Whether a Saturday morning ritual or charity fundraiser, washing vehicles on driveways, parking lots and streets can do far more harm than good. That’s because the dirty water entering storm drains from pavement washing does not undergo treatment before it is discharged.
A study by the City of Federal Way, Wash., found that residential car washing led to numerous pollutants being released each year into their storm sewer system, including 190 gallons of gasoline, diesel and motor oil; 400 pounds of phosphorus and nitrogen; and 60 pounds of ammonia. You may be surprised to learn that professional car washes are typically a much greener option for washing vehicles than washing your car in the driveway at home. Washing at home with a garden hose can use more than 60 gallons in as little as five minutes, but most professional car washes treat and recycle water, virtually eliminating waste. The average homeowner uses 116 gallons of water to wash a car, according to the Mid-America Regional Council, and most commercial car washes use 60 percent less water for the entire process than a homeowner uses just to rinse the car.
WaterSavers professional car washes use only 40 gallons or less of fresh water per car wash – that’s less than the typical home washing machine uses per load. The process cleans and re-uses the water for future car washes, or it undergoes treatment prior to returning it clean to the environment. For more information and to find a certified location near you, visit WashWithWaterSavers.com This summer, instead of grabbing a bucket and hose, take your car to a local professional car wash to help save water, protect aquatic life and preserve the environment.
I grew up in a house where my father washed all of the cars every weekend on our driveway. Even now, if you’re there for more than an hour he’ll beg for just 10 minutes to get your car cleaned up! I never object but am going to share this very important information with him!
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I received a sample to facilitate this post. All opinions remain my own.
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