Zeta Rod® biofouling prevention technology drives car wash cost savings

Mill Valley Car Wash logo

Operations Manager Eric Traband: “I’m sold on this [Zeta Rod] system. What I have now is an odor-free and bacteria-controlled environment, I’m using a lot less water, and cutting my overall costs. This system is a winner.”

Within 60 days, results of the Zeta Rod installation into the Mill Valley Car Wash were impressive:
• Reduced water consumption per vehicle from 48.75 gallons per car (gpc) to 35.51 gpc; a net reduction of 27% per vehicle
• 235,000 gallons of water saved in 60 days
• 38% drop in the total per vehicle washing cost

MILL VALLEY, Calif., April 2003 – Car wash Operations Manager, Eric Traband, recently demonstrated to his boss why he had been named a national Car Wash Manager of the Year in 2000. Traband, an 11-year veteran of the industry, seized an opportunity to help trim his carwash operation’s spiraling water costs and, at the same time, deliver better, more efficient service to his growing roster of customers.

The Mill Valley, California Car Wash serves a decidedly upscale clientele with a brushless, hand-washing process that allows customers to remain in their vehicles as they are drawn through a tunnel for a three-cycle wash.

High costs & odors associated with water recycle in car wash operations

As the operation grew, so did its water consumption. Traband saw his bills for fresh water skyrocketing. In a state where water has become a precious commodity, excessive use can be both costly and considered environmentally insensitive.

Most car wash operations are able to combat this expense by installing and using reclaimed water. At Mill Valley, however, this solution wasn’t so simple. “Our goal had always been to use reclaimed water as much as possible in our system,” Traband noted, “but the bacteria and odors that went along with using it were a big problem. I wanted to get rid of them for my customers.”

In addition, he said, the lower tunnel walls were collecting a muddy film that was next to impossible to keep clean. Prep gun nozzle clogging and other mechanical issues added to the problems.

Zeta Rod® water treatment technology to the rescue

Traband’s boss, Richard Mills, agreed to give the successful Tucson, Arizona-based water and fluids treatment company a shot at cleaning up their reclaimed water sufficiently to enable them to use their system again. They knew that Zeta had successfully treated water and industrial fluids using its patented, Zeta Rod® systems in several large-scale applications— industrial cooling towers, metalworking fluids machinery and HVAC equipment, to name a few, but this was something else entirely.

After just one week, Traband said he started to see results. “The bad odors were simply not present,” he reported. “Also, the wash tunnel itself appeared much cleaner. The thick film that usually accumulated along the lower walls was nearly gone.” But ultimately, Traband said, it would be the water bill that would truly measure success.”

click here to link to the Mill Valley Car Wash Case Study