Washing your car at home is dirty business. When you wash your car in the street or a parking lot, toxic motor oil, brake pad dust, tire wear and other chemical residues – along with soap – go down storm drains and ditches. These storm drains and ditches flow, untreated, into the waterways we swim, fish and play in.
Dirty wash water contains oil, solvents, anti-freeze and toxic heavy metals such as zinc, lead, and copper. All of these enter Puget Sound – or the waterways that flow into Puget Sound – when we wash our cars on the street, in our driveways or in the parking lot.
Soap is a significant problem and is harmful to fish and the insects they eat. Even biodegradable soap can kill fish before it degrades.
IT ALL ADDS UP:
Keep dirty car wash water out of local waterways. Wash your car at a commercial car wash.
In rural areas, where commercial car washes are not available, wash your car on grass to filter the wash water and let it soak into the ground before it reaches a ditch or stream.
Puget Sound Carwash Association – http://www.pscarwash.org