IWA Publishing

Car wash wastewater treatment and water reuse – a case study

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Recent features of a car wash wastewater reclamation system and results from a full-scale car wash wastewater treatment and recycling process are reported. This upcoming technology comprises a new flocculation–column flotation process, sand filtration, and a final chlorination. A water usage and savings audit (22 weeks) showed that almost 70% reclamation was possible, and fewer than 40 L of fresh water per wash were needed. Wastewater and reclaimed water were characterized by monitoring chemical, physicochemical and biological parameters. Results were discussed in terms of aesthetic quality (water clarification and odour), health (pathological) and chemical (corrosion and scaling) risks. A microbiological risk model was applied and the Escherichia coli proposed criterion for car wash reclaimed water is 200 CFU 100 mL−1. It is believed that the discussions on car wash wastewater reclamation criteria may assist institutions to create laws in Brazil and elsewhere.

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