When we wash our cars on the street, oil and soapy water runs into the gutter, down the storm drain and straight to the creeks and ocean. Pollutants associated with wash water include dirt, oil, fuel residues, metals, paint, and any cleaners used, such as acid, solvent, detergents, or degreasers. Biochemical processes break down pollution in the water, using oxygen that aquatic organisms need to survive.
- Wash your car at a commercial car wash where the water is collected and treated.
- If you wash your vehicle at home, wash your car on grass or gravel to absorb the water, and do not let wash water reach the street.
- Use a shutoff nozzle on your hose and do not use much soap.
- Do not dump excess water on the driveway, in the gutter, or down the storm drain.
- Leftover water should be poured down a household sink so that it will flow to the wastewater treatment plant.