Car Wash - Residential

Whether you live next to a creek or a mile from one, you may be polluting it unintentionally. One of the most common ways this can occur is by washing your car at home either in your driveway or on your street. Oil & grease, automotive fluids, brake and exhaust dust, which contain heavy metals, are all pollutants, which end up in our creeks. Soaps, even biodegradable soaps, are toxic to wildlife. Listed below are some steps you can take to prevent pollutants from entering our creeks when your car needs a bath.

  1. Rinse cars with water only, do not use any soap. Anything other than storm water will affect the wildlife in the receiving waters.
  2. Wash cars on a lawn or other unpaved surface where dirty wash water won’t flow into a driveway, street, gutter, or storm drain.
  3. Empty your bucket of soapy water into a sink or toilet. This will direct the waste water to our treatment plant where it will be treated. (Residential wash water only) 
  4. Better yet; take your car to a commercial carwash, which treats their wash water and discharges to the sanitary sewer for further treatment.

Just remember any pollutant, even soap, that enters a storm drain will affect the habitat in our creeks and Bay.



Learn More.

5072 Benson Road

Union City, CA 94587-2508

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