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Car Wash


Car washing woes.

Did you know that washing your car can cause harm to our local waterways?

When vehicles are washed on hard surfaces (like streets, parking lots or driveways) the wash water picks up soap, dirt, grease and other pollutants as it travels across the hard surface to the storm drain system. From there, the polluted water is carried directly into our streams, Bay and ocean – polluting the water we swim in and harming aquatic life.

However, commercial car washes recycle some of the wash water, and the dirty water does not get into our local waterways because it goes into the sanitary sewer system.

  • Wash your car on an area that absorbs water such as your lawn. Your lawn can filter water before it enters local waterways.
  • Avoid washing cars on concrete or asphalt pavement unless it drains into a vegetated area.
  • Use a hose nozzle with flow restrictions to minimize water volume and runoff.
  • Use biodegradable, phosphate-free, water-based cleaners.
  • Wring out sponges and rags into a bucket instead of on the pavement.
  • Always empty wash buckets into sinks or toilets.
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