Ocean Safe Car Washes

Did you know?

  • A single “driveway car wash” can use up to 100 gallons of water- enough water to take four, five-minute showers!
  • Compared to the average driveway car wash, commercial car wash facilities with reclamation systems can reduce the amount of water used per vehicle anywhere from 50-85%.
  • Runoff, especially when contaminated with detergent and cleaning chemicals, can contain high levels of phosphorous and nitrogen. When these elements travel through the storm drain system and enter bodies of water, they can cause excessive blooms of algae that use a lot of oxygen in the system. Many of fish and other aquatic animals die because there is not enough oxygen to support life in these “dead zones.”
  • Runoff from driveways is highly concentrated in petroleum hydrocarbon waste (gas, diesel, and motor oil). Hydrocarbon waste can cause harm to plants and animals through direct contact or accidental ingestion and may lead to the additional destruction of habitats and ecological systems.

Why choose a local “ocean safe” car wash?

  • Taking your car to the local car wash is a great way to reduce runoff and protect the environment.
  • When you wash your car at home, water concentrated with detergents, gasoline, oils and other chemicals discharges into streams, rivers, or other waterways which make their way out into the ocean.
  • This contaminated water has the potential to cause damage to plant and animal life and infiltrate local water supplies.
  • When you take your car to the car wash, you can rest assured that any water used in the process will be diverted into the sewer system where it is treated, or into an on-site reclamation system, so that the water can be directly recycled for future washes.
  • Many commercial car washes today are water efficient and use much less water per vehicle than one would use during an average home wash.




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