Designed by Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program , a local Cub Scout pack put on a green car wash that used collected rainwater and rain gardens to purify runoff, limiting the amount of chemicals that enter the local water supply.
It takes around 20 gallons of water to wash a car, and those 20 gallons are being pulled from the local water supply. By washing all that grit and grime off with soap, a majority of those gallons end up as soapy runoff that can flow through sewers and pullout nearby streams and local drinking water.
Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program has come up with a new green twist on the traditional carwash. Cub Scout Pack 145 put on this green car wash to demonstrate ways we can conserve water and clean up our mess. First, the car wash uses collected rain water from a 5,000 gallon cistern on the roof of the public works building. Second is the use of rain gardens. Rain gardens are designed to soak up storm and car wash runoff using low-to-no-maintenance plants. Rain gardens also use special soils that trap pollutants and break them down naturally, filtering water in a natural, low-energy fashion.
Residents of Union County New Jersey can expect more green projects to be coming their way including the use of rain gardens in residential areas. The “green” carwash is part of a much larger green infrastructure project that is taking place near the Robinson’s Branch watershed which also includes parking lots designed to channel runoff from asphalt for re-purposing.
Keep your eyes peeled; a green car wash may be coming to a street near you.
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison