Commercial car wash conserves water during drought

HOMEWOOD, Ala. (WIAT) — Car wash customers at Marc-1 Car Wash on Palisades Blvd. were shocked to learn how much water the business is able to conserve and recycle.

“Are you serious? That’s insane. That’s awesome!” said Ashley Kollars.

“Professional car washes around Birmingham, really around the Southeast, do a tremendous job about conserving water,” said Marcus Kittrell, the owner of Marc-1 Car Wash.

Kittrell says they’re able to reclaim about 80 percent of their water. It’s a big reason commercial car washes are allowed to keep operating during a drought emergency.

According to Kittrell, a home car wash in your driveway uses between 80 and 140 gallons and all that dirty water runs into the ground or nearby storm drains where it reaches our rivers, creeks, and lakes unprocessed. A car wash like his only uses 30 to 45 gallons.

“We capture all the water and it goes back into our pits that are reclaim, so even the water that’s actually on the concrete gets recycled as well,” said Kittrell.

He said the water runs through their filter system then gets reused, but never on the roof or car windows.

“Pretty much everybody that uses reclaim in our industry uses it from the door handles down,” he said.

He also said it’s not just his car wash that has the reclaim and recycle setup. Many other area car washes use the same methods to conserve water.


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