Water Inspector “Red Flags” – How to Avoid Them

Water quality inspectors have the job of visiting local businesses and evaluating how they use water and to help those businesses use water more efficiently. Unfortunately, sometimes there is an obvious disregard displayed for any sort of water conservation and that business could receive a harsh penalty if not properly addressed.

The best thing a company can do is consistent review of their best management practices (BMP’s) to identify new areas of improvement in an ever changing environment.

The following are some tips and tricks to help prepare for the inevitable visit from your local water quality inspector.

Don’t have employees wash without some sort of containment:

Picture1

Never let wash water run to the storm drain:

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Cheap felt storm drain inserts, sometimes called “witch hats” from their appearance placed upside down in a storm drain can fill up quickly and then have to be cut in order to remove, thus spilling all the contaminated particles directly into the storm drain:

Picture3

Agricultural nutrients can be very harmful if not contained in proper spill-proof pallets:

Picture4

Even if there is a working wash bay, water can still escape to flow freely to the lowest spot as shown here:

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These are just a few of the tell tail signs that water is being contaminated. Knowing these “red flags” will help better prepare for an unannounced visit from a water quality control inspector.

Mi-T-M Pressure Washer Accessories – From US Hydrotech

Mi-T-M pressure washers are the staple of the pressure washer industry. They are built to last through the most labor intensive jobs and now Mi-T-M has made it a whole lot easier to get the job done.

There are many accessories that can be attached to a Mi-T-M pressure washer to help do the job better, quicker and with less effort. A few of them have been listed below.

Floor Scrubbers:

Floor Scrubber

Clean larger surfaces faster and easier than with a standard cleaning nozzle. The Mi-T-M surface cleaners are equipped with strong-bristled brushes for long life and easy glide control. This cleaning accessory can be used on decks, patios, sidewalks, driveways, pool decks, parking lots and any other horizontal surface.

Extended Reach Wands:

Extended Reach Wand

Clean hard to reach places by using extended reach wands. Can be used on siding, house eaves, farm equipment, semi-tractor trailers and multi-story buildings.
Telescoping wand belts holds telescoping wands, reduces fatigue and strain. Provides better operator control, optimizing cleaning performance.

-Works with AW-7018 and AW-7017 telescoping wands
-Includes three plastic snap-on clips that snaps to your shoulder, waist and the wand

  • Fiberglass wands
  • Aluminum wands

Power Brushes & Water Brooms:

Rotating BrushWater Broom

The rotating brush offers low pressure rotation for hard to remove debris on sensitive surfaces. Can be used on painted surfaces, fiberglass, wood or brick.

-Natural hair bristles
-Quick connect
-Adjustable angle
-3.0 to 6.0-GPM flow rate
-176°F temperature rating
-Can be used with low pressure detergent injector

Gutter Cleaners:

Gutter Cleaner

The gutter cleaner turns your want into an efficient rain gutter cleaner.  Clean your gutters from the ground and blow out dirt, grime, leaves and anything else that may be stuck inside the gutters.

-4000-PSI maximum pressure
-1/4-inch quick connect socket outlet and plug inlet
-Fits all gasoline pressure washers

 

 

Porta-Pad: Whats New!

We are always trying to improve on our technology, making it more efficient, safer and easier to use. Lately we have been turning our focus to our bread and butter, the Porta-Pad. We have made some significant upgrades that include longer and lower ramps for easier entry and exit, pump guards to prolong the life of your pump and geo-liner material for under the Porta-Pad that protect it from the ground and from moving around. Check out one of our latest installs and visit our website for more information! www.waterforreuse.com

DSC00617 (2)

Lakes On the Rise

The results of El Nino were somewhat disappointing because it was supposed to produce an exceptional rainfall year when all it did was produce a somewhat “normal” rainfall year.

Lake levels are on the steady rise due to recent rain fall. According to http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/current/RES, we are on track for a steady rise in most lakes. Folsom lake is at 85%, Lake Mendocino is at 70%, Lake Oroville is at 96%, Shasta is at 93% and Whiskeytown and Lewiston are almost full at 98% and 97% capacity respectively.

