A short, four-question survey conducted by CFR in March 2011 queried 581 carpet cleaners on water-related issues and carpet cleaning.*  According to Jolynn Kennedy, marketing manager for CFR, the survey indicated that carpet cleaning technicians are well aware that the carpet extraction process can require large volumes of water.
 
For instance, one question asked the respondents: true or false, to clean 15,000 square feet of carpeting, a portable carpet extractor may use as much as 200 gallons of water.
 
According to Kennedy, "Nearly 56 percent agreed with this statement, which, based on our studies, is correct."
 
However, the responses to another question did not jibe with her company's recent research.
 
"We asked, again true or false, if a conventional portable carpet extractor can use as much as 1 gallon of water per minute. In this case most of the respondents said no."
 
Kennedy says that many portable extractors today do use about one gallon of water per minute and that older machines may use even more.
 
The following were the responses to the two other questions on the survey:
• Asked, true or false, if a recycling/filtering portable extractor uses about 1/7 the water of a conventional extractor, 78 percent knew the answer was true.

• Asked, true or false, if it takes about 15 minutes each time a portable extractor must be emptied and refilled, 56 percent answered correctly with true.
 
"In doing our research for the White Paper, we were actually surprised how much time it does take to empty and refill the machine," says Kennedy. "When [this time is] converted into dollars and cents, it really adds up."
 
*64 people completed the survey