Car WashInformation about:
* Home car washing
* Fund-raiser car washes
* Mobile vehicle washing operations
* Commercial car washes
Washing or steam cleaning vehicles produces residual wash water containing petroleum hydrocarbons, oils, greases, other organic compounds, nutrients, heavy metals, and suspended solids. Dirty, soapy water going to local storm drains can harm water quality, as well as fish and wildlife in our streams, lakes, and Puget Sound.
It is illegal to discharge untreated wash water to storm water drainage systems (regulations: Revised Code of Washington 90.48, Bremerton Municipal Code 15.04.120).
The Solution is Simple!
Home Car Washing
- Take your car to a commercial car wash. These businesses are properly connected to the sewer system where the wastewater is treated. Some car washes even recycle their wash water. The following commercial car washes are located within the City of Bremerton: Shur Kleen at 3311 Kitsap Way (recycles), the 76 Station at Burwell and Montgomery (recycles), the Texaco on Werner (recycles), Auto Center Car Wash on 1st & Bruenn, The Car Wash at 2410 Wheaton Way, Shur Kleen Car Wash on Wheaton Way, and Albertson's on Wheaton Way.
- Wash with mild detergents on an area that allows the water to soak into the ground, such as gravel, grass, or loose soil. Do not wash your car on a paved driveway or street where contaminated water can enter the storm system.
- Manage your polluted waste water. Carwashes held in locations where the water will drain into a sanitary sewer are allowed within the City of Bremerton. All other charity carwashes must conform to the Ecology Best Management Practices Manual #WQ-R-95-056 (see web site below). The property owner hosting the charity car wash is liable for any environmental damage caused by the event.
- Your nonprofit organization can sell car wash coupons redeemable at select car washes. This is an environmentally friendly alternative. For more information, call the Puget Sound Car Wash Association Charity Car Wash Program at (206) 622-8425 or www.charitycarwash.org.
- Kitsap County Public Works also has a Fundraising Made Easy car wash program for nonprofit groups within Kitsap County. Call (360) 697-1144 or visit www.kitsapgov.com/sswm/carwash.htm.
Commercial/ Fleet Vehicle Washing
- Select and pave an area to wash vehicles, discharge wash water from vehicle cleaning operations to a sanitary sewer, holding tank, or process treatment system or use an enclosed recycling system. If area is uncovered, Department of Ecology practices must be followed.
- Wash areas should be well marked with signs showing where and how washing is to be done. Engine or part cleaning may be done in a designated wash area. This is only if the area is paved and no petroleum products are used (detergents or surfactants may be used). The local sewer authority must grant approval to discharge wash water to the sewer system. The wash water must be discharged to a sanitary sewer, and the area equipped with a process treatment system approved by the City.
- Oil changes and other engine maintenance should not be conducted in the designated vehicle washing area.
- It is ok to rinse down the body of the vehicle with just cold water without doing any wash water control practices.
- Use automatic shut-off hose nozzles to save water.
- Stay away from cleansers with "Caution", "Danger" or "Warning" on the labels.
- Avoid cleansers with chlorine, chlorine bleach, nitrates, phosphates, and ammonia.
- Use a waterless car wash product.
- Make your own cleaning solution using non-toxic household ingredients.
- Car wash coupons make a great gift!
For more information on these environmentally friendly car wash practices check out the Department of Ecology homepage at www.ecy.wa.gov for publication #WQ-R-95-056 on wash water discharge.