource for future generations.
By improving their water efficiency businesses like car washes can not only improve their profitability and save on their water costs but also reduce their consumption of this precious resource.
Ways to Improve Water Efficiency Include:
One of the most effective ways of reducing water wastage at a car wash is recycling. Just like we recycle plastic, glass and cardboard, there are a variety of practices that allow us to use water over and over again. If a car wash practices recycling water as a part of its water efficiency efforts, it is likely that they will show such on business signage and advertising – making them easy to spot.
Today’s commercial carwashes often have a range of procedures in place that help them reuse water. This water conservation technology offers an effective solution for car washes wanting to limit their water use. Such technology helps cleanse used water of debris, allowing it to be re-used over and over. Methods of cleaning water for re-use include:
Separation – Reclaiming water by skimming away oil and grease using settling tanks or cyclonic separation.
Filtration – Removing solids from collected wash water.
Oxidation – Removing electrons from wash water to help eliminate smells, colours and organisms such as bacteria and algae.
When it comes to gathering water to recycle, car wash businesses make use of a variety of methods. These include collection troughs, manual sweeping and collecting processes or even allowing cars to drip dry in bays.
Use Self-Service Car Washes
It is widely understood self-service car washes use a smaller volume of water than other car washing solutions. This is due to their use of high-pressure hoses; these can be turned on and off easily by users.
Equipment like this also reduces water wastage during scrubbing/buffing as water cannot be accidentally left running. Self-service car washes also offer greater precision than drive-through car washes, so not only do they use less water – they also offer a more targeted clean!
Learn more about the self-service car wash solutions from PSD Codax >
A leading cause for wasted water across the UK is leaks! These can be caused by a range of factors, from poor connection elements, to rusting, and breaks.
Even then the smallest break in a system can lead to hundreds of litres being wasted per day. These leaks can go unnoticed for a long time before being noticed, that is why taking the time and making the investment with regular maintenance, will help reduce water wastage from leaks, and ensure the system within your car wash is running smoothly and efficiently.
Not only that, investing in regular maintenance will help identify possible issues in the system before they become businesses critical. This will help you to fix the problem before it takes the car wash out of commission. Minimising the down time for your business and keeping your customers happy.
Check out our ultimate guide on car wash maintenance >
Monitor Water Pressure
When limiting water usage, pressure is a worthwhile factor to consider. Keeping an eye on water pressure not only helps save water, it also reduces the cost of running a car wash. According to research from experts, lower pressure results in less water use. With an effective water pressure monitor, it is possible to operate a lower pressure system without compromising on wash quality.
Some car washes install designated low flow spray nozzles to accommodate a lower water pressure – so reducing water pressure needn’t lead to a drastic change in user experience. Not only does monitoring water pressure help keep costs and environmental impact low, it can also help maximise the longevity of your equipment. If water is moving through your equipment at a pressure that is too high, bursts and leaks are more likely, leading to more frequent and costly repairs.
Avoid Leaving Hoses Running
As mentioned with self-service systems, leaving hoses or water dispensers running is a common but easy-to-combat source of wasted water. When running a busy car wash, especially one with manual operators, it can be easy to find workers straying from their posts to attend to customer queries or payments. This issue could be combatted using signage reminding users to turn off their hoses – these could be located next to water systems themselves and around the wider site.
Other approaches to reducing water wastage include using smaller nozzle sizes on hoses. Opting for smaller nozzles reduces the flow of water coming from a hose at any given time, reducing wastage both when in use and when accidentally left on.
It is also important to consider other elements of your business which also utilise water. Regularly checking plumbing features such as toilets, sinks or on-site kitchens for leaks can also reduce water wastage.
Consider Waterless Cleaning Products
Another area for consideration when looking to reduce water usage is waterless car cleaning products. Waterless car cleaning products are pre-mixed solutions that allow cars to be cleaned without a running water supply.
These products often come in a spray bottle and can be used in conjunction with a good microfibre cloth. Waterless cleaning products also offer a great opportunity for a car wash to sell products in-house for additional revenue. Products such as waterless car cleaners are ideal for customers to keep in their garage and use between visits for a top-up clean. If a car wash produces their own branded variety of cleaning solution, a place in customer garages may also function as passive promotion!
Improve Your Car Wash with PSD Codax
Here at PSD Codax, we provide market-leading car wash technology to car washes across the UK and beyond. Our range of entry systems, car wash controllers and management software offer businesses the opportunity to create a well-rounded, professional feeling car wash. In addition to offering car wash technology for purchase, we have also collaborated with Oak Lease to offer leasing solutions for digital car wash products. So should your business need supplementary machinery for busy seasons or events, we’re here to help. To speak to a member of staff about our range of car wash technology, get in touch today. For more articles regarding car wash equipment or running your car wash business, take a look at our blog.