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Keeping our Waterways Clean at the Car Wash

Keeping our Waterways Clean at the Car Wash

Full Service Car Wash sign in a vintage style with an drawn graphic of an orange carIn a new partnership, askHRgreen.org and our Bay Star Business program are teaming up with local commercial car washes to show appreciation to customers for washing their cars responsibly. Our “Thank You for Washing Wisely” initiative will launch in July at car wash businesses throughout Hampton Roads.

When you choose to wash your car at a commercial car wash facility, you’re helping to protect water quality in Hampton Roads. Here’s why: When vehicles are washed on a hard surface (such as a driveway, parking lot, or street), the soapy wash water picks up dirt, grease, oil and other pollutants as it travels across the pavement to the storm drain system. From there, the polluted water is carried directly into local waterways. It’s like washing your car in the Chesapeake Bay! Commercial car washes, on the other hand, recycle some of the wash water and send dirty water into the sanitary sewer system, where it is treated to remove harmful pollutants before being returned to the environment.

Whether you frequent a self-serve station or a full-service wash-and-wax business, pat yourself on the back for helping to keep our waterways clean. And if you are a do-it-yourselfer at home, you can also do your part to protect water quality by washing on a grassy area, which can safely absorb the wash water.

If you own or operate a local car wash business, please join askHRgreen.org as a Bay Star Business partner and help spread the word that washing the commercial way is good for our waterways!

Image of a car going through a commercial car wash with soap spraying on the car

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September 8, 2020 - Katie Cullipher, Principal Environmental Eduction Planner
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