INOWA opens biological wastewater plant in Dubai

Inowa recently installed a fully biological wash water preparation plant in a car wash in Dubai. It’s the first of its kind in the Middle Eastern country, where clean water is in short supply.

Five years ago the Austrian company Inowa got an email from Dubai, asking about their wastewater techniques and if they could be applied on a planned big new conveyor belt car wash in the desert city. Indeed they could.

Last month Inowa opened the ‘first fully biological wash water separation plant at Tubewash in Dubai, a country with now lakes nor rivers where day temperatures in summer often go above 45 degrees Celcius.

Carwashpro spoke to ing. Klaus Steiner, who is sales manager at Inowa and has been closely involved with the project over the last few years.
“The Dubai car wash that contacted us had experience with common recycling systems and were looking for a maintenance free system which delivers clear water. Last year we had a meeting in Salzburg and we showed them one of our systems. They saw the crystal clear water and decided to work with INOWA.”

What makes this project so unique?
“Our customer (Tubewash) provides professional car wash in combination with interior cleaning. You can book and pay by app. This means, an around the clock operation time is possible, which is a big difference compared to usual car wash units. In Austria or Germany, a car wash has to close during the night.”

Were there any region specific difficulties or challenges that arose during the project in Dubai.
“Yes. But these difficulties have been before our contact. Tubewash told us that it was very hard to find a location.”

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned from this specific project? 
“Nothing is impossible! Our customer installed the basin technology and the filtration unit for their first time. But they did a perfect job. I’ve been there only for commissioning and during this procedure one pump broke down. No problem in Dubai: a new one was there overnight!”

What are the differences between a fully biological waste water filtering system and a general one?
“There are a lot of differences. A conventional system consists of a sludge trap, an aeration basin and a filtration unit. These systems have been used for a long time and can also be used if a car wash is part of your service without any extra payment. Take car repair shops for example.

But the professional car wash business has completely changed. In the case of an express car wash system, the amount of chemicals used is often four times higher. This has a big influence on the recycling system.
It’s very important to reduce organic substances to get clean water, free of odor. Biologically cleaned water is able to extend cleaning intervals in your wash hall and at your machine. In my opinion the use of fully biological wastewater treatment is essential for professional car wash.”

* How much more expensive is a fully biological system compared to a system built the old way?
“In general you have to pay 40 to 60% more. But you will reach a break even point after 3-4 years.”

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Author: Rene Passet

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