Know where to wash
By Jack Jackson
Water costs and location are keys to saving
The general public is not aware of the issues with today’s sewage discharge and what happens to water going down the sewer. There are two main types of sewers: municipal and storm. Municipal sewers take the wastewater from buildings and homes to a processing plant to clean and normally discharge the water to a lake, river or ocean. Storm sewers are generally found on streets and parking lots that discharge directly into the local water source without any treatment.
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In most municipalities in North America there is a major concern with the cost of upkeep of water treatment plants and the amount of pollution entering the systems. Some municipalities have resorted to charging commercial properties a tax based on its square footage of paved surfaces. Most continue to double the cost of water by adding a sewer charge to your water invoice monthly.
The cost of the water goes unrealized as politicians find it easier to increase taxes through this user fee while publicly claiming a small property tax increase. Since most of us don’t look at our water invoice each month, it becomes a hidden cost without much attention.
At Awash, many customers ask us what the best location to wash buses is. Our answer is always to ask them what their budget, image strategies and desires are. We know eventually all washing will be banned in the parking lot. Most municipalities have the law today; however, it is just starting to be enforced. We continually hear of more cases where companies are facing large fines and are being banned from sewer use.
The easiest way to get over this issue is to drive to a public wash where they meet the environmental laws by recycling the wash water. However, the general rule is that it usually costs two times more than the wash itself. Thus if it costs $25 to wash, it could cost another $25 more in time, gas and lost productivity resulting in a cost of $50 per vehicle.
In the business world, successful operators are the leaders in almost everything they do. So, how do they wash? These companies invest in the proper buildings and equipment to ensure their image and maintenance is under control, while managing their cost per wash every day. There are many remedies to wash in your buildings with automatic systems that can cost as little as 50 cents per wash after capital costs are completed.
Look at your methods today and begin to research the best alternatives before some inspector decides your timeline. It can be costly in the future to ignore today.
Jack Jackson is president of Awash Systems Corp. “We solve vehicle washing issues where no one else can.” Email: [email protected] or call 1-800-265-7405. Visit online at