You’ve probably gone green in at least one aspect of your business, if not most of them. From energy-saving office light bulbs to hybrid company cars, environmentally friendly solutions seem to be more of a mandate than an option these days. So how do you mitigate the effects of the wash water after you use your power washing equipment?
Why it Matters
Abrasive cleaning chemicals might make it easier for industrial spray washers to do their jobs, but they are toxic – not just to humans but to the species in rivers, lakes and oceans, where this wastewater ultimately ends up.
And the surfaces you’re cleaning? You’re washing away grease, mud, motor oil, gasoline, paint and other substances that contain toxic chemicals. At least 80 percent of pollution in the marine environment comes not from oil spills but from pollutants washed off landlocked surfaces, some of them by commercial power washer users.
What you can do
Although it might be faster and cheaper to simply hose away these byproducts and send them into storm drains, it’s extremely damaging to the environment. Here are some better options:
Don’t dump willy-nilly. If you are a manager of a property or facility that uses commercial power washers, instruct your providers that it’s illegal to dump wastewater into storm drains, according to the Clean Water Act.
Collect and recycle your own runoff. This is the greenest way to dispose of the wastewater from power washing equipment that collects wastewater will quickly pay for itself in fuel burner savings. For example, LANDA’s ECOS Mobile Wash/Reclaim System recovers, cleans and recycles wastewater created by your power washing equipment. Then you can safely dispose of or even reuse the water, according to most municipal and environmental regulations.
Pre-treat and dump the water into an approved disposal area. This can include a sink, toilet or drain connected to the sanitary sewer system. Be sure to clear it with the sanitation district and property manager first.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking commercial power washers are a necessary environmental evil. Your power washing equipment can be green, too, just like other areas of your business.
PWNA Safety Procedures
The Power Washers of North America, a group that informs members on best practices for safety in pressure washing. Make sure your technicians are ready for work, wearing appropriate clothing and operating power washers in a safe manner. Take time before each project to train our pressure washing crews on safety issues.