As part of our RAIN program, REEP Green Solutions shares information related to living sustainably and our stormwater system.

You may be surprised to hear that the busiest time of year for car washes is in the winter.

That’s not the only common misconception of this industry. “There is a misunderstanding about commercial carwashes. They look like big water users, but in reality our services use less water and are better for the environment than washing your car in the driveway,” explains Mike Black, co-owner of Valet Car Wash in Kitchener.

“We recently put in a reclaim system which captures and reuses about 50% of our water. We did it because of the economics – our water bill has been cut in half.” Each car wash is now using about as much water as a load of laundry!

Valet ensures pollutants such as heavy solids, oils, and gasoline are captured before the water is discharged to the city’s sanitary system, to then be treated before being released. Whereas “at home there is nothing to capture harmful stuff that washes down the storm drain. Most people don’t think about where it goes, but it all enters our fresh water and our rivers without being treated”.

Mike hopes that education will help people try and follow best practices for car washing.

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