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Where You Wash Your Ride Matters

Where You Wash Your Ride Matters

By Julia Hillegass

Public Information & Community Affairs Administrator

Everyone says, “If you don’t like the weather in Hampton Roads, wait a bit, it’ll change.” Daylight savings time starts this weekend and I’m looking forward to some more gorgeous weather. At the first hint of a sunny day I like to give my car, Miss Olive, a bath. I typically head to my local car wash, not because I’m lazy, but because at a commercial car wash they often recycle the water and any soap and grime is sent, via the sanitary sewer, to the wastewater treatment plant.

Keeping the soap, grime, road treatment chemicals and petroleum residues out of our local waterways helps improve water quality and protects the abundant local fish and shellfish we all enjoy. If you are a true DIYer, simply washing your car on the grass will allow the soil to filter out the soap and other pollutants. Washing on your driveway or other paved surface is not desirable because this directs the wash water directly to the storm drain system. Our storm drains are designed to manage flooding and provide no treatment to the water they carry. So the next time you decide your car needs a bath, make sure to do your part because clean waterways begin with YOU!

Car wash

Remember, where you wash your car has an impact.