Water Conservation a Priority for Local Businesses

As potential Stage Five water restrictions loom over Wichita Falls, local businesses are being proactive in their efforts to conserve the precious resource.

All American Car Wash General Manager Jim Cadotte says his business is leading the way when it comes to conserving water in this ongoing drought.

"We are looking constantly for ways to improve our business," Cadotte says. "We believe in being good stewards of the rescue of water in our community."

Cadotte says he wants Wichita Falls leaders to know after installing a water recycling system, All American is only using a small amount of city water.

"Too close or to impact businesses negatively based off of the idea that we must be using a tremendous amount of water is a dangerous precedent to set," Cadotte says. 

Under possible Stage Five restrictions, car washes would have to close three days a week, including Saturdays.

A move Cadotte says would greatly impact his bottom line and his employees.

However, Wichita Falls Public Works Director Russell Schreiber says most people consider getting a car washed a discretionary use.

Schreiber says, "It's unfortunate that we've come to this but the simple fact is that during a drought, municipalities try to limit or curtail discretionary water uses."

Other businesses like Texas Roadhouse have started implementing their own voluntary cut backs like only giving customers water refills when asked.

Texas Roadhouse Owner Craig Bolles says they are trying to do their part to conserve water.

"Including pan liners for pans to reduce washing. We've added both side dishes into all entrée plates which will knock out 3,000 to 4,000 plates less they'll have to wash each week," Bolles says.

He says the smallest changes go a long way.

If business owners don't know how to get started, Bolles has a suggestion.

He says, "Ask your employees. Get with your people because they've got great ideas. Some of the ideas that we've taken have come from my hourly employees. Some of the things that we haven't thought about."

Bolles says they met with the health department who also recommended going to paper and plastic goods to avoid running dishwashers as much but he says they'll hold off on that unless it becomes mandatory.

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