Blogs General

Storm Sewer VS Sanitary Sewer

When discussing the differences between storm and sanitary sewers, it is important to remember that each system has a distinct purpose within their developments.

First, the storm sewer system controls rainfall and other natural run-offs to protect downstream owners. In undeveloped areas, rainwater seeps through the ground into the water table which can cause erosion and degradation of the stream valleys. Development of parcel place structures, or pavement over the existing dirt, prevent the transfer of rainwater into the water table. Storm sewers collect rainfall and other drainage from developed areas and transport it to holding ponds, where the water can gradually enter our streams and other natural bodies of water.

Storm drain inlets are typically found in curbs and low-lying outdoor areas. In most planned developments, the county requires that the developer install a storm drain management system capable to serve the whole development as a part of its initial development. However, when dealing with effluent or other contaminated water, that is not the job of a storm drain but the sanitary sewer system.

The sanitary sewer system controls wastewater. The sanitary sewer collects discharge from our bathrooms, kitchens, sinks, and other plumbing fixtures and transports the discharge to wastewater treatment facilities. There it is filtered, treated, and once clean, released back into the environment. The sanitary sewer system, unlike the storm sewer, is not intended to manage rainwater or another normal runoff. Soapy water from a carwash, for example, would be discharged into the sanitary sewer system.

The water that most carwashes use to wash cars is recycled and reclaimed through the use of efficient and environmentally friendly reclamation equipment. The overflow water from the carwash reclamation tanks flows to the sanitary sewer, not the storm sewer and thus does not impact the existing storm water capacity.

Professional Carwashes are Safer for the Environment than Home Washing

Did you know that professional carwashes are actually much better for the environment than home washing? We use low flow nozzles and computers that tell us when exactly to use water in our carwash process. In fact, municipal counties are actually encouraging citizens to wash their car at a professional carwash as it requires them to adhere to wastewater discharge and plumbing requirements.

Blogs General

Three Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When Building a Carwash

There are several factors to consider when starting a car wash business. From scouting the optimal location, to choosing the best type of car wash to set up, to licensing, permitting and tax considerations, there are many crucial elements that must be addressed. However, quite often vital details are overlooked or go unheeded, leading to mistakes that can complexify processes and affect overall operations. The three most common construction mistakes entrepreneurs make when building a car wash include:

1. Missing or improper placement of conduit.

Carwashes require air, water and electricity. Missing or improperly placed conduit during construction can make or break a carwash. Electricity and water must be available where needed.

2. Insufficient space for turning radius.

Customers must be able to maneuver cars into and out of a car wash easily. Trouble entering or exiting can be frustrating, and customers may choose a competitor over your location just for that reason alone. Ample turning radius is vital.

3. Incorrect slope of trench/conveyor.

For rear wheels to sit properly on a dolly, the conveyor needs to rise slightly. While a marginal upward slope is ideal, and a flat or no slope can be manageable, a downward slope is unfeasible.

Iron Fox to the Rescue

When building a car wash, a comprehensive business plan is necessary to ensure long term success. Finding an experienced partner that can help guide business decisions and streamline operational processes is key.

Iron Fox is that partner.

Prior to construction, Iron Fox’s consulting and technical team can provide advice on lot layout and design, building size and location, conduit placement, conveyor length, and traffic flow.

If your carwash has already been constructed, Iron Fox can still help. Our team has real carwash experience and the technological and mechanical expertise to help alleviate mistakes made during the build phase.

By leveraging Iron Fox, you can ensure the proper construction and design of your new carwash or the proper operation of an up and running location. Our operational knowledge and specialized capabilities can get you quicker to market with less impact on bottom lines.

Blogs Real Estate

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Perfect Location for Your Car Wash

The old adage is true: The three most important things to consider when buying property are location, location, location. And this is especially true when starting a car wash. Choosing the perfect location is a make-or-break decision that can determine whether your business thrives or fails. In particular, it is important to consider who your retail neighbors are and how they can help drive business to your location.

First, Consider the Big Picture

When weighing the decision on which city or town to locate your car wash, you need to begin by looking at the big picture. In general, the more vehicles that pass by your location, the greater your chances of bringing in new and repeat customers. Gathering traffic data from local or state government agencies for each of your potential locations can provide great insight into commuter flow. You’ll also need to research local zoning laws and regulations to determine if any operating restrictions may apply to car wash businesses. Consider property taxes as well and what municipal services are provided. Next, look at the demographics of the people who live and work nearby. A slightly older or upscale population with a higher-than-average income is more likely to make car care a higher priority. Finally, you’ll want to select an area that has strong growth potential.

Next, Take a Look at Your Retail Neighbors

Once you’ve selected an area for your car wash, it’s time to look at specific locations and the retail businesses surrounding each site. Each type of location comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.

  • Neighborhood/Convenience Site – These are the kind of locations that people frequently visit as part of their daily routine or to pick up items on the way home. But that means there may be less traffic during certain times of the day, and drivers may have more of the “get in, get out” mentality that comes with running errands.
  • Lifestyle/Power Center – These areas typically see less daytime traffic, so consumers are more likely to visit the location while out and about during the day. However, these areas are often eschewed during high traffic hours.
  • Regional Mall – Unfortunately, many malls are not the thriving attractions they once were, so today’s shoppers may not readily seek these areas out. Yet, if the mall is successful or undergoing a rebranding that will increase its popularity, this can be a great location since consumer traffic will be on the rise.
  • Highway Convenience – Commuters must contend with congested traffic, short tempers, and often, long, grueling commutes. Highway locations that are difficult to get in to or out of discourage patronage, while sites offering easy off, easy on access to hectic highways are exceedingly convenient for busy travelers.
  • Urban In-Fill – During the normal workday, countless businesspeople employed within urban centers consider these locations as a time-efficient way to get a quick car wash during lunch, or on their way in to or on their way home from the office. Unfortunately, car washes located in these areas may not be highly visible to those unfamiliar with the area, while urban traffic patterns add an additional challenge. Further, a location within the city may translate to slow evenings and weekends.

Finally, Choose the Right Partner

Weighing all the factors involved with selecting the perfect location for your car wash can be a challenge, so the most important thing you can do is choose a partner who can help guide you through the process. The Iron Fox crew of car wash specialists consists of advisory and technical teams with the experience and expertise in retail real estate site selection, accurate proprietary volume estimation tools, project development, and overall operational management. In addition, we maintain a professional network of architects, engineers, real estate brokers, and car wash savvy lenders to support your car wash endeavor. With Iron Fox, you’re never alone. From site selection to opening day, through the entire life cycle of your car wash business, we’ll be your trusted partner to help guide you every step of the way.

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