how best to clean your fleet vehicles?
This guidance covers vehicle washing and cleaning methods, automatic wash systems, washing by hand, and high pressure or steam cleaners. The content has been researched from sources such as the Environment Agency for England and Wales. Links have been added for your further reference.
what is effluent?
Effluent is the liquid waste discharged from premises being used for business, trade, or industrial processes. Waste discharged into the air is called emission.
What is Trade Effluent?
Trade Effluent can come from both large and small premises, including businesses such as car washes and launderettes. It can be effluent from the industrial or business process that is discharged into a public sewer, washed down a sink or toilet, or put into a private sewer that connects to the public sewer.
What is not trade effluent?
Liquid wastes which are not classed as Trade Effluent are:
domestic sewage, which includes wastewater from kitchen sinks, showers and toilets
clean, uncontaminated surface water, i.e. clean rainwater which has not been contaminated when running over your site
Why is this important?
Effluent can damage the environment and pollute rivers, streams, and groundwater. Dirt, brake dust, and oil that is washed off are all pollutants. The cleaning agents you use (including those labelled biodegradable) can be poisonous to river life. If you cause pollution, you are breaking the law and adversely impacting on your environment. Effluent discharges are subject to the Environment Agency's regulations.
Whether you’re cleaning just one vehicle or responsible for a large lorry fleet, you must arrange for collection and disposal of effluent to prevent pollution. It’s illegal to discharge trade effluent to the environment or into drains without permission.
What is the Environment Agency?
The Environment Agency is a non-departmental public body of the UK government's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), with responsibilities to the enhancement of a cleaner healthier environment in England, which benefits people and the economy.
6 Top Tips
Follow this guide to help you plan and deal with liquid and solid waste, reduce the risk of causing pollution, and save your time, effort, and money.
Activities that produce run-off from the vehicle onto the ground and use cleaning and valeting products should be carried out in areas that are clearly marked and isolated from surface water drainage systems, unmade ground and porous surfaces. These areas are called designated washing bays.
Never carry out washing or cleaning on an unmade ground or other porous surfaces where run-off could soak down through the soil and pollute valuable groundwater resources, always check with your local office for advice.
Follow good environmental practices and guidelines and ensure that site operators follow them.
Provide clear instructions regarding where and how the washing and cleaning is to be carried out and how solid and liquid waste should be dealt with.
Consider ways to reduce the volume of water you use for washing and cleaning, and the amount of liquid and solid waste you produce. Recycling effluent and reusing the water is the best environmental option for dealing with vehicle washing and cleaning effluent. Use washing equipment that has a collection and re-use or re-circulation process might be more cost-effective, as would using a nearby commercial wash facility.
In some parts of the UK, over 70% of the drinking water is supplied from natural underground reservoirs in porous rocks, called aquifers. Cleaning up groundwater is difficult and very expensive so you must protect it from pollution.
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How can EP Clean help you?
EP Clean is Fully licensed and insured (documentation made available from outset and on request). Registered with Thames Water to collect, remove, and dispose of wastewater (effluent). Providing specialist service to transport the used water away. If you are unable to facilitate the collection and disposal of wastewater in line with the Environmental Agency. Reducing your environmental impact and waste with eco-friendly solutions and systems.
Get Quotes for a specialist high-pressure Fleet Clean or Environmental Clean for your building exterior, shop front, car park, drives, decking, paving, patio, high-rise windows, graffiti removal, and much more specialist commercial pressure washing services.
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Meanwhile, wish you and yours great days, times and continued success.