About Vehicle Maintenance and Car Washing

Don’t drip and drive! When it rains and as snow melts, runoff carries pollutants such as oil, antifreeze, gas, transmission fluid and other products down storm drains, contaminating our rivers, streams and lakes. Small leaks and drips add up.

Did You Know?
  • Washing your car in the driveway can send about 120 gallons of grime-filled water downstream. The soap, together with dirt, grease and grime flows untreated into nearby storm drains, which run directly to rivers, lakes and streams.
  • Lack of routine vehicle maintenance can be a leading contributor to stormwater pollution because runoff carries pollutants such as soap, oil, antifreeze, gas, transmission fluid and other products to local waterways.
  • One gallon of used motor oil can contaminate up to one million gallons of water. Dumping oil where it can get into our drainage system is like dumping it directly into our streams and rivers.
  • These pollutants are harmful to the environment and the natural aquatic ecosystems.

What You Can Do

  • Use a commercial car wash, where water is recycled and sent to treatment facilities.
  • If you do wash your car at home:
    • Use eco-friendly soap.
    • Wash your car on the lawn or gravel to prevent the excess water from going down storm drains.
    • Dump your soapy bucket in the sink or toilet, not the driveway or ground.
  • Perform vehicle maintenance where chemicals and fluids cannot be washed into a storm drain.
  • Check your vehicles or any motor craft for leaks. If you find any, place an oil pan or other container under the vehicle to capture the leaking material.
  • Recycle motor oil.
  • Recycle other automotive fluids.