Charles County, Maryland

Proper Car Care and Washing

Proper Car Care and Washing

Car washing and care to reduce stormwater pollution:

Car wash waste water contains many pollutants, such as heavy metals, fine dust and dirt, soaps and cleaners that can pollute nearby streams if it’s not treated or infiltrated.

  • Use a commercial car wash that recycles its water and sends it to a WWTP for treatment.
  • When washing at home, wash your car on pervious surfaces where the water can infiltrate into the ground instead of running off impervious driveways and streets.
  • Check for leaks and fix them immediately, use drip pans to prevent leaks from contaminating stormwater runoff.
  • Never pour vehicle waste into storm drains; store and dispose of vehicle waste properly.   Dumping used motor oil into storm drains is illegal.  Heavy metals and other toxins contaminate the soil and water sources posing a health hazard to people and the environment.  Used motor oil is the single largest source of oil pollution.  Recycle your used motor oil.
  • Keep your car tuned up, smooth running cars burn less fuel and regular tune-ups also reduce the amount of pollutes in the car’s exhaust.
  • Use alternatives sources of transportation than your car, carpool, take the bus, bike or walk to your destination. 
  • Salt pollutes waterways and groundwater; it also can kill grass and trees, as well as corroding metals.  Shovel driveways and sidewalks before the snow gets packed down and icy instead of using salt.  Use sand for traction where needed and sweep the sand up after the snow melts to keep it out of stormwater drains and steams.