Water use in three types of professional car washes:
- Self-service car washes: Use roughly 12 gallons per vehicle in desert regions. The number of gallons lost to evaporation and carryout (water that is still on the vehicle at time of exit) equals about 20% of the water used.
- In-bay automatic car washes: Use roughly 72.5 gallons per vehicle by rotating the washing equipment around a stationary vehicle. It loses 33% of the water used due to evaporation and carryout.
- Conveyor-driven automatic car washes: Use 44 gallons per vehicle and loses 17% of that to evaporation and carryout.
(Table from International Car Wash Association)
Look for an establishment that has low-flow spray-wand nozzles, positive shut-off valves on hand-held spray wands, and display signs or association logos that will help identify them as a water-conserving car wash.
Tips for washing your vehicle at home:
- Consider waterless car wash products such as spray-on waterless formulas you wipe away instead of rinse.
- Waxes with cleaning properties.
- Car dusters which lift dust off your vehicle without scratching the pain.
- If you wash with water, use a bucket and sponge or towel. Rinse quickly with a hose at the end.
- Equip your hose with an automatic shut-off valve so that water will only run when it is needed.
- Wash your vehicle on dirt or grass. Avoid pavement where water will just evaporate or run into the street. Soil acts as a natural filtration system for water. The soap will not harm your lawn and will, in fact, keep soapy water out of the storm drain where it could possibly contaminate the water.
(Taken from fact sheet by Arizona Department of Water Resources. For more water conservation information: www.azwater.gov/conservation)
Check out these sites for more water usage facts and suggestions on how you can help conserve water in your everyday life: glendaleaz.com/waterconservation, wateruseitwisely.com, srpnet.com/wateradvice
MAKE IT PERSONAL AND BE PART OF THE SOLUTION!