What is WaterSavers®?

WaterSavers® is a recognition program from the International Carwash Association® that helps consumers find environmentally friendly car washes. Nearly 1,500 locations worldwide are enrolled in the program based on their meeting water quality and usage standards. The WaterSavers® program also aims to inform consumers that professional car washes are safer for the environment than washing a car at home and on pavement.

What are the criteria for car washes to be part of the WaterSavers® program?

WaterSavers® members must use an average of no more than 40 gallons (151.5 liters) of potable/fresh water per car in conveyor and in-bay/roll-over systems. Self-service washes must use 3 gallons (11.4 liters) of water per minute or less. This compares to the average home washing machine can use up to 45 gallons (152.2 liters) of water (Source: Alliance for Water Efficiency) and 63 gallons (238.5 liters) in 5 minutes or less of water flow from a 5/8” garden hose at 50 pounds of water pressure (Source: University of Idaho).

In addition, WaterSavers® washes must ensure the following:

  • All water discharge is routed to a water treatment facility or leech/septic field as permitted.
  • A backflow prevention device is installed and operable on the potable water supply.
  • All spray nozzles are inspected annually to ensure maximum efficiency of water used.
  • All water-saving devices are maintained to original or improved specifications for the conservation of water.
  • Spot-free reverse osmosis concentrate (a.k.a. reject) is reused in the wash process (if system is installed).
  • All local effluent criteria must be met, including the use, treatment and handling of car wash chemicals.

Click here to download the WaterSavers® criteria.

How is a professional car wash more environmentally friendly?

Driveway and parking lot washing can waste valuable gallons of water and pollute lakes, rivers and streams, as the runoff water contains harmful chemicals that will enter waterways through storm drains. In contrast, professional car washes manage water usage, collect and treat waste water, route remaining effluent to treatment facilities, and utilize water recycling technologies to keep cars and the environment clean at the same time. The nearly 1,500 WaterSavers® car washes worldwide are committed to meeting strict criteria to help protect the environment.