As we all breath a sigh of relief for the time being, this is all but a drop in the bucket for staving off the drought coming into the summer months. The aqua-ducts deep within the ground below us are still quenched for thirst. A couple of good rain storms may look promising from the top, but underneath us, it’s still very dry and will take much longer for our water table to rise back up.

Saving water is still more important than it ever has been. Some easy ways to conserve is putting timers in the shower with you that buzz when you have taken too long, put a bucket under the faucet while waiting for hot water to come through and then use that water to water plants. Plant low-water-usage shrubs and trees and install a drip system.

This coming year is going to be a tough one and if everyone does one thing to help conserve water per day, that will make a big difference for the community.

Invasive Species: How US Hydrotech is Changing the Game

Invasive species are an old foe that is showing it’s ugly head once again and the human race is left to deal with the aftermath of this wake of destruction.

This destruction takes many forms, the most familiar and often unchecked are plants that crowd rivers and lakes diverting and sometimes preventing water flow.

Some well-known examples which are becoming more common are Quagga and Zebra mussels. They attach themselves to watercraft so they can populate in a new water source and are very difficult to remove once they have established themselves.

quagga_zebra

Some animals on the larger size of the food chain can also be an invasive species to be aware of. Snake head fish kill for the sake of killing and will decimate an eco-system without mercy.

Snakehead fish

US Hydrotech has a solution to all these invasive species issues. The Porta-Pad is the fastest, easiest and most affordable solution to wash, contain and dispose of contaminated wash water effectively. It is a fantastic alternative to permanent wash pads and can be set-up and packed away by 1-2 people. Contact US Hydrotech for more information: www.waterforreuse.com

Porta-Pad Invasive Species

Pressure Washer Applications – Think Outside the Box!

When it comes to pressure washers, most people think of washing cars, equipment or buildings. In reality, there are hundreds of uses for pressure washers that most people don’t realized exist. By “thinking outside the box”, a single pressure washer can be used for multiple applications in order to save water, money and time.

Heavy equipment/truck washing is probably one of the first applications people think about. With the right tip, a pressure washer can cut through tough mud, oil and grease to clean up even the messiest jobs.

JP-2703-0MHB Dump Truck

If the job isn’t that messy but is still a large vehicle like a fire truck, a pressure washer will reduce the amount of water and time dramatically while producing a spotless professional result. The last thing a firefighter should worry about is how long it’s going to take them to wash a fire truck.

Bellevue Fire Department Cab Door

Pressure washers are a fantastic tool used around the home as well. Pressure washers can clean years of dirt, grime and paint layers from a deck in no time with little effort!

JP-2703-3MHB on Deck

Anyone who takes pride in their recreational vehicles knows that a good wash is vital to keeping them looking pristine. A pressure washer with a specific tip, is perfect for watercraft washing and won’t harm the gel coat.

MasterCraft Boat #1

Classic cars are a staple of the American Dream. A pressure washer can keep that Shelby GT Mustang looking fantastic in the show or on the road and won’t harm the paint.

Shelby GT350 #2

Pressure washers are a fast, easy and affordable way to reduce water usage and increase production time. Contact US Hydrotech for more information on the full line of commercial, industrial, agricultural and at-home Mi-T-M pressure washers.

State of California Mandatory 25% Water Reduction: Easy Ways to Get Started

By now we’ve all heard of the mandatory 25% water reduction that was put in place recently by Governor Brown to help curb the inevitable truth that the state is running out of water faster than it can replenish it.  With the little rain we’ve had this season, it’s hard to imagine how we’ll dig ourselves out of this pickle but there are simple solutions that residents and small business owners can implement now that will dramatically help the individual and the overall community to save a gallon here and there.

sprinklers

– Install low flow aeration devices on all faucets and sprinklers to     minimize excess water.

– Tightening the nut on water faucet.

