For over decade, up until two years ago, Bend resident Calvin Andrus lived the quintessential Central Oregon life. He worked construction and dreamed of ways to change careers. His first business venture was a video production company called, 4Locked Films. Alongside a few business partners, Andrus released two full length DVDs documenting motor-sports enthusiasts and their travels. A change in the media market led to the company’s eventual demise, but left Andrus undeterred in looking for a change in employment.
“The grind of being one of thousands doing the same thing led me to the water reclaim pressure washing business,” says Andrus. “This style pressure washing was something I hadn’t seen anyone locally doing, even though the laws and code are in place.”
Currently a one-man operation, Calvin Andrus Construction, LLC has specialized in eco-friendly, EPA-compliant commercial pressure washing since 2012. While surface cleaning and removal of toxic sludge is the core of the business, the real benefit of their services lie in compliance with local and federal laws and codes in the pressure washing industry.
The crux of the regulations lies in proper water usage and pollutant discharge. The primary federal law governing water pollution, the Clean Water Act of 1972, amended in 1987, made it unlawful to discharge any pollutant from a point source into navigable waters, unless a permit was obtained. Andrus’s main path to maintaining EPA-compliance is knowledge and procedures. Included is a general knowledge of how our local wastewater/storm water systems work, various methods of pressure washing effluents containment and proper disposal of effluents once contained. Andrus has an agreement with Red Carpet Carwash in Bend to use their contained outdoor wash bay for routine cleanings and equipment maintenance. The periodic cleaning of filters allows for efficiently-operating equipment.
“The main technique that I utilize on every hard surface job is containing and capturing my waste water before it enters a storm drain, river or waterway,” explains Andrus.
Calvin Andrus LLC’s first order of business on a job site is determining the flow of wastewater runoff and the best way to contain it. Next, he minimizes the possible contaminants in the wastewater by conducting a pre-cleaning of the site, including a trash detail, sweeping and use of oil absorbents. The final step, proper disposal, is achieved by a filtering and oil removal process. The combined technique has allowed Calvin Andrus LLC to be approved by the cities of Bend, Redmond and Madras to dispose of the remaining effluents into the sanitary sewer.
“In order to keep a pressure washing business profitable and EPA-compliant or eco-friendly, proper equipment is crucial,” says Andrus.
Andrus uses a high-powered wet vacuum in conjunction with multiple tanks for both fresh and waste water. The system resembles a carpet cleaner, but is larger and specifically designed to clean hard surfaces such as concrete, tile or commercial kitchen non-slip flooring.
Andrus sites multiple reasons for the importance of, “green cleaning.” Locally, Central Oregonians live in close proximity to the Deschutes River and its tributaries. Our city’s infrastructure creates a dangerously direct path for effluents and other improperly managed waste to make it to the rivers. On a global level, environmentally-sensitive techniques are becoming the necessary standard for water conservation and maintaining healthy habitats.
From a business standpoint, using environmentally-friendly practices is more than being a good neighbor or having a smart marketing plan. Using proper cleaning techniques can save you from being fined by the city, or in extreme cases, the federal government. While the city’s main goal is to educate before enforcement, there is a potential for citations for not following the code.
Calvin Andrus LLC, a member of United Association of Mobile Contract Cleaners, provides vital cleaning services to Central Oregon businesses. Jobs include, but are not limited to, preservation of hard surfaces, beautification and restoration, truck pressure washing, graffiti removal and indoor rubber floor cleaning. Over the course of this year, Andrus hopes to expand his equipment and add a full-time employee.
“My main goal is making people and businesses aware of what we do. I feel like every restaurant in town could benefit from our services,” says Andrus.
Calvin Andrus Construction, LLC
CEO: Calvin Andrus
No. Employees: 1
Year Established: 2012
Product/Service: EPA, local municipality and state regulatory compliance during pressure washing services. Water reclamation of commercial cleaning and construction effluents. commercial/residential/industrial pressure cleaning, graffiti removal, wet sandblasting and concrete restoration.
Hot News: Specialized in eco-friendly, EPA-compliant commercial pressure washing since 2012
Outlook for Growth: Maintaining EPA-compliance.