Commercial car washes, on the other hand, recycle some of the wash water and send dirty water into the sanitary sewer system, where it is treated to remove harmful pollutants before being returned to the environment.
GOOD TO DO
- Use a commercial car wash to wash your vehicles, when possible.
- Use biodegradable, phosphate-free, water-based cleaners only.
- Minimize water usage and runoff by using a hose nozzle with flow restrictions.
- Wash on an area that absorbs water, such as gravel or grass. These surfaces can filter water before it enters local waterways. Avoid washing cars on concrete or asphalt pavement unless it drains into a vegetated area.
- Place plastic sheeting and then a heavy rubber mat over the storm drain area to prevent wash water from entering the stormwater system. Rolled up towels can be placed around the edge of the mat to increase its watertightness.
- Use sandbags, rolled towels, hoses or other materials to divert the water runoff to an area that absorbs water, such as gravel or grass.
- Wring sponges and rags into a bucket instead of onto the ground.
- Always empty wash buckets into a sink, toilet or vegetated area — never onto driveways, roads or into storm drains.