Soap Pollutes, Consider Alternatives
Runoff from vehicle washing can harm water quality unintentionally because it often contains detergents, metals and oils that can reach streams and Puget Sound. All soaps, even biodegradable ones, are toxic to fish. Below are some tips to help you choose how to wash your vehicle safely.
Washing at home
- Wash your car on grass or landscaped areas. Even on grassy areas, make sure you use the smallest amount of soap possible, and make sure it's free of phosphates.
- Take your car to a commercial car wash.
At your business/fleet washing
- Use a commercial car wash facility
- Wash on grass or landscaped areas, with only cold water. Wash 10 or fewer vehicles per week.
- Collect the wash water and dispose into the sanitary sewer.
- Install a designated wash area with the proper treatment facilities. For information on design, or site-specific improvements to your property, contact us or 360.337.5777. Be sure to get the proper permits for any improvements.
Fundraiser car washing
Fundraiser car washes can be a great way for youth and community groups to raise money for special events and programs. However, runoff from vehicle washing is toxic to our local streams, lakes, and Puget Sound. You can find some ideas for alternatives to fundwasher car washes here.