Waste water recovery & recycle options


I am still on the limb about what to use for water reclaim. Part of me wants to go all out and spend $1700 on a Hydrotek Vac.

Part of me wonders if the 6.5 HP Shop Vac with pump built in for $300 would stand up enough to do the job


Should I get a pool cover pump and make some sand snakes for about the same price as the VAC

I want the cost to be reasonable, the equipment to hold up and for it to look professional as well.


I finally figured out that the vac has to have a pump to pump the water out… I actually have this exact vacuum sitting at my office and tested it out today: Shop-Vac 9689400 5.5-Peak HP Ultra Pro Wet or Dry Vacuum with Built-In Pump, 14-Gallon - Amazon.com
It works great, sucks about 6gpm through garden hose and filters out the debris…


It is nice to hear that someone has tried one, I was hesitant to spend the money until I knew if it was suitable for what we needed to do.


That’s a great Shop Vac for sure… I like these designs for the times when just a little bit of water is an issue. You plug them in and forget about them. We run a 100 Ft. Three Conductor Yellow Artic/Tropic Cord, 12/3 Ga extension cord. When we want it off, we discount the cord from our generator via switch.

You can find these cords at Costco. They are the cheapest there by far, plus you get a 2% rebate if you are an executive member. I think there about $34 bucks.

You might also want to check out LOWES. It has just a tad more HP and is a little bit cheaper.

But what I like, it’s at Lowes as a in stock item. If one every malfunctions, I can just head over to lowes and pick up another one. However, thus far, not one has failed. I feel these are a great buy for 110 bucks.

We have 7 of these. They work great.

Shop Shop-Vac 14-Gallon 5.75-Peak-HP Shop Vacuum at Lowes.com


Yeah I always try to use products from home depot or lowes for just that reason, if something breaks, it can be replaced quickly…

Check out this push sweeper: Floor Care Machines & Vacuums | Sweepers | Powr-Flite® Industrial Push Sweeper | 239771 - GlobalIndustrial.com

I think im going to get one for sweeping small garages (that a street sweeper is too big for) prior to pressure washing… It should cut down on the sludge buildup and there will be less cleanup to do once everything is wet and soggy…

This seems easier than using a floor scrubber… I’ll see how it goes and report back…


awesome thread. i was just coming here to post a question on building a diy surface cleaner extraction system. but i think the shopvacs with pumps built in will do what i need.

but has anyone done a diy adapter to hook one of these to a surface cleaner? seems like it would be pretty easy, maybe with pvc. it could be capped off when not in use. does this sound feasible?


Hey Caleb- taking a shop vac and installing a pump in it is one thing(I did this before) but to expect the typical shop vac to also work attached to a surface machine to suck up the wash water is most likely not going to work out to well.

You need enough CFM’s with a vacuum setup in this industry to work well with a surface machine and most likely even a more expensive shop vac will not provide that unless you now customize the vacuum part of it as well.


yeah that makes sense John. thanks for your input.


I have asked Nigel Griffith to be an instructor at the Professional Washing Network in Las Vegas on May 4-5, 2018.

Nigel and Myself will be going over the filtration needs for filtration and what makes a good filter.

As many of you know, I built my filtration in 1992. That is before most " Experts" was in business.

If you want to learn about filtration, I suggest you attend.

Here is my Filtration Unit specs…

Up to 78+ GPM’s
12,000 Watt Kubota 4 cyl Diesel Generator
Frame of trailer is re enforced double frame. Both Box and C channel.
Powder Coated to 12 mil thick. ( 2 coats of primer, 4 coats paint, 2 coats clear)
17.5 inch “H” rated 16 ply tires
(2) 8,000 lbs Rubber Ride ( NO SPRINGS) Oil Bath ( Not greased) Axles.
Over-sized braking capabilities
Self Levering Hydraulic Jacks. Each jack is rated to lift 18,000 lbs. Frame of trailer was re enforced to handle stress.
Bed of trailer was CAD designed to handle 4,000 lbs every 3 feet.
2 inch to 2.5 inch copper piping was used so flow restrictions would be lessened during high flow discharge.




Ya, I misspell words allot, that is true… You may also find that many of the contractors on this BBS have also in need of a good spell checker as well. But whether or not spelling or grammar is the issue, what is most important is not the spelling, but if they can back up their claims of success as they tell it here on these BBS/ Facebook.


Hi Mr. Gamble, you don’t have to prove yourself to anyone on these forums, as long as you’re providing quality work for your clients, you’re providing for your family, giving people good jobs, and you’re right with God, then you’re golden.


Reading old threads on water reclaim. Why? Because today I was fueling up the truck as I watched some 25 year old gas station attendant pressure wash oil stains from the bays. He noticed the rig and stopped to say hello and asked me for any pointers. I chuckled and said don’t get caught doing exactly what you are doing! He looked puzzled and I pointed to the large stream of water running to the street right into a storm drain. I explained what and why the epa would poop a gold brick if they grove by. I handed him my card and told him to tell the manager and owner what I said and to give me a call when they want it done legally.


How do you plan on doing it legally? Block off the drain? Pump to empty tote? Or filter it?

