Here in the UK, we’re extremely lucky in a number of ways. For one, drinking water is available at the turn of a tap. While some people might prefer the taste of bottled water, when we need a drink, we know a supply of free drinking water is never far away. But who are the hero’s that keep it clean? It doesn’t just run down the drain and straight back and into our taps… does it? No way! Dirty water takes A LOT of cleaning in order to get it perfectly filtered and ready for your consumption.
But… just how clean is tap water? We all assume it’s perfectly safe, but in Germany, vehicle owners are now only allowed to hand-wash their cars at specific safe zones. Why? Millions of litres of toxic chemical and oils were spilling off into local drains. This can flow directly into the watercourse and potentially contaminate the drinking water.
So, is this something we should be worried about? And what are the potential problems traditional, water-guzzling, chemical-using car washing can cause..?
How does car washing impact drinking water?
Believe it or not, the simple and innocent act of washing your car can affect the quality of drinking water in your area. Many soaps contain harmful chemicals that degrade water quality. This soapy water is also mixed with the grime, dirt and grease that has been washed off your vehicle.
All this toxic water has to go somewhere, which is usually a nearby storm drain. Depending on the location, the dirty water that runs down the drain will either end up in a water treatment centre or in a body of water such as a lake, river or stream.
If the dirty water ends up in a water treatment centre, it will inevitably impact the quality of the water we drink. On the other hand, if it ends up in a large body of water, it’s the animals and crops that will be affected. Alternatively, the water may drain into the soil of a nearby garden, which will reduce the quality of the groundwater.
Whatever way you look at it, the situation is harmful for everyone. Well done Germany for realising this!!!
How does car washing harm the environment?
As well as reducing the quality of our drinking water, the runoff from car washing can also cause considerable harm to the environment. Some soaps contain phosphates, which promote the build-up of algae in local waterways. As well as damaging the water quality, the algae will inevitably decay and use up valuable oxygen in the water that fish need to survive.
Although not a practical solution, you might think that washing your car less would reduce your environmental footprint, but in reality, that’s not the case. The water runoff from a dirty car that occurs when it rains will leave a polluted trail that will eventually enter the watercourse.
That leaves you between a rock and a hard place. So, if you want to reduce the damage you do to the UK’s drinking water and help to protect the environment at the same time, what can you do?
Find a different way to wash your car
The primary problem is the amount of water drainage associated with traditional car washes alongside the harmful oil-based products used. A typical commercial car wash uses around 50 gallons of water, the average driveway wash up to 150 gallons, and a Hand Car Wash, up to a whopping 300 litres.
That’s up to 300 litres of toxic water PER CAR on its way to your local treatment centre! And to think, above 45 million cars are cleaned each day, that’s a lot of oil and chemicals to get rid of. How long until this oil finds its way into your taps and that beloved cup of coffee you had this morning.
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
At Dropless, we can wash your car while you’re at home or work without using a single drop of water. Our waterless products contain no hazardous ingredients and there’s no harmful runoff. Find out more about Dropless and book your car wash today.