Here are some highlights from a news release put out by the International Carwash Association®.
- Washing your car at home in the driveway with a garden hose uses about 7 gallons of fresh water every minute. In as little as 15 minutes, washing with a hose can use nearly 100 gallons of water.
- Carwashes enrolled in the WaterSavers program ( more than 800 car washes across the United States and Canada) meet stringent environmental standards for water use and treatment. WaterSavers car washes use a maximum of 40 gallons of water per car in conveyor and in-bay/rollover systems. Self-service washes in the program maintain high-pressure systems that use 3 gallons of water per minute or less.
- “It’s important to note,” says Eric Wulf, CEO of the Chicago-based International Carwash Association, “that washing vehicles on paved surfaces sends runoff containing soap and other harmful chemicals into storm sewers that empty into our streams, rivers and lakes. In contrast, professional car washes collect, treat and recycle waste water, discharging any remaining water into the local water treatment system, where it is processed before being released into waterways.”
- Research shows that runoff from driveway or pavement washing can harm wildlife. A Washington state environmental firm collected actual runoff from a car wash fundraiser held in a parking lot. Rainbow trout were exposed to the runoff, and all the fish died within 24 hours. A second test, of water that contained the same concentration of detergent a car owner might use to wash a vehicle at home, produced similar results.