I’ve always shyed away from commercial concrete because the whole reclaim thing lol


I’m exploring options. I think reclaim and release would be the cheapest. Although I want to be 100% certain that it’s legal. From what I have read it is legal to wash an area that doesn’t run into a drain. I do not know yet if it is legal to wash and reclaim and release to a non drained area. This will likely be a winter project when I feel like working in the shop and it’s not snowing lol


Let me tell you about my 29+ years of reclaim and filtration.

I first came on these boards back in 2008 when I explained about filtration and reclaim. Boy did I get hammered by the same guys who attack me today. So don’t worry, by responding to this post, I will get attacked again. Not a biggie. I have helped more contractors make 24+ cents a foot whereas those who attack are making 2-12 cents a foot. I currently make 84 cents a foot.

If You can need real answers that won’t get you in trouble, you can also call … My number is 510-612-0437

Always remember this…

There are plenty of books from those who are millionaires stating that the people you hang out with, the people you get advice from, if they are making lower wages, then that’s what you will make as well.

For example, If you take advice, hang out with those who are making 50k, then that’s what you will approximately make. But if you hang out with those who are making 7 figures, learn from them, take their advice and use it, then guess what, You have a better chance of making a higher income as well.

Surround yourself with positive high earning contractors. Learn how they did it.

How do you know if they are truly successful? I mean, anyone can say they are making bank…but how do you really know what is their bottom line?

Look at their trucks, their washers, their assets. How many homes do they have? Is the pressure washing business being subsidized by their $120,000 yearly pension, and if so, then they should easily afford a shop, trucks etc…right? I mean the business only has to support the business, not their house payments, insurances, cars, vacation etc…their pension pays for that…right?

So if they are successful, should their business show this as well? Think about it. Just imagine if you have a free Home with no mortgage, cars with no payments, FREE health care, the best money can buy, free vacations including airfare. The only expenses your full time business has is 2-3 workers part time and gas and equipment purchase…If you had all that, then you can work for 2-8 cents a foot and actually make some money…Imagine…if you or I had it so good. And since I do not, why would I want to learn from someone whose business would go bankrupt if he did not have a pension to subsidize his living and business expenses?

I personally would want to learn from someone who is doing better than I. Who has NO pension to support them and their family, especially when business income is low.

Instead, I personally would want to learn from someone who took $15,000 dollars and is now approaching 7 figures, but most of all, has a profit margin that is 55-75% instead of 3-10%. I would want to learn how I can also make higher wages, instead of the 2-10 cents they are making. I would like to know how to work smarter, how to work less while making more, but that’s just me. Others I guess just want to work every day, even if that means robbing Peter to pay Paul. Myself, I would rather stay at home and watch my kids grow up with money in the bank.

Anyway, enough talking…

So let’s start by at least pointing you in the right direction with some of the information I have posted…


You must capture your water. This is done by various means and different methods that are available to you. The cheapest way is by plugging the drains with approved Plugs. Not all plugs are approved by the various AHJ.

  1. You can then pump the water to the landscape when allowed by the AHJ. The rule of thumb is that if you saturate the landscape or kill the landscape, You may be in violation and could get fined.


Size does matter on filtration and I do not mean the size of the rig. Not everyone here understands that concept. Products such as emulsified solids, heavy metals and 179 more substances needs to be filter before entering the sewer. How do you accomplish this? By having the correct filtration system. To date, I see these self proclaimed Garage Cleaning " Experts" who do allot of garages for 2-10 cents a foot. ( 2 cents for the garages over 500,000 sq ft and 10 cents for 15-20,000 sq ft garage or 2,000 dollars.) They simply cannot afford a pressurized filtration system, so they built a makeshift gravity feed filtration system with (2) 30 gallon barrels. This type of filtration is limited by gravity and because of this design, they simply cannot filter as well and in a timely manner. Pressurized Filtration systems are the best way for Garage Cleaning or any large project as they can " Push" the water through the filter instead of a gravity filter drip system. Your refrigerator water dispenser, house and pool filters, even you car oil and fuel filters are designed to operated by a pressurized flow system because of their reliability and flow requirements. Only low flow systems are usually designed with a non pressurized. Non pressurized systems are very cheap to buy and in most cases are not as reliable to use.

When I see a Garage Expert using a gravity (2) barrel system with a electric transfer pump to transfer the water on these large 300,000 sq ft garages, you know that something is fishy.

The question one should ask is, do I want to acquire the information from those who are making 2 cents a foot while these " Experts" pitch on the net 24/7 saying come to my class and pay the " Expert" a hundred dollars an hour so they too can learn how to get into Standard Parking. By doing so, you too can work more while making less… or do you want to learn how to talk to the owners, thus working less while making more?

If you would like to know more, give me a call at 510-612-0437. We have a whole website of information.


Be Careful about " Cradle to Grave "


Please do not use the PWRA as a platform to send people to your sites. This forum is for education and camaraderie. You bring neither you the table.


Thank you. I was thinking the same thing but I haven’t been back on here long enough to say something


But you can learn how to make $1262726.5M working 2.7 days a month if you join