The chemicals and cleaners you use to wash your vehicle can pollute waterbodies since they travel, untreated, through the storm drain system and into our lakes, rivers, and streams. Commercial car washes are the best places to wash your vehicle because they collect, treat, and properly dispose of the wash water.
If you must wash your vehicle at home:
- Make sure that the wash water flows to a lawn, garden, or gravel area and does not enter the street or storm drains. If you live in the City of Chico, use the City’s car wash kit to block off the storm drain or make your own kit at home. Visit the City of Chico Car Wash Kit Page to reserve your kit or to learn more (Note: you do not need to be a resident of the City of Chico to reserve a car wash kit).
- Reduce the amount of soap and chemicals you use and consider using biodegradable alternatives.
- Minimize your water use by using a bucket and sponge or a hose with a trigger nozzle.
Planning a car wash fundraiser? Although this can be a great way to raise money for worthy causes, it’s important to remember to protect our local creeks and wildlife when considering this type of event. Visit the City of Chico's Car Wash Fundraisers Page for some alternate fundraising ideas and how you can safely have a car wash fundraiser by making sure wash water and chemicals don’t end up down our storm drains.