Truck washes use water in the washing process, there is no surprise in that. Still, water is a precious commodity in many parts of our nation, not to mention other parts of the world. When water becomes scarce, often truck washes are singled out as a wasteful endeavor. This is not uncommon to the car washing business when an area is going through Class II Drought mitigation and the local authorities mandate that residential consumers may not water their lawns or wash their cars. Okay so, let’s talk.
About a year ago, a gentleman in Central California was considering opening a truck wash, he contacted me since I’ve been in the sector for decades. I was asked; “It would seem that the large quantities of water required for automation can be overcome with good reuse practices.”
Well, many of the automated systems are pretty good with the water you’d be surprised just how water efficient they really are, not the older stuff, but the brand new stuff. Recently, in reviewing one of the newer systems, I was so impressed I offered my name and testimonial to the process and techniques discussed. Indeed, I liked it.
Further, it was a similar system to what I had recommended to KBR who had a military contract in Kuwait, 100% water reuse, other than evaporation. At the time water there was more costly per gallon than fuel! It was a major commodity, the water in Kuwait came from desalination for the most part and it was expensive to attain. Obviously, you cannot wash with salt water, it is corrosive. It takes power and energy to run a desalination plant. At that point, the Army, USMC, had to clean the vehicles to get the noxious weeds and debris off before they brought them back, it was a big deal.
What were the older systems like, the ones that worked early on, perhaps since the early 1980 through the 1990s? Well, I’ve also been a fan of the Water Maze by Landa (WA) and HydroTech’s similar solution (in Riverside CA). I was recently told of a decent competing system made by Hydroblaster out of Salt Lake City UT.
Whereas, you do need water to wash trucks, there are and have been ways to operate at nearly 100% efficiency when it comes to recycled water, other than evaporation, moisture in the sludge, and water which leaves the facility on the vehicle you’ve washed, there is need to recharge the water in the system over time. Please consider all this and think on it.