Wash Aircraft

Water Conservation

You may have noticed that we have made some changes around the airport to do our part to conserve water. Specifically, we have installed a waterless urinal in the RHV men’s room, stopped watering the grass yards altogether, replaced the grass and dirt of the RHV dog run area with recycled synthetic field turf, and we have disconnect water at the aircraft wash rack. 

Not only are these good things to do to help ensure we all have drinking water in the future, many where mandated by either the water company or the state. Below are the rules published for San Jose Water Company and the city of San Jose. Of particular interest is item 7 which prohibits the use of potable water for washing vehicles.  We are not certain when these restrictions will be lifted, but do not anticipate that occurring for the foreseeable future. In the mean-time, there are many waterless tools available to clean your aircraft or you can contact one of the local aircraft detail businesses. 

San Jose Water ​Company Rules​​

The Governor is calling on all Californians to conserve 25% of 2013 usage. The Santa Clara Valley Water District is calling for a 30% reduction target from 2013 usage. SJWC is following the District’s recommendation and asking all customers to conserve 30% of 2013 usage. Most of the rules are focused on outdoor water use which accounts for half of the total use of an average household. New rules effective June 15, 2015 include:

  1. ​Customers must fix leaks, broken irrigation systems, or broken plumbing fixtures within 72 hours if notified to do so by San Jose Water Company.
  2. Watering days: Do not water outdoors more often than two (2) days per week. Even numbered addresses water on Tuesday and Friday and odd numbered addresses as well as properties with no address water on Monday and Thursday.
  3. No watering between 10:00 AM and 8:00 PM and irrigation cannot exceed fifteen (15) minutes per zone per day with exceptions made for zones exclusively using drip irrigation, low precipitation sprinkler heads that apply water at or less than 1.0 inches per hour, hose with a positive shutoff device, or hand held bucket or similar container.
  4. No irrigation can occur regardless of method that results in runoff.
  5. No use of drinking water for washing driveways, sidewalks, and other hard surfaced, non-porous areas.
  6. No irrigation use for 48 hours after measureable rainfall (1/4 inch).
  7. No washing of cars, buses, boats, aircraft, trailers or other vehicles, except at a commercial car washing facility that utilizes a re-circulating water system to capture and reuse water.
  8. No use of potable water for construction purposes, including washing streets, backfill, and dust control unless no other source of water or other method can be used.
  9. Operators of hotels and motels are to provide guests with the option of choosing not to have towels and linens laundered daily and promptly display notice of this option.
  10. No use of water for decorative fountains or the filling or topping off of decorative lakes or ponds. Exceptions are made for use of recycled water, or to sustain aquatic life, provided that such animals are of significant value and have been actively managed within the water feature prior to declaration of a supply shortage.
  11. No use of water for the complete filling or complete refilling of swimming pools.*
  12. No service of water by any restaurant except upon the request of the patron

* Topping off of pools up to one (1) foot is allowed.  Leaking pools that need repair are exempt.

City of San Jose - Business Water Conservation

Businesses Water Conservation Rules & Recommendations 

San José encourages all businesses to conserve water. Please follow these rules as they apply to your business: 

  1. Be cool — water when it’s coolest. Outdoor watering hours are restricted to before 10 a.m. and after 8 p.m. and on two designated days when using a sprinkler system:
    1. ​Odd numbere​d addresses may water on Mondays and Thursdays;
    2. Even numbered addresses may water on Tuesdays and Fridays;
    3. Properties without an address may water on Mondays and Thursdays
  2. Be quick — find and fix leaks as soon as possible. If notified of a leak in your system, fix it within 5 working days. Visit our leaks page to find out how to detect water leaks and fix them.
  3. Be trendy — use gray water (used sink water) to keep waste bins clean. 
  4. Be precise — provide customers with water only upon request.
  5. Be efficient — use low-flow spray valves when washing dishes by hand. Hand-held spraying fixtures for dishwashing must be fitted with low-flow spray valves that automatically shut off.       
  6. Be selective — make daily towel and linen service optional. Hotels must offer guests the option to help conserve water by having fresh towel and linen service only upon request.
  7. Be resourceful — use recycled water* for construction activities. Approved commercial uses of the recycled water system include grading, compaction, concrete wetting, dust control, landscape irrigation, pressure washing, and sewer flushing. Use of potable water from hydrants is prohibited. For more information on access to recycled water for the approved uses, please call South Bay Water Recycling at (408) 277-3671.

