Car washing

Do you&wash your car?
You shouldnt!

Well, its okay to wash it once in a while. But when you wash your car in your driveway, the dirty water runs down the driveway into the street and eventually into a catch basin. Storm sewers deliver this water, quite efficiently, directly to the nearest stream or lake. The wash water from the car may contain many pollutants, such as oils and grease, which will be delivered to the stream as well. And, the soap may contain phosphates, which promote weed and algae growth, limiting light penetration and the growth of aquatic vegetation. This in turn can reduce oxygen levels in the water.

What should you do?

  • Never use a catch basin to dispose of used water, cleaning solutions or anything else because catch basins take the water, UNTREATED, directly to Doan Brook.
  • Wash your car on grass rather than on driveways or hard surfaces.
  • Wash your car at a commercial facility that treats its water.
  • Use non-phosphate soap. Phosphates are nutrients that can cause environmental problems if washed into streams or ponds.


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EcoCity Cleveland
3500 Lorain Avenue, Suite 301, Cleveland OH 44113
Cuyahoga Bioregion
(216) 961-5020
Copyright 2002-2003

Tips for helping urban streams
Helping Doan Brook
What is a watershed?
Steps to help urban streams
Reducing impervious surfaces
Rain barrels
Pet waste management
Car washing
Integrated pest management

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