Car Wash & Power Wash – Without Harming Streams
The best place to wash your car is at a commercial car wash. Commercial car washes are required to trap grease, oil, grime, soap and dirt onsite. They then send this filtered wash water to the Water Pollution Control Plant, where it is further cleaned and treated.
Why is it better not to wash your car on the driveway? Wash water can run off into the street, enter a storm drain, and flow into a neighborhood stream, affecting fish and other aquatic life. It can contain brake dust, grease, and heavy metals. Only rain in the storm drain!
How can I wash my car or pressure wash at home without harming neighborhood streams? If you do wish to wash your car or pressure wash at home, position the car and the water spray so that wash water flows to a grassed or landscaped area. Limit your detergent use, and block flow of water to the street using rags or other absorbent material. Always pour out your used wash water indoors in a utility sink.
White sudsy water in a stream is usually associated with car washing, pressure-washing or other detergent discharge. If you see this in an Arlington stream, call 703-558-2222 to report it right away.