How wash bays help keep your business compliant

Cleanawater on 8 October 2021

Wash bays are an essential feature of many businesses that clean vehicles or equipment. They protect the environment by capturing dirty water for processing before discharge to the sewer. It may be possible to self-engineer a wash bay solution but it may not provide the compliance or effectiveness a business needs.

On the other hand, installing a wash bay from an industry leading supplier gives the customer peace of mind that their solution meets the regulatory requirements. Their technical experts design wash bays for optimal performance and efficiency.

Cleanawater supplies industry leading wash bays for the Australian environment.

Environmental protection

The primary benefit of a wash bay is protection of the environment. Businesses that wash vehicles or equipment without a wash bay run the risk of allowing contaminated water to enter the stormwater system. However, stormwater networks are designed for clean rainwater. They discharge water directly into streams or other natural water sources.

Even small amounts of oil can spread over a large are doing catastrophic damage to the environment. Just one litre of oil can contaminate as much as one million litres of water.

Wash bays protect the environment by capturing the wastewater from washing. This water accumulates in pits or troughs where it can then be pumped to oil water separators before discharging to effluent or recycling.

When coupled with a recycling unit, wash bays contribute even more to sustainability. Water is reused multiple times through recycling, meaning that the fresh water consumption of a wash bay can be reduced significantly.

Regulatory compliance

Wash bays enable businesses to comply with environmental regulations. This includes the general duty of care, where there is a responsibility on any business to take all reasonable precautions to protect the environment.

There are also specific regulations that govern the use of water and the management of wastewater. Local water authorities issue trade waste permits to any business that discharges water into the wastewater network. They specify the requirements for that business based on the volume of water and potential contaminants. It is impossible to comply with these requirements without capturing the wastewater for treatment before discharging it to the sewer.

Wash bays are designed with pits or troughs to capture the water. They have raised perimeter bunds to prevent water from running away and entering a stormwater sewer. Unroofed wash bays can use first flush diversion to redirect rainwater to the stormwater once the wash bay surface has been flushed clean of contaminants.

A properly designed and constructed wash bay can ensure that businesses meet their regulatory obligations. Compliance has the added benefit of reducing the potential for fines. Local authorities can impose severe financial penalties for non compliance and even shut down an operation until the problems are rectified.

Expert design

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Installing a wash bay from an industry leading supplier also ensures a design that meets the business requirements. Businesses that try and engineer their own solution run the risk that their system does not meet their needs. They may not have a high enough water pressure, or they can’t process enough vehicles per hour, or their water storage is limited causing contaminated water to overflow.

Engineering your own solution may seem cost effective in the short term, but can prove costly in the long term. An environmental incident could result in severe fines and add significant expense to the operating costs of the business. Also, modifying a wash bay that doesn’t meet the requirements is always more expensive than building the right solution in the first place.

Industry leading wash bay suppliers have years of experience and high levels of technical expertise. They evaluate the current and future needs of a business before proposing a solution that meets all the requirements.

Effective cleaning

The purpose of a wash bay is to clean vehicles or equipment. They have all the elements required to remove dirt and chemicals effectively:

  • Correct water pressure for the application.
  • Nozzles located precisely to supply water and detergents where they are needed most.
  • Proper detergents and degreasers for the contaminants on vehicles or equipment.
  • Optimal quantity of detergent or degreaser to ensure cost effectiveness and minimal wastage.

A well designed and engineered wash bay is far more effective than a self-engineered solution. It is more economical to operate, more effective at cleaning, and it meets the regulatory requirements.

Talk to Cleanawater for expert wash bay advice

Contact Cleanawater for expert advice about a wash bay to meet you needs. Our technical experts have more than 20 years experience in the Australian market and can assist with the design, installation and ongoing maintenance of your wash bay. Working with Cleanawater will give you peace of mind about the compliance of your wash bay.

Contact Cleanawater to talk to an expert about your wash bay.