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December 7, 2010

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Home » Metro » Environment

In a lather over car wash

RESIDENTS in Zhabei District are getting into a lather over an unlicensed car wash in their neighborhood, which they claim is a nuisance and safety hazard.

Householders in the Linfen residential community say the car wash on Linfen Road near Sanquan Road occupies most of the pavement and splashes water everywhere.

With temperatures set to fall to freezing in the coming winter, they fear for the safety of children and the elderly.

"Last winter, my mother fell over on the black ice there," said Lin Feng, a college student living in the area.

"But this year nothing has changed, so we're worried again as it's getting cold."

The car wash is one among hundreds of such operations in Shanghai, prompting concerns over water being wasted.

Local water authorities say that as many small car washes are located in residential areas they pay the domestic usage water fee - about 8 yuan per cubic meter less than the business rate.

"We've been aware of this problem for a long time, but can do nothing about it as we don't have the power to issue punishment," said Chen Yuanming, director of the water supply department of the Shanghai Water Bureau.

Car washers say they use 1 cubic meter of water for washing 10 cars, and might deal with 50 cars a day.

Authorities are trying to promote the use of recycled domestic water in the car wash industry, but have encountered resistance. According to the Shanghai Public Sanitation and Greenery Administrative Bureau, only 8.5 percent of 756 registered local car washes use recycled water.

Many customers are not convinced that recycled water cleans their cars properly, admitted officials.


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