SACRAMENTO - The car wash is not the first place you would think of when someone says the words "water efficient."
Most newer car washes are often efficient with how they use their water.
"We have a reclaimed system here at the wash, and we're in the 85 to 90-percent level as far as the water we can reuse," Lane Leach, owner of Orbit Wash on 9th and T Streets, said.
A system of drains, underground storage tanks, and gravity all help collect the vast majority of the water used at the car wash, according to Leach.
Leach says low-flow, high-pressure nozzles on both hand-wash and machine-wash equipment dramatically decrease the amount of water that is used. With such methods, a car can be washed with 2.5 to 3 gallons of water per minute at the car wash, while a person washing their vehicle at home may use 120-140 gallons of water.
That water savings is attractive to many customers like Lili Williams.
"I think here it's a lot more efficient, not just in terms of time, but also in terms of the water usage," Williams said.
The process isn't perfect. A small amount of water drips off of cars and runs to the street, and some over spray from pressure washing evaporates into the air, but owner Lane Leach said he's always trying to make the process better.
"We're working on it and we're all trying to improve and cut our water use down and be as efficient as we can," said Leach.