Valencia Auto Spa Car Washes cares for the environment!
I pour untreated contaminants and detergent directly into the storm sewers daily without giving it another thought. I do this not as a sign of disrespect but as a victim to ignorance. With many people taking car washing into their own hands, they don’t recognize the damage they are committing to a larger source, our environment. The practice and impact of domestic and community car washing are neither well understood nor adequately acted upon. Please read over the following facts to see the true role of car washing and the environment.
The City of Toronto (ON) Works and Emergency Services Department estimates that the average driveway car wash uses a total of 440 lit. (116 gal.) of water. In this city of 4 million, domestic car washing is the second-largest source of peak water demand after lawn watering.
Although you can and people often do use anything to wash a car, the car-care industry naturally recommends using its own products. Turtle Wax (www.turtlewax.com) warns customers that to do otherwise might damage a car’s clear-coat finish. Nonetheless, people use everything from dish and laundry soap to vinegar and water or citrus-based cleaners.
All detergents contain a surfactant so that the cleaner rinses off easily with water; some of the most popular types are synthetic phenol-based surfactants. Environment Canada and USEPA have identified these as being possible endocrine disrupters that trick the hormone system by mimicking estrogen. In wildlife, the end result is that aquatic species are not able to reproduce, and population levels decline.
Every car wash discharges a fine toxic mix. Depending on what is used to wash the vehicle (let’s say water alone is the minimum), driveway car-wash discharge consists of oils, grease, elements from brake linings, rust, trace amounts of benzene and possibly chromium, and a few other goodies. Adding soap to the mix possibly introduces phenols, dyes, acids, and ammonia. Imagine what is in spray-off tire cleaner.
I’m inclined to believe the urban legend that more oil is deposited from car droppings on roads and driveways to rivers and lakes in North America than enters the waters of the world from tanker spills and disasters in one year. There’s nothing like a detergent to loosen it up and send it to the local river.
Furthermore, the water that flows off a driveway picks up more than dirt; it becomes a thermal plume of warm, even hot, wastewater runoff that can differ from the average temperature of a receiving water body by as much as 10ºC.
The Commercial Car-Wash Market
There is a common misconception among the public and decision-makers that commercial washes are less environmentally appropriate than driveway washes. The public perceives splashing buckets of suds around at home as practically the epitome of family values. It doesn’t help that the major auto manufacturers’ advertising campaigns consistently reinforce the fun of home driveway washing.
True, the commercial car-wash industry bears part of the blame for its reputation. Early commercial car washes did practice water reuse, but not for conservation’s sake, and quality suffered. The public rebelled and, to counter public misconceptions, the industry moved to an “only fresh water used” marketing strategy. To this day, the notion of the water-wasteful car wash is firmly entrenched in the public and political psyche.
The commercial car-wash industry is sometimes blamed for increasing frequency of drought, rising water prices, and all kinds of other evils. Since the mid-1980s, commercial car washes have faced conservation bans precisely because they are deemed to be a waste of water. Florida’s current examination of a water conservation certification ranked car washes number two among industry groups to control. Meanwhile, the state has no restrictions on domestic or community car washing.
The reality is that most commercial car washes use 60% less water in the entire washing process than a simple home wash uses just to rinse off a car. Special pressure nozzles mix 50% air in with the water to create pressure without volume.
Information taken from the article
Take Me Out To The Carwash by Kevin Mercer