Residents and businesses in California have been asked to reduce their water use as a result of the historic drought taking place there. That has caused a dilemma for laundromat owners who require water as a vital part of their business.
Yet while the drought has forced many in the laundry industry to re-examine their strategies for saving water, business has seen a rise, according an article in American Coin-Op magazine. Man residents in the state go to laundromats rather than using their water at home, helping the laundry businesses offset their high utilities bills.
Drought has led to increase in business
Each Californian uses an average of 181 gallons of water each day, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. With the rain shortage and such little water coming into the state, the government decided to take action to cut that number down. In April, California governor Jerry Brown passed an executive decision that ordered the state to reduce water use by 25 percent.
“Each Californian uses an average of 181 gallons of water each day.”
For laundromats, that decision has been a beneficial one. Instead of using their allocated water to wash clothes, residents go elsewhere and spend money at coin-operated laundry machines. According to the president of the Southern California Coin Laundry Association, Beverly Blank, many laundromat owners have seen a rise in business as a result of the governor’s ruling.
“More people will probably be coming to the laundromats because they’re going to want to save on their water consumption for which they’ve been allotted on the home front,” Blank said to American Coin-Op.
Water saving still important
Though many laundry businesses have seen a rise in customers during the drought, owners still must manage their washers with limited water resources. California has special rules for businesses which require water, and a violation of those laws can result in fines up to $500, the San Jose Mercury News Reported. The rules have forced business owners there to develop new strategies for saving money and resources.
Brian Brunckhorst, president of the Golden State Coin Laundry Association, said that water and sewer costs make up, on average, 10-15 percent of a laundromat’s gross monthly income.
Investing in water-efficient machines or reducing a washer’s water levels are other strategies some business owners take. If the drought continues and more people use instead of washing at home, profits could to grow.A top priority has been trying to not waste any water. Checking machines to ensure they are not leaking any water and working properly can go a long way for laundromat owners given the cost of water in that region of the country.
“It’s quite possible that the drought will actually drive businesses to laundromats and that the laundromats should be increasing their prices to account for the increased expenses,” Brunckhorst said. “It could be a boon to the laundromat business and actually be a positive thing, and not a negative thing.”