Business as usual in Dublin car wash despite hosepipe ban

Call for introduction of licensing scheme to prevent unregulated operators wasting water

File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times


Ross Walsh

It was business as usual in Dublin’s car washes on Monday, despite concerns of potential water shortages due to the current heatwave.

There was a steady stream of customers at many of the capital’s car washes on Monday afternoon, even as Lord Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring said his official car would not be washed “until the hosepipe ban has been lifted”.

The hosepipe ban that came into effect on Monday prohibits the use of a domestic hosepipe to wash cars, but does not cover commercial car washes.

At one car wash on the south side of the city, Jodi Wright said that she brought her car in because it was “all sticky”.

“Everything is sticking to it with the sap from the trees,” she said. Anther customer Marcello Prego said: “It’s a rental, I wanted to give it back the way I got it.”

The Irish Car Wash Association, part of the Irish Petrol Retailers Association, has claimed that unregulated car washes are wasting huge amounts of water, and that tackling these outfits would be more beneficial than a blanket ban on car washes during the heatwave.

Michael Griffin, the car wash association’s chief executive, said: “If you have an unregulated sector, it’s very hard to regulate them then with a ban on washing cars, because these guys won’t adhere to regulations.”

The association would like to see a licensing scheme for local car washes introduced by the Government, as a way to tackle the wasting of water and help legitimate businesses compete.

In a statement released at the weekend, the association said: “Revenue indicate they would support a licensing requirement but require a Government Minister to introduce it.”

No Irish Water spokesperson was available for comment.