Where is there information about pressure washing cars?
Information about pressure washing vehicles is available from "Pressure Wash/Power Wash Discharges" [http://www.epa.gov/earth1r6/6en/w/pw.htm], which notes that:
EPA recommends that companies or individuals take their vehicles to car washes*. If a car wash is not available, NPDES permit requirements may be avoided and impacts on waters of the United States minimized if vehicles are washed in a vegetated or grassy area where the wash water will be absorbed into the ground instead of allowing it to run into the street and then into a storm drain. There may be additional requirements if chemicals (detergents, waxes, etc.) are improperly used or if the absorbed water will reach an underground water body.
*A properly operated car wash discharges all of its wash water to a municipal sanitary sewer system that treats the wastewater before discharging from the wastewater treatment plant to waters of the U.S. Most municipalities have a pretreatment program requiring car washes to perform some type of pretreatment such as discharging through a sand filter and grease trap.
You can also view "Managing Vehicle Washing to Prevent Contamination of Drinking Water" [http://www.epa.gov/safewater/sourcewater/pubs/fs_swpp_vehicle.pdf], which notes that "vehicle wash water can carry sediment and contaminants to surface waters, and can contaminate groundwater by infiltration or by drainage to subsurface wells and/or septic systems."
For information about wastewater permits, contact the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting program at http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/npdes/NPDES-Contacts.cfm.
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- Topic #: 23002-24480
- Date Created: 6/21/2005
- Last Modified Since: 1/30/2015
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