– Use a simple hour glass shower timer.

– Reduce watering times for gardens and lawns to shorter time lengths, more frequently to let water soak in and not run off.

– For businesses, install low flow toilets and no flush urinals.

– Use a pressure washer whenever possible to dramatically decrease water usage.

– Change filters on air conditioners.

– Change ice machine filters.

– Use a greywater filter on washing machines to divert water to plants and shrubs.

– Use a broom to sweep up loose dirt instead of washing away with water

Using these simple solutions along with plenty more will help save thousands of gallons of water per year that would otherwise be wasted. If you have any other suggestions on how to reduce water, please feel free to comment below 🙂 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Be A Water Hog!

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California has just issued a new report that states it only has a year left of water before it dries up.  This is an especially frightening fact for businesses that use water on a daily basis as part of their operations.

There are a few simple ways to curb the overuse of water and reduce water use 4 times, 8 times, even 10 times the normal rate.  One such solution is a pressure washer.  Pressure washers reduce water by pressurizing it, then discharging it through specially designed wands and tips that produce different types of spray that fit in line with whatever the job may be.

For example, a standard garden hose discharges water at an average rate of 10 gallons per minute.  Lets say that a business uses the hose water for 5 minutes per application, five times a day.  That’s 250 gallons per day of water use.  Using simple math, one can determine that a business can use easily 65,000 gallons of water per year.   Now using the same starting point, compared with a pressure washer, the results are dramatically different.  A standard pressure washer uses about 3.5 gallons of water per minute.  The pressured water cuts the work time from 5 minutes to 3 minutes (conservatively) but still washing the same amount of times, five.  That’s 52.5 gallons of water per day.  Using the same calculations we come to a total water use of 13,650 gallons of water used per year.

What this boils down to is how productive a business is and what steps are they taking to increase productivity while reducing costs.  If a company wanted to use 65,000 gallons of water per year, that’s fine, but if they used a pressure washer, they would increase their productivity in using that water exponentially.

Storm Drains: The Gateway to River and Stream Contamination

The storm drain.  A flat, plain, unnoticeable window to plethora of  man-made interconnecting  tunnels carrying precious liquid to the natural rivers and streams that provide our water supply.  That same storm drain also carries contaminants that pollute our rivers and streams making them almost hazardous to our health.  In order to grasp the gravity of the situation, lets break it down into numbers we can understand and move from there.

Lets say you’re washing your personal car with a garden hose (spray nozzle attached) in the comfort of your own driveway.  The garden hose pumps out 10 gallons of water per min on average.  8 of those minutes, the water is on and you are either rinsing the dirt off to start washing or rising the soap off after you’re done.  The 80 gallons of wash water you produced slowly makes it’s way down the driveway, into the gutter and eventually enters the storm drain where it’s forgotten about. That water contains soap, heavy metals such as copper off of break pads and oil and grease.  All of which you wouldn’t voluntarily take a nice swim in, right? That’s only 80 gallons you say…out of the millions of gallons that enter the storm drain every day, it will be diluted  and won’t do any harm.  You think that and so does everyone else.  That is the problem, everyone thinks their negligence won’t matter and it’s someone else’s problem.  Let’s extrapolate that now and think about every car rental, lease and sales company in the United States.  Too big of a number to handle? Okay, lets just take car rental companies.  There are approximately 21,498 car rental branches in the United States and if they’re at all successful, they’re washing at least 20 cars a day.   Now for the final calculation: 10 GPM x 8 Min/Car x 20 Cars/Day = 1600 gallons of wash water going down the storm drain per location x 21,498 = a whopping 34,396,800 gallons of wash water going down the storm drain every day in the United States of America.  If we thought about how many car rental locations are in Sonoma County and then thought about all that disgusting water going down the storm drain and eventually ending up in the Russian River, makes anyone with a sensible head on their shoulders think twice about taking a nice dip on a hot summer day.

