Washing your car at home may seem like an economic alternative to a car wash, but without the proper equipment it is very harmful to Kenmore’s natural water bodies. When washing your car, there are many pollutants lurking on the sides of your vehicle—dirt, oil, gasoline, and even heavy metals. If these get rinsed into the catch basins by your house, they will directly enter the storm water system. Even biodegradable soap is a harmful pollutant!
There are several ways to help reduce the amount of car wash related pollutants entering the system:
- Going to a professional car wash or a self-serve car wash is the best solution. These buildings are equipped with the proper equipment and sanitary sewer facilities to handle and dispose of dirty water.
- Using a bucket of water instead of a hose can help to reduce (not eliminate) polluted water from entering the storm system. When you are finished with the bucket, dump it down the sink so it will dump into the sewer system instead.
- Diverting wastewater can also help to reduce car wash water in the storm system. As well as leaving the dirty water on a permeable surface like grass or gravel allowing it to infiltrate at the site instead of entering the nearest catch basin.
If your vehicle is leaking, it is imperative that you either fix it or take it to a mechanic as soon as you are aware of the problem. Your car will be depositing pollutants everywhere you drive and park, making one small source very pervasive. Gasoline, engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, antifreeze, and even wiper fluid can be very harmful when left untreated.