Car washing detergentsDetergents used while washing your vehicle can cause stormwater pollution. Use the following tips to reduce water usage and to reduce your impact on the environment.

  • Use a commercial car wash facility. Water from these facilities is plumbed into the sanitary sewer or recycled on site. They also collect any grease and metal dust (like copper from brake pads) that comes off your vehicle during washing.
  • Wash your vehicle on grass or landscaped areas. This reduces the amount of water discharged to the storm sewer system.
  • Make sure not to wash your vehicle on surfaces without any ground cover (i.e. bare dirt) this may cause sediment to run into the storm sewer system.
  • Do not use harsh chemicals. Degreasers, solvents, and other chemicals can cause stormwater contamination.

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    Oil bottles and drip pan
  • Keep your vehicles in good repair to prevent automotive fluids from leaking onto the streets.
  • If you have a leaky vehicle, fix leaks as soon as possible and use a drip pan to collect leaks until the vehicle is repaired.
  • Use a drip pan or drop cloth when changing motor oil and all other automotive fluids.
  • If you have a spill, use old towels, kitty litter or sand to absorb automotive fluids. Sweep up used absorbent materials immediately and put them in the trash.
  • Take all used oil to a used oil recycling facility. Call 1-800-CLEANUP for the location nearest your home. Many auto parts stores offer oil recycling services.
  • Save used oil and other used automotive fluids and dispose of them at a household hazardous waste collection event in your community.
  • All major vehicle maintenance and repair should be performed at a licensed and environmentally responsible auto repair facility.

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