Gordon Balmer, exec director, PRA

CWA executive director Gordon Balmer

The Car Wash Association (CWA) has emphasised how important it is to conserve water, and the environmental benefits of having a properly regulated car wash sector, after it was revealed there are growing concerns over Thames Water’s finances.

Thames Water is the UK’s largest water and wastewater company, but concerns have been raised about its ability to service a £14bn debt, prompting discussions among government officials and industry regulators about plans to deal with the issue, including the possibility of placing the company in temporary public ownership.

Commenting on the unfolding situation at Thames Water, CWA executive director Gordon Balmer said: “It is concerning to see that one of the UK’s largest water companies is experiencing financial difficulties on this scale. This, in conjunction with hosepipe bans being announced by other water companies, is a stark reminder of the importance of conserving water.

“Conscious of these issues, many CWA members have streamlined and modernised their car wash operations over the years, deploying water-saving technologies and recycling wash water to minimise waste. Their commitment to sustainability sets them apart from the unregulated hand car wash sector, which not only wastes water but also poses a threat by illegally discharging polluting and often toxic trade effluent into storm water drains.”

He concluded: “Government support is critical to sustaining the environmental commitment and progress made by CWA members. By improving regulatory clarity and enforcement the government can help our members continue their journey towards water efficiency and environmental sustainability.”