Reclaim water on housewash

Welcome to doing business here in good old’ California, where we are again facing major drought thanks to weather manipulation. I am preparing for facing water restriction mandates and if I would like to continue feeding my family with this business I need to adjust. The rule is, if you can pick it up, you can lay it down. So, off to reclaim, filter and reuse over and over again world, here I come (maybe). Somebody is selling a system that was to be used initially for parking garages, however due to the nature of parking garages with all the oil and rubber from the tires on the floor, the filter replacements became very expensive, so much in fact that the job would have lost a tremendous amount of money, thus is available for me to purchase. My truck is completely tapped out with all the stuff that I have for washing already so this will all be mounted on a 16’ trailer. There is a Hydrotek, gas powered 400cfm vacuum reclaim with a very loud (105db) blower, solid separator take, holding tank, 7 1/2 gallon per minute transfer pump, 330 gallon water tank, wagon wheel with 200’ of vac hose, 3 part filter assembly housings and all the plumbing ready to go. I already have the Hydrotek reclaim surface cleaner so the flat work aspect of it is a no-brainer. However my dilemma is that I rarely do flat work and I’m definitely not doing parking garages. But I’m wondering if there is a way to set up troughs or some Visquine to collect the run off, filter it to the point where it’s clean enough to reuse, and then stay in business. My concerns are the following:

  1. Assuming I go through filtration all the way down to 1 micron, is there a filter I can use after that to filter out the sh and surfactant? I’m not trying to recirculate chem through the pump.

  2. Since there is really no oil or rubber, would the filters last a decent amount of time?

  3. Seems like it would be a big PITA to set up a way to collect the water from the bottom of the walls of the house. Has anyone ever tried this? and if so found an easy enough way to make it work without being a ridiculous process?

  4. I could put a diesel truck muffler to reduce the sound of the blower, but would that still be way too crazy loud to be running concurrently with the pressure washer and the vacuum reclaim system together in a residential neighborhood?

That may be the understatement of the century.


Reclaiming House wash water? No! I don’t see how you would suck up the water from the flower beds.

The Hydro Tek reclamation system, At least the electric one isn’t all that efficient. If you look at the manual it will even state that the specs are based on collected water with no soap or detergent in it, we all use soaps…

Yes this is the $8000 gas powered one that or over 4x more powerful. Thinking of a trough that could sit against the wall with a vac hose on the end of it to suck it back. Sounds wack I know. Your in Cali do you have Drought with water mandates to deal with?

I think it’d be easier to move…


I would just park the trailer and go be a waiter at a restaurant. Receive big tips for my stunningly good looks, charm, and exceptional skill to verify there is no pickles on there burger before taking it to them when requested.

Are restaurants even a thing anymore in California?


I hope you find a practical solution.

Double the price of the housewash.

All i can think for now.

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I’ve just been through this water restriction mess last year down here. We weren’t allowed to use homeowners or onsite water, we had to bring water on site from filling stations that the city setup for business that required it. I had to hire a couple guys to transport water to locations for months, totes, water trucks anyway possible. it was a nightmare along with what was happening with Covid, wiped off about 160k in commercial off the books for the year from disruptions and had to plan every residential job like my life depended on it when you have to refill and allocate water to certain locations and times along with minimal waste or the water guys sitting in traffic while my guys were standing around on there phones chatting up there girlfriends it certainly tested my patience but we got there in the end, even employed one of the water guys to come work for me full time pulling some hoses, I didn’t have a business without those guys.

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Not sure what your requirements are in California, but over here in Australia the EPA allow us to collect and redirect waste water to a garden bed or a septic sewer outlet.

In my opinion, there’s too much involved in reclaiming waste water to reuse. The costs involved will out way the benefits. You will go through a tonne of filters and then you have to pay to dump your collected waste water at an EPA approved dumping ground.

Forget the reuse… Just redirect it to a garden bed or clients sewer waste system.


That sounds exactly like what may be looking like unless I can do what @Jet said and redirect to sewers, that sounds like a great plan! (Well, as great as can be for this ordeal lol). I’ll follow up on that and see if it’s possible. Then the next thing I need to figure out how to do is collect the runoff the bottom of the wall. What @PMG showed in the pic above looks like a start to my idea of a trough.

On another idea, we are cleaning a stucco finish commercial building (it’s actually metal with a textured spray coat over the top that makes it look just like stucco) that has a lot of growth on it. I hit it with a 2-3% mix and it immediately looked amazing without even rinsing yet. Is it possible to treat stucco just like an asphalt shingle roof and not rinse? (Obviously windows need to be rinsed), i’m thinking that may be another way to clean and use very little water (for stucco at least)…

What is the punishment for not reclaiming the water?

No, you still have to rinse it otherwise you’ll run the risk of oxidising it if it’s painted. The cleaning method doesn’t change only how you source water changes.

Go buy you a 4gpm machine before there’s a run on them, lol. - time to run ads for the sign business again.


I don’t think you can really filter out bleach and surfactant, as it’s water soluble, not a particle such as sand.

Someone asked what the penalty is/will be. I’m curious if it wouldn’t be less expensive to just eat the fine.

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Id rent a Uhaul and move to any other state. Except NY of course.


:rofl: ISWYDT

Yes, it’s a complete sentence.

I run a reclaim and recycle system. I recycle water with SH and surfactant without any problem. Unless you’re a real champ at rinsining with minimal water, the SH and surfactant get plenty diluted.

The other factor is you won’t catch every drop of water. So you will generally have fresh water coming into your tank to further dilute the chems.

Don’t reclaim caustics like purple power though as they can eat at the metals in your system.

I don’t have any advice for catching the house wash water though. If you come up with a good solution, let me know.

Why would there be a run on 4gpm? I always thought 8gpm was more efficient due to the compounding effect. Lots of water pushing down on the first water consequently taking less than half the time.

Lol there is no solution bud, the best your going to get is pressure washing a roof and collecting from the gutters. Off the walls of a house just isn’t a thing that will happen.

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Shooooot, and I’m not brave enough for roofs yet. Looks like I’ll keep watering the grass.