Strategic Planning

Water Conservation and Water Issues for Mobile Car Washers and Auto Detailers

Obviously, there will never be an actual water shortage since two-thirds of our earth's surface is water. The problem is distribution. One problem is getting water to the desert before it evaporates. And why do people plant lawns in Las Vegas? Another problem is that people and plants and animals need fresh water not salt water. Fresh water comes from rain and salt water comes from our oceans. So how do we separate out the salt from the ocean water? The method called desalinization works best. But this isn't free. It costs an average of $3.33 per unit of water. Almost double what you pay from your tap at home. As Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Riverside, etc. expand, we will get into a supply and demand situation. When the price per unit of water reaches $3.00 plus, we will then be able to afford to build adequate infrastructure to handle our water needs through desalinization. The cost of the new infrastructure can be amortized and paid for by us on a unit of water level.

It takes 743 gallons to make one unit of water. If you use 200 gallons per day washing cars, $3.33 will last approximately two and one-half days. Let's say you wash eighty cars per day. That would be two hundred cars in two and one-half days. If your average ticket price is $8.88 per car, you would have made $1,760.00. You would have spent $3.33. Your water cost is $.001875 of gross sales up from $.00105113636. Almost double. Another way to look at it is this. It used to cost $.0925 or nine cents worth of water per car and it will now cost sixteen cents per car. Yeah. That's what we said. So what. After all, even if it costs you $1.50 per car, you could still make money. So, if you went to Von's and bought one gallon containers of water and poured them into your water tank, you would still make money.

Sewer treatment plants sell gray water. You can't drink it because of the biological contaminants in it. However, you could use it to wash cars with the right filtration system. And guess what. It's free.

In the event of a water shortage, we will start heavy 'Save Water' campaigns since we are the most efficient car wash in the world using only 2.4 gallons of water per car. We can help the citizenry save water by washing their cars. Of course, we will make more money due to the increased volume.

The fixed site car washes will do the same. They will claim they save water and they may save a little water. That is, they may save water compared to someone who uses a garden hose with 90 PSI pressure and ten gallons per minute water flow rate. If the person washing their car fills up suds in a five gallon bucket and then sprays their car for five minutes, that's fifty-five gallons. After this individual rinses their car for five minutes and refills the soap bucket, that's another fifty-five gallons for a total of one hundred ten gallons. In this case a car wash would actually save a little water compared to the citizen washing his own car in the driveway.

A car wash with a tunnel uses approximately seventy-seven gallons of water. It then recycles nearly two-thirds of that. That two-thirds is dirty water and that water is reused over and over again for up to two days when it becomes basically 10% sludge. Big car washes have a 10,000 plus gallon holding tank for the water they reuse. That 10,000 gallons is flushed periodically, but never often enough. It's smelly and gross. If you do smell it, it makes you want to vomit! Sometimes they put bacteria in to the water to eat the sludge because the sludge costs so much to haul away. What's in the sludge? Grease, grime and chemicals. Ok, enough car wash reality.

The other one-third of the water or twenty-five gallons is used to wash the cars. Five gallons is used to pre-rinse the car, sometimes with pressure washers. Twenty gallons is used in the rinse cycle and sometimes five gallons of that is recycled but usually not. The rest drips off the car while drying and about six gallons drips off the car after it leaves the car washing facility. If you own a black car, you can attest to that because it's all water spotted from the drips before you even go one mile.

The six gallons that drips off after leaving the car wash drips from cracks in the body, the molding and the undercarriage. That's right - the undercarriage, where the grease and oil are. Now, six gallons of this undercarriage oil is now on our streets. Multiply this by the twenty billion dollars made annually by fixed location car washes. Divide this by the average national ticket price of $7.50 per car. That equals $2,666,666,666. Wow! Lot's of sixes. I guess that figures from a group of self-serving water monsters. These beasts not only waste water but cause massive pollution everywhere. 2.6 billion car washes times let's say three gallons of the six gallons dripped from the bottom of the car is 7,999,999,999 gallons of polluted water full of grease and oil and probably one hundred times over the legal limit for those types of contaminates spread throughout our great country.

I don't believe this saves water, but remember perception is the rule and if it's written in the newspaper, people believe it. We will keep you advised of changing perceptions in the market place as long as you keep us appraised of your local markets as they change. By doing this, we can track new trends in buying behavior and always be on the leading edge.

"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance;

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