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Silo Hill Car Wash uses almost no new water

James Rada Jr.

(5/3) The Silo Hill Car Wash recently passed the 2-million-gallon mark in the amount of water it has recycled.

The Silo Hill Car Wash opened in April 2005 and spent the first three months of business filling its water tanks with fresh water. Since then, the water has continued to wash car after car as it is continually recycled and has surpassed 2.1 million gallons.

“We recycle about 95 percent of the water,” said owner Kirby Delauter. “All of the water we use is recycle except for the rinse water. That’s fresh. Our water bill is next to nothing.”

The state-of-the-art system controls odor in the used water by pumping a high level of oxygen into the water to kill bacteria.

“We can kill the bacteria without any chlorine or chemicals,” Delauter said.

The system also uses three sediment tanks and two filters to remove sediment from the used water.

“Once the water goes through the system, it’s as clean as potable water, though it’s not drinkable,” Delauter said.

Delauter decided to build the $850,000 car wash to offset the $50-$100 a week he was paying to have his trucks washed for his business W.F. Delauter and Sons from Thurmont to Emmitsburg. He had already built a similar car wash in Thurmont.

“We saw so many people coming down from Emmitsburg to wash their cars,” Delauter said. “They were saying, ‘Why don’t you build one up there?’”

He decided that was a good idea and also invested the extra money for water recycling and other technology. The wands in the bays spray water at 1200 pounds per square inch, which cuts down on the amount of water used by 20 percent. All of the soaps used are water based and biodegradeable.

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