Like everything in the world, washing vehicles is changing the way people think. The past has always allowed the outside pressure wash of vehicles with a chemical agent to try and get a vehicle clean. Most companies resort to the mobile pressure spray company to arrive in the dark of the night or on weekends and miraculously, the vehicles are clean and ready to go. Out of sight, out of mind for most and hopefully all is well.
Well, that world is changing quickly and with most changes, it takes time for us to understand, catch on and decide our next steps of washing both efficiently, economically and environmentally friendly.
Most large corporations and image conscious companies have already planned their strategy to meet the environmental concerns, get an advantage over the competition and actually save money in the long run.
Today, most people don’t realize it’s illegal to wash your own vehicle outside, let alone spray down your fleet in the back yard of your parking lot. The city of Toronto and Calgary have by-laws disallowing car washing in your driveway without capturing the wash water. Check out their websites for complete understanding by searching car wash by-laws. You will see that there is no tolerance for allowing wash water to go in storm sewers.
Most people don’t realize that storm sewers deposit directly into the stream, river, lake or ocean. Thus any chemical, metal or contaminant that is washed off the vehicle heads directly into the aquaculture of your local environment. Imagine the wildlife on the other side of that sewer pipe having to endure the wash water as it hits the stream? Not a nice idea of environmental controls when it can easily be avoided.
The State of Washington in USA is the first to levy a fine, to my knowledge, against a city for washing their public vehicles outside and allowing the water to go direct into the storm sewer. To read the article for the fine against Ben Franklin Transit:
The simplest measure to help the environment is to send the wash water into the municipal drains to be processed at the city water works. This ensures the water is cleaned of contaminants before it is sent into the aquaculture. Also, the ability to recycle wash water for re-use at your facility is becoming common place as the cost of water is becoming another major expenditure. In fact, there are also sewer charges on your water invoice as well.
So if you reduce the amount of water you wash with by researching the most efficient wash systems as well as recycle the wash water, your water footprint will be reduced. I am sure all Fleet Managers have reduced their carbon footprint. Now how do you reduce your water footprint?