As the supply of fresh water decreases, resulting in increased municipal water regulations and water and sewer costs, car wash owners must turn to water recycling systems as a way to keep their businesses in operation. Fortunately, there are many water recycling system options available to the car wash owner that are not only eco-conscious, but also cost-effective in the long run. Below we’ll break down the different types of systems available, as well as some of the features of each type.
Types of Water Recycling Systems
The type of water recycling system that is best for your car wash will depend on a number of factors, including the size of the wash, amount of water used, amount of maintenance you’re willing to do, and your wash’s budget. While all water recycling systems start with water from settling tanks, which separate out larger solids, oil and grease, and other floating particles, they differ in what comes after this part of the process.
Cyclonic separators take used wash water and spin it at high speeds, resulting in a separation of larger, heavier solids from the water. The “clean” water is then diverted to wash equipment or holding tanks, and can be used for certain parts of the car wash, including high-pressure applications. This water cannot be used in all areas of the car wash, however, as it still contains fine particulates.
Another method of filtering used wash water is through bag filtration. This method uses bags, usually made of a cotton material, to filter used wash water and remove particulates. The fineness of the bag’s mesh will determine the size of the particulates that can be removed. This method requires a lot of maintenance, often on a daily basis, as bags need to be replaced as they are filled with wash debris.
Media filtration, a process by which used wash water is pushed through a filter medium of activated carbon, diatomaceous earth, silica sand, or glass particles, is able to sift out particles of a certain size, which are then reintroduced into the reclaim tank for removal. The cleaner, filtered water is sent to a holding tank, from which it can be used for all car wash applications before the final chemical applications and reverse osmosis (RO) rinse. This type of filtration system also requires regular maintenance to avoid clogs and bacterial buildup in the media filter.
Water restoration systems not only remove solid particulates in used wash water, but also the chemicals present. With these types of systems, water is moved from settling tanks to hydrocyclones, which spin the used water and separate out solids down to 5 microns. Afterwards, the water is aerated so that aerobic microbes can grow and consume the chemicals in the water. Once the water is free of chemical waste, it can be reused in all parts of the car wash except for the spot-free rinse. Some systems are able to process this water further to produce spot-free rinse water, allowing used wash water to be used in all areas of the car wash. While this type of system is the most effective at restoring water, it is generally the most expensive.
Before making a decision about water recycling at your car wash, talk to a water recycling system manufacturer to find out what type of restoration system is the right fit for you. Whatever system you end up choosing, you will be taking a forward step in ensuring that your car wash not only saves water, but also money.
About Aqua Bio Technologies, LLC
Founded in 2010, Darien, Illinois-based Aqua Bio Technologies is a leading provider of innovative biologic restoration, water reclaim, rain harvest, odor control and reverse osmosis (RO) systems. None of its solutions use ozone, UV, or chemicals of any kind to control odor – only nature. As the manufacturer of the first vehicle wash industry closed-loop water treatment system, the company is able to deliver a substantial savings in time and money to its customers with dramatic reductions is water and sewer costs.
For more information about Aqua Bio and how our systems are designed to save you and your car wash a ton of money by reusing 100% of the water collected contact us today.