When you wash cars on the street, driveway, or in a parking lot, the water cannot be absorbed by these hard surfaces.
Water from washing cars may contain oils, greases, solvents, detergents and other pollutants runs directly into the storm drains, which is not treated, but instead empties directly into our local waterways. This degrades water quality and harms aquatic life in our streams, rivers and ocean.
Things You Can Do
Wash your car at a commercial car wash where waste water is captured and drains to the sanitary sewer.
When washing your car at home, wash on an area that absorbs water such as grass or gravel.
Use biodegradable, phosphate-free waster-based cleaners only.
Minimize water usage. Use a hose nozzle with flow restrictions to minimize water volume.
Empty wash buckets into sinks or toilets.
When planning a car wash fundraiser, partner with a commercial car wash facility. Consider selling car wash tickets instead of actually washing cars.
*COMING SOON! Want to have a car wash as a fundraiser for your organization? Car wash kits for hosting environmentally friendly car washes are being developed for groups to check out. Each kit will contain everything you need to keep runoff out of the storm drains. Check back for updates.