La Ecologica Car Wash

A Permaculture design course leads to a water-saving business endeavor.

Using what he learned in a permaculture design course, Ernesto Rivero Suarez created the La Ecologica Car Wash, which makes use of a system not used anywhere else in Cuba, he claims, allowing him to clean and recycle greywater and rainwater, in a continuous and closed cycle, so that they can be used to clean cars without using drinking water. “I have built rainwater harvesting spaces around the house, this is then channeled through pipes to a 5 cubic meter cistern, and then this collected water is then pumped to an overhead tank that supplies the water we use in our work.”

Ernesto also clarifies that this is a closed cycle and, therefore, the water used to clean the cars is “recovered”; that is to say, this industrial water passes through a grease trap and a gravel filter to then return to the cistern and be used again. With Cuba having suffered severe drought in recent years, the innovator couldn’t only depend on rainwater, so he has set up two plumbing connections to separate blackwater waste from the rest. “Water from the sink and shower pass through the same system, so I can also use that to wash cars. To tell you the truth, I have more water than I need,” he says smiling.

-Havana Times