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Car wash article exaggerates

Posted: July 6, 2008 1:30 a.m.
Updated: September 6, 2008 5:02 a.m.
Regarding the proposed home car wash ban article ("Ban on home carwashing?" June 25):

I certainly support conservation of water, and your article about wasteful home car washing versus using a car wash, but I do not support the banning of washing cars at home.

I disagree with what is claimed as to the amount of water used for a home car wash. The article supported a claim that a home car washer used 100 gallons of water as opposed to the 20-25 gallons used at a car wash.

I can believe the car wash amount. However, it is hard to believe the average person uses 100 gallons of water to wash a car.

Think about it. That is 20 of the common white plastic five-gallon buckets, or the equivalent of two 50-gallon water heaters full of water.

I can wash my mid-sized SUV using about 11 gallons of water from a hose with a shut-off nozzle as follows: Wet and rinse spray, three gallons; soapy water to wash, two gallons; rinse spray, four gallons; rinse towels, two gallons.

Also consider this: A decent hose (with a nozzle at 120psi-street pressure) will put a strong spray out at a rate of about five gallons per minute.

I tried it. I would have to be spraying my car constantly for 20 minutes, full blast, to use 100 gallons.

That never happens. If our water companies and city leaders want to promote car washes, that's fine. Or better yet, encourage people to use a shut-off nozzle on their hose.

But please don't feed data to the public that makes no sense.


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