More and more municipalities around the country are adopting ordinances for waste water that will have a big impact on the environment and car wash businesses. Peachtree Corners, Georgia, along with the most of the Atlanta-area watershed, has recently updated its city codes in regards to water management, for conveyor car washes in particular.
According to one report, the codes will establish water system guidelines and define outdoor water use violations. The code is especially relevant to new car washes — those permitted and constructed after July 18 — requiring them to install recycled water systems. For all car washes and any outdoor water use, the ordinance prohibits outdoor water waste, defining it as “the excessive application of water that results in water flowing down any curb and gutter, street or storm drain or onto an adjacent property, resulting in the unnecessary loss of water through improper application or failure of an outdoor irrigation or plumbing system resulting in excessive runoff.”
This isn’t the first or the only ordinance of its kind. Many cities and towns across the country are instituting similar guidelines for commercial car washes. San Antonio has, since an ordinance passed in 2005, required car washes to use 50% of the water used in each wash to be reused in the following wash. This standard is one of those stated in this newest version of the Peachtree Corners ordinance. These kinds of regulations can be seen all over the country from California to Wisconsin, some more limiting than others.
With access to fresh water at a critical low across the globe, carwash.com warns that conserving water can be a pricey endeavor for most car washes. But they state that in the case of water reclamation, the regulations can actually be helpful to both the environment and to businesses. They cite that the implementation of water reclamation systems can save a car wash 80-85 percent on water and sewage bills.
With or without city ordinated usage regulations, it seems like going green could be in the best interest of most car washes. If washes are unable to afford a water reclamation system, they can do their part by following the regulations on water waste outlined by the Peachtree Corners ordinance — avoiding and replacing broken pipes, leaks, and excessive runoff or running hoses.