* Exemptions: The use of recycled water and gray water is exempt from the water conservation rules. There are nearly 800 recycled water customers in the South Bay so you may see landscaping at business, retail, municipal locations, medians and parks being watered during restricted times/days. Certified commercial truck fill customers may also use recycled water for other activities such as street sweeping and power washing. 

More tips to preserve our drinking water

 There are lots of ways to conserve. Shortening your shower by just 5 minutes can save 15 gallons indoors. Find more on water saving tips.​

City of San Jose Water Use Rules for Residents

Outdoor Water Conservation Rules & Recommendations* 

Outdoor water use is probably the easiest place to reduce water use since it accounts for roughly half of the average water bill. Please follow these rules:  

  1. ​Be cool – water when it’s cool, by HAND held hose with an automatic shut off nozzle or irrigation system before 10:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m. With a SPRINKLER system, water before 10:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m. only on two designated days:
    1. ​​​​​Odd numbered addresses may water on Mondays and Thursdays;
    2. Even numbered addresses may water on Tuesdays and Fridays;     
    3. Properties without an address may water on Mondays and Thursdays 
    4. Watering outdoors at other times is not allowed. Less evaporation occurs in the cooler evening and early morning hours — so you can use less water and your plants and landscape will absorb more of it.    
    5. Lawns are incredibly resilient and can tolerate the dry conditions of summer, if left alone. Letting your lawn go dormant and turn brown is okay. The grass will bounce back when rainfall and cool temperatures return in the fall and winter months. Learn more about .​
  2. Be trendy — use gray water (used water from baths, sinks) to wash your car, take it to a commercial car wash, or leave it dirty. No car washing with potable water.
  3. Be local — use community pools or the beach. No refilling residential pools/spas more than one foot and no initial filling with potable water, except when existing pools are drained to repair leaks.
  4. Be quick — fix water leaks as soon as possible. Fix visible leaks as soon as possible. If notified of a leak in your system, fix it within 5 working days. Visit our leaks page to find out how to detect water leaks and fix them.
  5. Be in control — don’t let water flow into gutters or streets. Beyond minor splashing of surfaces, sprinkler and drip systems and hand watering that cause water to flow into gutters and streets or that make large puddles is not allowed.
  6. Be a sharp shooter — with automatic shut-off nozzles. Hoses are required to have a nozzle that shuts off automatically when the handle is released. This helps you aim and control the water and can save many gallons.
  7. Be a sweeper — sweep hard surfaces. Use a broom instead of a hose to clean patios, sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, or other hard surfaces. Note: Hosing is allowed when health and safety issues are a concern.
  8. Be frugal — water less often and consider rebates. Many plants can survive on less water, especially when the weather starts to cool. Consider replacing lawns and thirsty plants with drought tolerant landscaping and get a rebate from the Santa Clara Valley Water District! For more information visit www.valleywater.org​.

*Exemptions: The use of recycled water and graywater is exempt from these rules. There are many recycled water users in the South Bay so you may see daylight watering in landscaping at business, retail, and municipal locations or in medians and parks that are connected to the recycled water system. 

 ** It’s best to use professional car washes which conserve water with recycling systems. If you wash your car yourself, park the car over a lawn if possible. Year round, it is not allowed to let anything but clean rain flow down a storm drain because they empty into our creeks where fish and wildlife live.  ​

Alternative Ways to Clean Your Airplane

A quick online search reveals many alternatives to the traditional way of washing an airplane. The list below is not a recommendation for any particular option, just an example of a few solutions we came across. 


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