A car wash in San Luis Obispo, California is trying to figure out a way to get its water from an existing well on the property where the business is being build. The car wash is expected to open in February and is currently under construction. The city is struggling with ground water rights as they look to give an underground well to the new business owners.
The Tribune reports that the city has owned the well rights for the past 26 years. It was built back in 1989 but the city hasn’t actually used the water or the well for more than 20 years. And the other problem is that no records exist showing the city had permission to build the well. An attorney for the car wash says that means they don’t even own it.
Quiky Car Wash plans to take the issue up at the next city meeting Feb. 2. In the meantime, a local nonprofit is raising concerns that using the ground water will contaminate the water table in the area. If the request is not approved, for either reason, the owners of Quiky Car Wash can still open and operate using city water.
“It doesn’t keep us from opening; it just costs us more money,” said Hamish Marshall, vice president of property owner Westpac Investments,. “It’s simply that city water is very expensive. It’s potable water — to be using potable water on cars when we have the ability to use nonpotable water on cars seems a little silly.”