Below is an example of the loading concentration of copper, lead and zinc in a typical storm drain and the numbers are in parts per billion.  As a comparison, a reasonable pollutant loading for copper would be about 500 parts per billion.

Storm Drain Samples - San Pablo cropped

There are two easy ways to reduce this insanely high about of contamination.  One is containment at the source and the other is storm drain filtration and/or plugging.  The Porta-Pad is the most cost effective way to contain wash water so it never gets to the storm drain.  Once contained, it can be safely pumped to a sanitary sewer drain.  Storm drain inserts filter a large majority of the water going through the storm drain but also has the ability to plug it up completely and act as a sump to pump water to a sanitary sewer drain.  We are not saying only use our technologies, we are simply saying, use something and stop this annihilation of our water supply!

Washing Cars with a Pressure Washer Washing Cars with a Garden Hose
3.5 GPM from PW 10 GPM from garden hose
5 Min/Car – Washing time 8 Min/Car – Washing time
20 Cars/Day 20 Cars/Day
                            350.00 Gallons per day used to wash cars                              1,600.00 Gallons per day used to wash cars
                      21,498.00 Car rental locations only *                            21,498.00 Car rental locations only *
    7,524,300.00 Gallons of water going to storm drain per day      34,396,800.00 Gallons of water going to storm drain per day
3.5 GPM from PW 10 GPM from garden hose
5 Min/Car – Washing time 8 Min/Car – Washing time
20 Cars/Day 20 Cars/Day
                            350.00 Gallons per day used to wash cars                              1,600.00 Gallons per day used to wash cars
                      10,749.00 Car rental locations only                            10,749.00 Car rental locations only
    3,762,150.00 Gallons of water going to storm drain per day      17,198,400.00 Gallons of water going to storm drain per day
Gallons of water going to the storm drain per day
(Based on 1/2 of locations using a pressure washer)
     20,960,550.00
* Data taken from 2014 U.S. Car Rental Market, Fact Book 2015 Auto Rental News

Who we’ve worked with…

US Hydrotech has over 20 years of experience in dealing with water treatment and discharge.  Our client list is even longer.  We have helped countless clients with major compliance issues and saving them from paying heavy fines if they didn’t meet regulations.  The first step to getting into compliance is noticing you have a problem before you are told you have one.  The best thing a company can do is stay on top of current regulations and be pro-active in regards to meeting compliance.  Just some of our favorite companies that we have done business with are:

Artisan Farms

Arcata, City of

ATNI, Inc.

Avis Car Rental

Bay Area Powder Coating

BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit)

Berg Holdings

Bevill Vineyard Management

BoDean Company

CALTRANS (California Department of Transportation

Clos Du Bois

College of the Redwoods

Conservation Corps North Bay

DuMol Winery

Duncan Enterprises

Empire Waste Management Systems

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Ermico Enterprises, Inc.

Freeman Toyota

Friedman’s Home Improvement

Garton Tractor

Golden Gate Bridge

Grab n’ Grow

Habitat for Humanity

Hansel Enterprises

Helical

HTI Tank Wash

HERTZ Rent-A-Car

HULS America

Imex International

International Paper

JDS Uniphase

Kendall – Jackson

KVAL, Inc.

La Tortilla Factory

Lakeport School District Fleet and Bus Maintenance Facility

Lucas Aerospace Caro Systems

Marcassin Winery

Marin Airporter

Menlo Park Fire Department

Morton Manufacturing

National Park Service

Novato Disposal

Opperman & Son, Inc.

Pape Machinery

Petaluma Disposal

Peterson Tractor

PG&E

Pepsi Cola West

Point Reyes National Seashore

Redwood Empire Disposal

Rodney Strong Wine Estates

Santa Rosa Junior College

Sara Lee Vineyards

Scott Architectural Graphics, Inc.

Stero Company

Solid Waste of Willits

Sonoma, City of

Sonoma County Fairgrounds

Sonoma Disposal

Sonoma Soil Builders

Triumph Fabrications

VTA (Valley Transit Authority)

West County Disposal

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