(Wikimedia Commons)

A new car wash in Town of Lisbon, Wisconsin finally gained approval from local leaders after experts demonstrated it wouldn’t contaminate groundwater in the area. Residents raised concerns this month that a proposed car wash might also affect their access to well water given that the business would use about 1.8 million gallons of water each year. LakeCountryNow.com reports that the car was was able to gain approval once site planners showed that runoff water could be stored on site and later removed from the business.

Approval was an uphill battle for the business, which was added to existing plans for a controversial gas station. The gas station will be built in a complex with a restaurant and convenience store. About 12 local residents of the town gathered at a public hearing last week to voice their concerns about those plans.

“We cannot get municipal water from Sussex because of the Bark River watershed. If our aquifer becomes contaminated we have nowhere to go to get clean, fresh water,” resident Teresa Nelson argued.

In addition to their concerns about water, residents argued a car wash would create noise and become a problem with traffic in the area. It wasn’t until the business owners presented its system of underground holding tanks that the commission agreed to approve the plans. They rejected a suggestion to require that the car wash shut down if water levels in the area were reported to be lower than normal.

Developer Scott Bence and geopohysicist Bernard Fenelon of GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc. of Waukesha explained to the commission how a system of holding tanks would reduce the amount of groundwater pollution and why the car wash operation would not harm private wells.

Bence explained that the chemical and solid pollutants removed from cars by the car wash would be funneled into holding tanks inside the car wash and later removed.