WaterSaver Car Wash Program
In 1997, the Southwest Car Wash Association (SCWA) partnered with San Antonio Water System to create the first certified car wash program. This partnership helped to develop new standards for both existing and proposed car wash facilities within the San Antonio area, resulting in significant water savings.
With direct input and cooperation from the car wash industry, the SAWS WaterSaver Car Wash Program has continued to evolve over the past 11 years.
Today's WaterSaver Car Wash Program results in real water savings, protects water quality, provides recognition and financial incentives for program participants and works with local nonprofits seeking to earn money for worthwhile projects.
Best Management Practices
The WaterSaver Car Wash Program incorporates existing ordinance requirements, along with general and specific Best Management Practices (BMPs), for participating car washes. These BMPs are reasonable, with minimal up front cost to businesses, and result in significant water savings for the individual car wash operator and our community.
In order to start the process, all participants are required to submit the online application. Once the application is received, the applicant will be contacted by a SAWS representative for the purpose of scheduling an inspection.
All participants are required to pass the WaterSaver Car Wash inspection. The inspection form lists all of the requirements for certification. In order to be listed as a WaterSaver Car Wash, the car wash operator must ensure that the facility passes the initial inspection, and agree to adhere to all program guidelines.
After being added to the WaterSaver Car Wash listing:
- All car washes will receive signage identifying them as a "Recognized WaterSaver Partner."
- Participants must reapply each year.
- All car washes are subject to random inspection by a SAWS staff member. If a discrepancy is noted, the participating car wash will have 30 days in which to correct the discrepancy prior to being removed from the program.
- All participating car washes that are in compliance with program guidelines are eligible to receive a 10 percent discount on their monthly sewer bill.
- All car washes are required to host a minimum of three charity car washes per year, if approached by a nonprofit organization. Hosting of an event may include:
- Providing designated bays for a designated period of time.
- Allowing for sales of wash coupons with a designated amount of proceeds going to the participating nonprofit.
- Allowing for a designated amount of the proceeds for a certain time period.
Charity Car Wash
Under the City of San Antonio's Water Conservation ordinance, charity car washes may only be held at permanent car wash facilities using such facility's equipment. As part of the WaterSaver Car Wash Program, participating car washes commit to hosting a minimum of three (3) charity car washes a year. Report each charity car wash that is held at your facility.
A list of WaterSaver Car Washes is available as a reference for nonprofit organizations interested in holding a charity car wash.