On average, one car wash will use the same amount of water as 1 load of clothes washing, 4 minutes of garden watering or a five-minute shower.
Car washes use very little potable (mains drinking) water by using fine nozzles and high-pressure hoses, linked wherever possible to recycling systems which reclaim the water from the automatic wash bays.
A key part of ACWA’s mission is to “Support and encourage responsible vehicle washing which minimises water usage and prevents pollution of our waterways”.
ACWA believes in the highest environmental standards for the commercial vehicle cleaning industry and this is reflected in our Environmental Policy Statement:
“Our cars are valuable and need to be well maintained and looked after. It is easy to care for your car in a way that can both save water and reduce your environmental impact on the rivers, creeks, lakes and coastline.
Commercial Car Washes must have a valid Trade Waste Agreement BEFORE they can begin operations.
This applies to all car washes and sets strict requirements for wastewater disposal to protect the urban stormwater systems and Australia’s rivers, creeks, lakes and coastline. Best Practice Car Care”
ACWA is committed to ensuring people understand how the world benefits by using a commercial car wash when cleaning their car.
Simply put, when a car is washed a commercial car wash, the pollutants and contaminated water are collected, cleaned and disposed of according to strict EPA Regulations.
When a car is washed in a driveway or the street, the pollutants run into the stormwater drainage systems and flow completely untreated into the nearest river, creek or ocean shore.
To support these values ACWA has been active in addressing the issue of home car washing:
- In 2012 ACWA presented a paper at the national Stormwater Conference reiterating the significant contribution home car washing makes to the pollution of Australia’s waterways.
- In 2014-15, ACWA developed the Stormwater Pollution Educational Awareness Campaign (www.thedirtytruth.com.au), with funding support from the Victorian Department of the Environment, Land, Water and Planning and related bodies.
- The www.thedirtytruth.com.au campaign was developed to show how everyday home activities including car washing contribute to the pollution of the local waterways and the ocean www.thedirtytruth.com.au
The direct relationship between home car washing and the pollution of the stormwater system is further illustrated in these catchy videos on YouTube:
- There are over 13 million vehicles in Australia.
- On average, a home car wash results in over 100 litres of wastewater, dirt and pollutants.
- If collected and allowed to settle a single home car wash produces approximately 750 mls of thick black oily sludge.
- It is estimated that in Melbourne or Sydney alone uncontrolled vehicle washing results in over two billion litres of untreated wastewater flows through the stormwater system into our waterways resulting in contamination levels up to 30 times higher than ANZECC guidelines for marine waters.
- Uncontrolled vehicle washing causes damage to the plants and animals in our freshwater creeks and rivers and in the surrounding coastline.
- In a commercial, regulated car wash, all contaminated run-off goes through special settlement pits to the sewer. None can run off into the stormwater systems which drain into the rivers and bays.
- When soaps and other solvents are used to clean cars, they dissolve not only dirt and grease into the wastewater but also toxic surfactants, hydrocarbons and heavy metals such as copper, lead and zinc.
- Commercial car washes are also water efficient with very high-pressure pumps and small nozzles on the trigger guns.
- On average, one car wash will use the same amount of water as 1 load of clothes washing, 4 minutes of garden watering or a five-minute shower.
The Water Saver Rating Scheme enables car wash operators to be recognised for eco-friendly car washing services. It is a national standard, approved by Smart Approved Watermark, Australia's federal water efficiency label.
To find out more about Smart Approved Watermark Click on this link https://www.smartwatermark.org/services/
This program helps car wash operators educate customers about the eco-friendly benefits of commercial car washing. It also provides an opportunity for those as concerned as we are about the environment, to wash their cars responsibly.
The WRS provides car wash operators with a structured and self-assessment of water use at their facility. Car washes meeting the prescribed standard have authority to display the 5-star signage watermark logo.
Car washes displaying the 5-star signage have ticked all the boxes for the sustainable use of our natural resources and demonstrate to their customers that they care for your car and the environment.
The Car Wash Water Saver Rating Scheme provides an opportunity to demonstrate environmental leadership while attracting customers and lowering costs.
The Benefits of Joining the WRS
- Gaining security of continued operation
- The WRS rating is accepted in a growing number of States and water authority areas as the industry standard of water use for permanent water conservation and especially in times of drought.
- The program is flexible enough to protect your business under local water use regulations.
- Attracting new customers- the eye-catching signage will attract more car owners to your wash
- Market research tells us that customers prefer to use car washes that they know are minimising water use and protecting the stormwater systems from pollution.
- Using the star rating will promote your commitment to environmental care
- Enhanced website listing: www.wheretowashmycar.com.au
Join the WRS