While reducing costs has long been a focus for businesses, modern corporations are also looking to be more environmentally aware. Car washes, with their heavy use of water, are no different. While they may be easy targets for environmentalists, there is a lot they can do to leave as little of an environmental footprint as possible.
Unlike the antiquated facilities of the past, modern facilities use a variety of eco friendly car wash equipment that creates a positive environmental legacy and help owners save thousands in operation costs. Below are just a few of the popular solutions being used by these modern car washes.
Reducing Power to Reduce Water Use
Hydroelectricity is a major power generator for communities throughout the western United States. As large dam-reservoir systems are often responsible for powering multiple communities, high energy consumption can be taxing on water sources. Just as homes focus on using less electrical systems to cut down on energy costs, car washes can employ eco friendly car wash equipment that will reduce energy consumption and also lessen utility costs and their impact on reservoirs.
One common strategy car washes employ to reduce energy consumption is switching from hydraulic systems to electric motors. The results from this conversion are astounding. Just ask the president and founder of our N/S Wash Systems brand Thomas Ennis: “First, hydraulics that run a conveyor or brush package will use 1.5 times the horsepower of a simple electric motor.” Ennis then explains why electric motors are more energy efficient: “For example, it takes a 10 HP electric motor to run a brush system that would require a 15 HP hydraulic one.”
While in the past electric motors weren’t considered good for the environment, they have been improved to become a vital part of a eco friendly car wash’s equipment. One major improvement, the use of waterproof cords, has gone a long way to reduce the chance for electrical shock. This has made electrical systems more viable at a reliable pace while using less power.
Foam Soap or Bubbles?
Historically, car washes have relied on foam systems to clean vehicles. Modern trends are seeing facilities embrace bubble systems, which rinse off easier and reduce water use by 20–30 percent, as explained by Ennis: “Foam is a thick concentrate and it takes a lot more water to rinse a car clean.” He adds that car washes with foam systems can adapt to a soap application system or change the concentrate of the foam to make it thinner and easier to rinse. Adapted systems reduce the amount of water use by about 21 gallons per car.
Reclaiming Water Still Goes a Long Way
The last tip that can be for eco friendly car wash equipment is one of the oldest. Each car wash is required to have a clarifier system that separates dirt from the oil before the water enters the sewer system or storm drains. Instead of relying on underground clarifiers, many modern facilities are switching to aboveground alternatives that are easier to maintain, can be cleaned by staff, and leaks can be dealt with immediately. This helps facilities everywhere recycle used water efficiently to cut down on the need for drawing in new water from sources.