The days of 'watering' your drive are thankfully now long gone. However, we still need to clean our cars, bikes and boats. Smart technologies, from waterless car washes through to high pressure low-flow cleaners, can help you clean and be efficient with your water use. Waterless car washes often include a UV filter in the finish, helping protect the car's paintwork. Low-flow high pressure cleaners use similar amounts of water as a water efficient shower heads i.e. less than 7 litres of water a minute. Efficient technologies such as recycling systems are also used in commercial car washes.
You can save water when cleaning your car at home by:
By using fine nozzles, high-pressure hoses and recycled water reclaimed from the automatic wash bays, commercial car washes use very little potable (mains drinking) water. Self-service car washes do not use recycled water due to health and safety considerations. On average, a commercial car wash will use the same amount of water as washing one load of clothes, four minutes of garden watering or a five minute shower.
There is a five star rating scheme to help you choose the
most water efficient commercial car wash for your vehicle. The
Australian Car Wash Association's star rating:
When soaps and other solvents are used to clean cars, they dissolve not only dirt and grease into the waste water but also toxic surfactants, hydrocarbons and heavy metals such as copper, lead and zinc. These compounds are very dangerous for the plant and animal life in our creeks, rivers and coastline waters.
On average, a home car wash results in over 100 litres of wastewater, dirt and pollutants. If collected and allowed to settle, this car wash waste produces approximately 750 millilitres of thick black oily sludge from each car that is washed. There are over 13 million vehicles in Australia.
In a commercial, regulated car wash, the dirty, contaminated run-off goes through special settlement pits to sewer. None is allowed to run off into the stormwater systems which drain into the rivers and bays, as often happens with home washing.
Commercial car washes are also water-efficient with very high pressure pumps and small nozzles on the trigger guns. When the automatic equipment is linked to a recycling system, 70-80% of the water is reclaimed, cleaned and re-used.
By using rainwater and an approved pool cover its possible to minimise the water wasted in your swimming pool.
15-20% of all water consumed in the home is used in the laundry, making this room a high consumer of not only water but also energy and detergents.