Page 185 - WaterSense at Work

October 2012
Vehicle Washing
Replacement Options
Due to the high capital costs involved with replacing a vehicle wash system, first
implement all efficient operation and maintenance procedures and perform any
retrofits available to optimize the efficiency of the system. Retrofitting an existing
vehicle wash system with a water reclamation system can yield the most potential for
water and operational cost savings.
Water reclamation systems are appropriate for conveyor and in-bay vehicle washing.
When designing a new vehicle washing facility, consider one that incorporates the
features described in the earlier “Retrofit Options” section.
Savings Potential
Water savings can be achieved by installing a water reclamation system for conveyor
or in-bay vehicle wash facilities. A study by ICA found that facilities using reclama-
tion systems were able to fulfill 51 percent of their water needs, on average, from
reclaimed water.
To calculate facility-specific water savings and payback, use the following information.
Current Water Use
To estimate the current water use of an existing vehicle wash system, identify the fol-
lowing information and use Equation 5-1:
Water use per vehicle. This can be determined based on metered water use. If the
facility does not have a meter, ICA found that conveyor and in-bay washes use an
average of 75.0 gpv and 55.0 gpv of fresh water, respectively.
Number of vehicles washed per day.
Days of facility operation per year.
Equation 5-1. Water Use of VehicleWash (gallons per year)
=Water Use per Vehicle x VehiclesWashed x Days of Facility Operation
Water Use per Vehicle (gallons per vehicle)
Vehicles Washed (number of vehicles washed per day)
Days of Facility Operation (days per year)
Brown, Chris. 2000,
op. cit.
Page 16.