The Car Wash Association (CWA) is urging officials to act to improve car washing standards with the launch of a national campaign to raise awareness of the major problems affecting the industry.
According to industry figures, there has been a huge growth in hand car wash operations in England and Wales from almost none to 16,000 in the 10 years to 2008. Of these, CWA believes that around 80% are failing to comply with industry guidelines and regulations. CWA spokesman Michael Harris said: "CWA estimates that each year rogue car wash sites are illegally discharging an incredible 2.7 billion litres of trade effluent containing chemicals down rainwater drains rather than the correct foul-water drains. Most of this is being done without the legally required consent or trade effluent agreements, and is therefore likely to be causing contamination and pollution."