Few people realize that washing our cars in our driveways is one of the most environmentally un-friendly chores we can do around the house. Unlike household waste water that enters sewers or septic systems and undergoes treatment before it is discharged into the environment, what runs off from your car goes right into storm drains — and eventually into rivers, streams, creeks and wetlands where it poisons aquatic life and wreaks other ecosystem havoc. After all, that water is loaded a brew of gasoline, oil and residues from exhaust fumes — as well as the harsh detergents being used for the washing itself.
On the other hand, federal laws require commercial carwash facilities to drain their wastewater into sewer systems, so it gets treated before it is discharged back into the great outdoors. Additionally we have commercial car wash equipment such as computer controlled systems, high-pressure nozzles, pumps that minimize water usage. We also recycle and re-use much of the rinse water.
Washing a car at home may use between 80 to 140 gallons of water while we use less than 45 gallons per car of which much is recycled.
Don’t take our word for it.