How to choose a wash bay?

Cleanawater on 19 April 2018

Local authorities place strict requirements on wash bays. It is not permitted for water to be discharged directly into stormwater drains or sewers without pre-treatment. An environmental duty of care is placed on wash bay operators to ensure that the environment is protected.

Without the right wash bay solution, authorities may impose severe fines, or even shut down facilities, until the conditions have been rectified.

The price of a wash bay can vary from $5,000 to $175,000, depending on your requirements. So, you'll need to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Which wash bay solution is ideal for your organisation?

  • Under what circumstances do you need a quarantine wash bay?

  • Is a permanent or portable wash bay better?

  • Should it be roofed or open, and what is the difference in cost for the existing options?

This article will help you understand various wash bays and their prices, so you can make the right choice for your business.

What are the different types of wash bays?

The great thing about permanent wash bays is they are purpose built for your facility and with your equipment in mind. They collect and isolate wash water effectively for pre-treatment before discharge.

On the other hand, installing a portable wash bay requires no excavation. These wash bays are ideal for temporary sites or areas where construction is not permitted. Portable wash bays can be disassembled and reassembled with ease.

Quarantine wash bays comply with Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) regulations which apply to numerous industries and businesses, including import/export yards, and shipping container hire and management. AQIS regulations are stricter in terms of containing effluent and water treatment than regulations applied to standard wash bays.

wash bays price guide permanent portable and aurantine wash bays

Which factors influence the wash bay I need?

Permanent wash bays are best suited to new projects where construction begins from scratch. Wash bay requirements can be built into the site plan. As the project begins with a design phase, Cleanawater experts have the opportunity to perform site inspections to locate services, soil checks, and trade waste permit applications. It is vital to design a permanent wash bay for future growth requirements, as civil modifications are costly once a project is completed.

Portable was bays are most suitable for workshop environments and public car washes, as these sites are usually added to existing facilities without the luxury of a completely new installation. The wash bay's portability is advantageous should the site be rearranged to accommodate growth.

AQIS wash bays are highly specialised; they have additional water containment and processing requirements. The additional cost of specialised wash bays is minimal compared to the cost of fines. or a business shut down, should you fail to comply with the required standards. If your business has the potential to process goods subject to AQIS, enlist expert advice on your installation.

There are two main considerations for wash bay pricing


Unroofed wash bays have more civil construction requirements because the wash pad must also process rainwater in addition to stormwater via a first flush diversion system.

Whether effluent water will be recycled

Putting a recycling system in place is costlier in capital outlay, but there are operational cost benefits because of reduced municipal water demand. Recycling water is also a sustainable practice that benefits the environment.

What are wash bay types?

Wash bay typeFor water recycling?

Permanent roofed

Permanent roofed

Permanent unroofed

Permanent unroofed



Quarantine roofed

Quarantine roofed

Quarantine unroofed

Quarantine unroofed

Contact Cleanawater for more information about wash bays

We offer highly technical expertise, excellent quality equipment, and a personalised approach to your business needs. We can easily combine our solutions to suit your specific business, compliance, and investment requirements.

Find out more about wash bays here, or call our expert team on 1800 353 788 today to arrange a consultation.