Why shouldn’t I wash my car at home, I use biodegradable soap?

When washing cars (PDF), the water runoff can enter the storm drains. This puts pollutants such as grease/oil, dirt, metals and soap to our local creeks. Even biodegradable soaps require oxygen to breakdown, depleting our creeks of the oxygen fish and other organisms need to survive. Also, just because the soap breaks down, doesn’t mean it breaks down into components that should be in the water. It is best to take your car to a car wash where the water is discharged to the sanitary sewer system or wash your car on a lawn or other surface where the water can be drained down and filtered through the soil.

Show All Answers

1. Is there a difference between the storm drain and sewer system?
2. What is a watershed and how do I affect it?
3. Why should I recycle used motor oil?
4. There’s oil in the street in front of my house. What should I do about it?
5. Can I drain my pool into the storm drain?
6. Leaves and yard clipping are organic. Why can’t I put them down the storm drain?
7. If I can’t dump left over chemicals into the sanitary sewer, what can I do with them?
8. Why shouldn’t I wash my car at home, I use biodegradable soap?
9. It’s okay to rinse my paint supplies out in the gutter, right?
10. What am I supposed to do with my dirty mop water; I don’t want to dump it in my clean sink.