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How High Can Water Costs Be?


Jack’s Facts Follow us on: Jack Jackson is the President of Awash Systems Corp that provides large vehicle washing systems. “We at Awash, believe we can help everyone in the industry understand the most efficient way to wash their vehicles”.

How High Can Water Costs Be? I was at a large American city’s transit facilities to understand how we can help design and implement a washing solution for their Light Rapid Transit (LRT) trains. They had 3 yards across the city where the LRT trains ended their routes. Each yard had a maintenance facility and a train wash. This is a basic set up of most urbanized cities for their LRT or subway trains; end the route (or start the route) with the maintenance facility in the same position to do the mechanical checks on the train cars and the preventive maintenance. Trains are washed prior to maintenance and washed daily when the train is ready to leave for its route. The issue at these 3 facilities was the train washes were 35 years old and long past repairing or efficiency. These facilities were located outside (warm weather climate) on a separate rail track.

Customer Comments: John Korman Eickhoff Enterprises Marshall, Minnesota This is an excellent machine. Very easy to handle and low maintenance. My trailers never leave the yard dirty, which would not happen without this washer.

Their main issue was the water recycle systems were not working (for some 15 years) and the cost of water was getting out of control. The monthly bill per location was over $30,000 for water only. They were spending almost $100,000 per month on water to wash trains. In fact, due to a leaky valve that was undetected, the largest single water bill for a month was $360,000. In case you are thinking this is a typo….$360,000 for one month of water usage to wash trains! Ten years ago they embarked on this project and hopefully this year the funds will be available to replace the train washes. I am sure if they had completed their analysis of money spent on maintenance and parts with water waste, the train wash would have paid for itself long ago. Needless to say, this is the public funding initiative, so it’s different than private sector. However, we need to learn not to procrastinate on issues that really cost money. Based on today’s average cost of $100,000 per month of water or $1.2M per year, we figured we could replace the machinery and water treatment, lower their costs to $10,000 per month

Volume 2 Article 16 May 2014

Awash Systems Corp 1 800 265 7405 www.awashsystems.com


(or less) for water and complete the wash cycle for trains in a much more efficient manner with lower future maintenance costs.

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Based on the maintenance spend and the water savings, the new wash would have paid for itself in a year. However, the outlay of a $2M replacement cost is overshadowed by the politics of spending that amount to wash trains is just not prudent. Evidently these trains cost in the millions of dollars each. Can you imagine buying a Lamborghini and never washing it? We all need to be aware of our costs of doing business and when it is wise to spend money now to save money in the future. The cost of washing is a hidden cost within many facilities until there is a glaring need that triggers some event to re-evaluate. This is an extraordinary example, however, it is evident that there is the need to assess any business cost. Jack Jackson is President of Awash Systems Corp. “We solve vehicle washing issues where no one else can.� Email: jjackson@awashsystems.com or call 1 800 265 7405. Visit our website www.awashsystems.com. .

Customer Comments: Kent Moore XVIII Wheeler Truck Washes Fulton, Missouri Awash has produced a machine that not only improved our wash efficiency on trailers, but also cut labor costs. Their machine is backed by an experienced and dedicated support staff, who have helped us achieve our ultimate goal of customer satisfaction.

Awash Systems Corp 1 800 265 7405 www.awashsystems.com

Volume 2 Article 16 May 2014

Understand the point when it makes more sense to buy new.  

This example illustrates the importance of understanding the costs of maintaining old equipment.

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