Clean cars with chemicals to save water

EcoDWash Hout Bay is serving about 30 vehicles a day.

In a desperate bid to save water, Hout Bay residents are turning to waterless car washes to keep their vehicles clean.

Last week, Mayor Patricia de Lille said the City of Cape Town was assessing about 200 water collection sites across Cape Town. It will be announcing local collection points from next week. Detailed Day Zero contingency plans will also be made available to further inform residents. Day Zero has been moved forward from Saturday April 21 to Thursday April 12.

“We have reached a point of no return,” Ms De Lille said.

Ms De Lille blamed the 60% of Capetonians who are still using more than 87 litres a day for the crisis. As a result, consumption has been reduced to 50 litres per person per day for the next 150 days, effective from February.

This she said was to make up for the many months of missing the 500 million litre per day collective consumption target.

As the drought crisis has deepened, so motorists in Hout Bay
and Llandudno have begun to explore ways in which water can be saved.

The use of chemicals to clean cars may not be the newest technology, but it certainly is playing a role as Day Zero looms.

EcoDWash Hout Bay, located at Earthworx Garden World, opened a year ago, and is currently servicing some 30 vehicles a day.

“We are getting quite a lot of business,” said owner Gareth Palmer-Owen.

“Not only are motorists coming from Hout Bay and Llandudno, but we’ve also got some customers from Noordhoek and Fish Hoek. The chemicals create a layer between the dirt and the car surface, so there is no damage to the vehicle.”

He believed that even when the rains returned, people would still favour the waterless wash.

“The technology is only going to get better, so I think people will stay with the chemical wash in the future.”

Caltex Freshstop Hout Bay has been making use of the Eco Wash brand for several years already.

According to the Gauteng-based company, conventional car washes waste 33 billion litres of potable water annually.

Asad Mia, who recently took ownership of the Freshstop in Main Road, said the Eco Wash system was welcome.

“It only uses about 100 to 120ml of water per wash. It is something our residents are catching onto. Everyone’s got to do their bit to save water. Every drop counts,” he
said.

Level 6B water restrictions will also be in place limiting irrigation using boreholes and well points and the new daily collective consumption target is now 450 million litres a
day.

Ms De Lille said the City could no longer ask residents to save water and it was now forced to vote for a punitive tariff increase from today, Friday January 26, for residents
who use more than 6000 litres a month.

This will mean that the current tariff of R28.44 for 6000 litres per month for the total household will increase to R145.98.

For residents using 10 500 litres or more, the current tariff of R109.50 for the total household will increase to R390.82 and for residents using
35 000 litres or more, the current tariff of R1050.04 for the total household will increase to R6 939.57 and so on.