If you wash your car at home, there's a risk that detergent, dirt, oil, and brake dust will run down the driveway and into the nearest storm drain where it will discharge into a local stream. See the following tips to make sure that you are protecting the environment while keeping your car clean:
1. If possible, take your vehicle to a commercial car wash - water at car wash sites is regulated and sent to a wastewater treatment plant. Some commercial car washes also use a closed loop system to recycle and reuse their water from washes.
2. If you wash your car at home, choose environmentally-friendly detergents that are water-based, biodegradable, and/or non-toxic.
3. Wash your car on the grass or another unpaved surface, such as gravel or dirt, so that water can be naturally absorbed into the ground instead of flowing into a storm drain.
4. Turn off your hose while washing the car to prevent excess water from running off of your property.
5. Avoid pouring your bucket of soapy water onto your driveway or street. Instead, take it inside and pour it down the toilet or other drain that will send the water to a wastewater treatment plant.