Owner of Hank's Car Wash in Tweed Heads Matt Moore with the business namesake his dog Hank. In the background employee Lucas Lima uses low flow water saving nozzles. The business is one of many trying to reduce water usage as tighter water restrictions loom for the Tweed Shire. Photo: Wendy Powick
Owner of Hank's Car Wash in Tweed Heads Matt Moore with the business namesake his dog Hank. In the background employee Lucas Lima uses low flow water saving nozzles. The business is one of many trying to reduce water usage as tighter water restrictions loom for the Tweed Shire. Photo: Wendy Powick

How savvy businesses are dealing with water restrictions

AS TIGHTER water restrictions loom in the Tweed Shire Council region, businesses which rely on water are adapting.

Owner of Hank's Car Wash, Matt Moore, said he is already water saving savvy but was always looking to improve.

The Tweed Head's business strategies include handwashing cars and using low flow nozzles on high pressure hoses.

"Handwashing cars and then running it through the machine instead of letting the machine do all the work means we uses less than half the water other automated car washes use because means the machine is not doing multiple cycles," Mr Moore explained.

Mr Moore brought the business with his wife in August 2018, transforming the former 'Whale Wash' to 'Hank's Car Wash' - named after his dog- and currently employ 14 staff.

"We are also expecting to get a bit busier because in the current level 2 restrictions people can wash their own cars but as it gets stricter they will not be able to," he said.

"I'm from out west, near Tamworth and am no strangers to water restrictions like not having enough to flush the toilet.

"As a small-business owner we are very conscious of our impact."

Mobile car detailers Brett and Peta Freyling have been running Jim's Car Cleaning which operates in the Tweed for four years. The couple had to apply for a permit from council to continue operating their business in the current water restrictions.

Mr Freyling explained part of the permit meant having to record the reading of the water meter and the location as well as using a high pressure cleaner.

"They say, and it has been proven, if you are not mindful a pressure cleaner is a lot more efficient than an open hose because it uses less litres for the same effect," he said.

Mr Freyling said the use of the high pressure cleaner on every car was the main change for his business from before restrictions were in place.

"If we were going to do a detailing job on a property which has five or more cars, we would have used a high pressure hose but for little jobs it wasn't worth it as I am mindful with hand washing and the hose and the amount of water I used," he said.

"I'm not sure how our permit is affected if we go up to other levels of restrictions.

"Our first job is always to go and talk to the council.

"I've been in places with level 5 water restrictions and only cleaning windscreens was allowed."

Ms Freyling said as she had lived in country Australia she was used to water restrictions and had adopted water saving practises into everyday life.

"We are comfortable because if someone came to audit us we could stand there and prove it to them we are not wasting water," she said.

"We are always quick and thorough and we don't waste anything."

 

Tougher restrictions looming

TWEED residents are urged to refocus on saving water to ensure the Tweed's drinking water supply lasts as long as possible.

Tweed Shire Council manager water and wastewater Anthony Burnham said up to Christmas the community responded well to level 2 water restrictions, and level 4 in Tyalgum, but since then consumption has been rising again.

"On our current trajectory, we will be introducing level 3 water restrictions in early February and then the severest level 4 restrictions by the end of February," Mr Burnham said.

"This timeline strongly demonstrates the very serious situation the Tweed faces and should prompt everyone to heed our call to action and save water now.

"We need to get back on track quickly as we cannot afford higher levels of water use as we only have one small dam supplying the entire community. Currently Clarrie Hall Dam is at 70.8 per cent capacity and falling nearly two per cent a week."

He said council would now ramp up compliance and enforcement actions.



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