When faced with a widespread drought earlier this year, officials in the city of Birmingham, Alabama implemented water restrictions for local residents. The new rules set up fees to be charged for at-home water usage and people were discouraged from watering their lawns and washing their cars in the driveway. While it might seem like something a water-based business would have to fear, the restrictions have actually boosted sales at some nearby car washes.
WIAT.com reports that customers have flocked to nearby car washes in light of the restrictions. The city has not yet entered a level five drought emergency and so businesses such as car washes are allowed to operate as usual. Should the drought worsen, that might change. But for now, car washes are benefitting.
And in the meantime, if anyone is caught violating the new restrictions they could face penalties. In addition, the city is adding a 40 percent surcharge for water usage that will be reflected in the Dec. 4 invoices for utilities. Those surcharges were implemented by the Birmingham Water Works Board.
“We have some great customers. We believe that they will listen to the things that we’ve recommended and they will accept those ordinances and this drought plan and help us not get to stage 5,” said Darryl Jones, Assistant General Manager at Birmingham Water Works.
If you’re in an area experiencing similar droughts, you might have also seen an uptick in customers. This trend is expected to continue in Birmingham unless the drought worsens and non-essential outdoor water use is prohibited.