Car Wash - Spring 2015 - (Page 55)

THE FORGOTTEN UTILITY WATER COSTS CONTINUE to rise at exponential rates across the U.S. as a result of an antiquated and severely undersized municipal infrastructure, as well as an increased demand on our nation's water supply due to a growing population. The U.S. population has increased by 36.7 million people since 2000 to a total of 318.9 million residents, all relying on the nation's water resources day in and day out. According to the 2014 State of the Water Industry survey by the American Water Works Association (AWWA), the state of water and sewer infrastructure is the No. 1 issue facing the water industry today. Many municipalities have begun charging a multiple of as much as 10 times the cost of water for wastewater or effluent discharged to the sewer system. For businesses like car washes, this results in additional costs and negatively impacts profitability. As stated in the AWWA survey, "Full-cost pricing, i.e., charging rates and fees that reflect the full cost of providing water, must include renewal or replacement costs of treatment, storage, distribution, and collection systems. Some utilities have previously kept their rates low by minimizing or ignoring these costs, but as the useful life of their systems draws near, current managers and the communities they serve are forced to address these costs, often through painful and unexpected rate increases." Business-as-usual approaches to water management are no longer sufficient. One solution to this growing issue is a carefully planned mix of new water recovery technologies and partnerships with local municipalities. Thoughtfully selected recovery technologies reduce costs, while partnerships can help pay for water conservation devices via rebate programs and positive exposure within the community. THE ROAD TO CONSERVATION Water has long been the forgotten utility; it was inexpensive, perceived to be plentiful, and there were few incentives for conservation. All this has changed. Population growth, economic development, aging infrastructures and ongoing regional droughts are negatively impacting municipal water systems that are trying TAKE AIM AT RISING WATER COSTS THROUGH EFFECTIVE WATER MANAGEMENT AND PARTNERSHIPS WITH LOCAL MUNICIPALITIES to keep up with rising demand. As a result, car wash operators are facing rapidly rising rates, water use restrictions or both. Some water utilities are implementing maximum water-use levels with economic penalties should a wash exceed the limit. The State Water Resources Control Board in California, in particular, has imposed mandatory water reductions on cities and towns to reduce water usage by 25 percent. According to an expert panel discussion of scientists and journalist hosted by Circle of Blue, a news organization focused on the world's resource crises, it's an unprecedented time for the California water market. In 2013, according to West Water Research, the average price for water sold in the Central Valley was $170 per acre-foot. The rate jumped to $1,300 for an acre foot of water in 2014, "an outrageous, absurd, large price for water - something that analysts have never seen," said Circle of Blue journalist Brett Walton. The challenge for car washes across the country is to find ways to reduce water usage without negatively impacting wash quality or interfering with facility operations. "An easy solution to this problem is water conservation; do more with less. Incorporating a properly designed water reclamation system can save 80-85 percent on water and sewer bills, and can qualify for rebates from local municipalities," said Denise Wight, PurClean director of corporate accounts. Municipalities recognize water conservation can be the key to their sustainability as well. Water conservation lessens the burden on water and wastewater treatment plants, reduces electrical usage, and trims short- and SPRING 2015 | CAR WASH MAGAZINE | WWW.CARWASH.ORG 55 http://WWW.CARWASH.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Car Wash - Spring 2015

Letter from the ICA
Meet the Board
By the Numbers
Overheard Online
Trends in car wash design
Creativity & innovation: the myth of the lightning bolt
Better by design
Revamping the retail experience
The importance of purpose in pursuit of extraordinary outcomes
Efficient offices for car wash owners/ managers
Risk vs. Reward
Marketing with a purpose
Building a legacy
2014 Consumer Study
2014 Annual Report
Dealing with bad online reviews
Wash ideas with Perry Powell
How can you take your social media to the next level?
Building strong work teams helps your bottom line
The Apple way
Making better business decisions: the critical thinking advantage
Do you know your perfect customer?
10 tips for D.I.Y. recruiting
Businesses victimized by cyber crime: the loss may be theirs
Take a Tour
Unsung (car wash) hero
Blast from the Past
Ask Champ
Download It!
Index of Advertisers
Focus on the Members

Car Wash - Spring 2015