ProntoWash
Environment
Introduction
The car washing industry is a major clean water consumer. [ 1 ]

Only in the USA, the car washing industry uses around 1.2 billion litters of water a year. The reason of this major consumption is the use of an inefficient washing system in terms of resource optimization. This technique is based on using water pressure as the main element of physical contact to remove dirt from the surface. Water is a key factor for the social and economic development: more than 90% of the total water demand comes from the industry and irrigation for agricultural purposes, without taking into account its consumption uses.

EnvironmentWithin this context, the huge water consumption under the traditional system is a real waste as it does not impact the quality of life of human beings nor is part of any productive process. Rather, it is only used to clean lavish goods.

This factor has driven us to research the way in which we could optimize water use and management in the car washing process.

In this sense, we have seriously committed ourselves to this goal and we have developed a totally innovating and integrated car washing system, which is an enormous water saving source.

The development of this new system implied the generation of new technology, methodology and new materials.

ProntoWash has innovated in the traditional car wash market and is considered the only environmentally-friendly integrated mobile car wash system.

The simple concept behind ProntoWash is using idle parking time while its owners leave their cars to carry out other activities, such as shopping, working, etc., to provide a first class ecological car wash service, in the same place the car is parked.


Tecnological Innovation
The Prontowash's system environmental improvement is based on two essential advantages:
» Optimizing water management
» No pollutant wastewater
A traditional car wash operation demands between 50 and 350 liters of water and generates, in turn, waste from oil, grease and other 13 polluting metals. [ 2 ]

Environment The ProntoWash service uses approximately an average of only a quarter gallon of water, significantly reducing its consumption compared to standard washes in the industry.

This consumption level is possible through the use of a low pressure spray nozzle and a cleaning formula formed by a mix of water with a non-foamy wax and detergent compound. This compound is biodegradable and, considering the dilution it is used with, it is totally harmless, as certified by the lab tests conducted both in Argentina and the USA.

The main difference with the traditional methodology is that our washing system does not use pressured water to remove dirt. On the other hand, we spray the body with a mix of water and Teflon waxes that attracts and adheres dirt, which is later removed by using a cloth with a specific porosity.

While the traditional washing industry is under a strict regulatory framework and watched by society as a result of the amount of water it uses as well as of the waste it generates, ProntoWash has been very well received by environmental control agencies in each of the countries it settled.

Even more, in Houston, Texas (USA) our system has driven an amendment of wastewater management regulations, furnished by the Department of Public Works and Engineering (of Houston), who has included an annex that states:

Environment “...Wastewater from vehicle washing may be discharged to the sanitary sewer when the vehicle wash water is applied using a low volume and low pressure misting application and where the car wash process does not generate an excess of 2 gallons of wastewater per vehicle. ...”

If professional car wash is harmful for the environment, home car wash is even worse.

Most people who wash their cars at home don't realize where the contaminated water goes or how much is wasted. Home car washing releases contaminated water directly into the environment or into storm drains intended for rainwater. This causes pollution in rivers, lakes and streams. Also, engineering studies show that a 5/8" hose running at 50 pounds per square inch uses 37 liters of water per minute, this means it takes al least 370 liters of water for a full car wash.

The following graph provides water use information by car wash type: [ 3 ]

Average Water Consumtion by Car Wash Type (Lts.)

Considering that in the United States there are more than 3 billion [ 4 ] professional washes and 2.25 billion home washes per year, we can calculate that the total annual consumption of water in that country amounts to 1.2 trillion litters.

As a result of this contribution to the environment, we have already been awarded in Argentina the Mention "Amigo del Agua" (Water Friend) provided by Suez-Lyonnaise des Eaux - Argentina for being a rational and efficient water user.
[ 1 ] . As years went by, the car washing industry has changed its focus of attention. During the '70s it focused on developing products to heighten shine; in the early '80s, companies devoted themselves to reducing costs focusing on processes, the incorporation of technology and the training of resources; towards the end of the '80s, the focus was on strength the customer loyalty. Until then, water management was only a requirement of government agencies and an obstacle for a more profitable business. During the '90s, matters on the environment and ecology wan advocates. In industrialized countries, the issue was pollution; in overpopulated countries, shortage; and in "naturally rich" countries, the issue was conservation. At present, nobody doubts about the importance of taking care of natural resources, specially water as a source of life and health. < back >

[ 2 ] . Chris Brown, "Water Use in the Professional Car Wash Industry". Published by International Carwash Association, Inc. September 2002. < back >

[ 3 ] . Maryland Department of the Environment, "Water Conservation and Washing Vehicles" - Article. < back >

[ 4 ] . International Carwash Association, "Facts & Demographics", August 2000; and International Carwash Association, "Study of Consumer Car Washing Attitudes and Habits", November 2002. < back >
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