Clean Cars, Clean Creeks!

Though a time-honored tradition, we now know that washing your car in your driveway or on a neighborhood street pollutes waterways via storm drains. The rinse water from your car contains road grime, oil, grease, heavy metals, and soap. Even small amounts of these pollutants are toxic to fish and other aquatic animals.

Letting your car wash water go into a storm drain not only pollutes your lakes and creeks, it’s also against the law (Kirkland Municipal Code Chapter 15.52).

What can you do? Wash your car at a commercial car wash. They are required to send polluted wash water to the sanitary sewer system, which cleans and treats water before it is discharged to Puget Sound. If you wash your car at home, wash it on a grassy or gravel area, where the wash water will soak into the soil and won’t drain directly to a storm drain.

What about car wash fundraisers?

If hosting a car wash fundraiser, make sure to borrow a required Car Wash Kit from Kirkland City Hall to keep dirty car wash water out of creeks and lakes, or consider raising money by selling commercial car wash tickets through the Charity Car Wash Program instead.

For more information, visit the Public Works site.

This article was provided by Erin Hislop, on behalf of the City of Kirkland.

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