Upscale Durham business uses outdoor water

January 28, 2008 9:00:00 PM PST
Water recycling is encouraged by Durham authorities, especially when people want to wash their cars.

We saw Michael Whitaker doing that at a commercial car wash on Fayetteville Road.

"I was thinking about just washing at home," he said," and I really don't feel as guilty as I would if using 'new' water, because it's recycled."

That's a smart choice, since if caught washing his car at home, he could be fined for violating Durham's water conservation rules which prohibit outdoor car washing in most cases.

Once he heard that, Whitaker said, "I don't want any trouble! So I feel like I was doing the right thing by coming here."

He was surprised to see pictures posted on this blog showing expensive cars getting washed recently outside 11 Duke Street.

Inside the building is the Ingram Collection, a privately owned business specializing in Porsches.

No one answered a buzzer outside the building when we tried to ask about the source of the water used on those Porsches. But a few minutes later, a worker came outside, took our number, and said he'd call us back.

We're not the only ones with questions about the water used to wash those cars. Reached by phone, Vicki Westbrook of Durham Water Management says she has seen the pictures and information on the Bull City Rising blog, and she is investigating.

Westbrook, and Eyewitness News, have left messages with the business owner asking for details about the water that washed the Porsches. We were told he's traveling, but were assured he'd be notified of our request for an interview. We'll let you know when he calls back.

Whitaker's looking forward to hearing an explanation. "Because I think everybody in the city of Durham should do their part to help conserve the water."


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