Car Washing is Harmful to the Environment
When you wash your car on a compacted surface, the runoff containing soap, heavy metals, road grime, greases, and oils can enter the storm drains.
Unlike sanitary drains, storm drains usually run directly into creeks, ponds, and lakes. Untreated runoff destroys aquatic habitat, harms fish, and degrades water quality. Even biodegradable soaps may be harmful to fish!
What Can You Do?
If you are washing your car at home, find a grassy area that will soak up the runoff before it can reach a drain or ditch. Conserve water! Use a spray gun with flow restriction to minimize water volume and runoff. Empty your wash buckets into sinks or toilets.
Use a Commercial Car Wash Facility
Instead of washing your car at home, use a commercial car wash facility. Commercial car wash facilities are required to send their runoff into the sanitary sewer where it is treated at a treatment plant. Commercial systems are also designed to use less water per car than the average car wash at home. They also reuse their water several times before sending it to a treatment plant.