The Davidson County car wash industry is back in business this week — for limited hours.
After the historic flood earlier this month, car washes were temporarily shut down by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and Metro government as part of the city’s effort to conserve water and curb usage in the aftermath of the flood.
But water reserve levels remain stable, and the K.R. Harrington water treatment facility, which was submerged and has been offline since May 2, is nearly repaired. In light of that, TDEC and Metro are permitting car washes to run from 4-9 p.m. today through Friday, May 28.
At the end of the restricted-hours week, officials with Metro Water Services will evaluate capacity levels and determine whether to reopen car washes to normal hours or continue restricted operation.
In an emailed statement, the Middle Tennessee Carwash Association said the 76 Davidson County car washes use less water than other industries and are responsible for less than 0.7 percent of Nashville’s daily water consumption.
They also note that professional car washes are much more efficient with water than owners washing their own vehicles. Many car washes reclaim and reuse water, unlike home car washes. MTCA said home car washing is the second greatest source of residential water use after lawn care. Professional washes use a tenth of the water used in home car washes.