FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|| May 11, 2012
Mindy Fohn, Water Quality Manager
Sell car wash coupons as alternative to traditional parking lot fundraisers
(Port Orchard, WA) – With warmer weather finally
here, many groups may consider holding a car wash to raise money. In Kitsap
County, local car wash operators and Kitsap County Surface and Stormwater
Management Program “team up” on an alternative to parking lot
fundraisers—the Fundraiser Car Wash Program. This program allows groups to
sell coupons good for a basic car wash at commercial car washes at locations
throughout the county. To get started, contact the Program Administrator at
360-697-1144. You can learn more about the program at the link shown at the
end of this release.
“Water from car washing contains pollutants, and we want to make sure that
this wash water does not end up in our streams and Puget Sound,” says Mindy
Fohn, Water Quality Manager for Kitsap County’s Surface and Stormwater
Management Program. “One of the most effective ways to keep vehicle wash
water out of our waterways is to wash vehicles at a commercial car wash.”
Commercial property owners, such as a gas station or church, are responsible
for preventing wash water from leaving their site and entering storm drains.
“We are working with property owners to find solutions so that polluted
runoff, including runoff from car washes, stays out of the storm system and
therefore out of Puget Sound. Those considering hosting a fundraiser car
wash are welcome to contact us for technical assistance on how best to
dispose of this water responsibly,” says Fohn.
Car Washing at Home
When washing your car at home, wash it on the grass, gravel, or in an area
where the wash water drains to a vegetated area instead of flowing down the
driveway to a storm drain or ditch.
for a photo showing the right type of surface on which to wash a car at
Fundraiser Car Washes and Polluted Runoff
Many people may ask, “What’s the difference between washing a car
in a parking lot or at a commercial car wash?” Fundraiser car washes
generate a lot of polluted water, and this polluted runoff could flow
untreated into the storm system and eventually Puget Sound.
In contrast, commercial car washes properly treat the wash water and
then discharge it to the sanitary sewer system where it undergoes a thorough
treatment process before being discharged into Puget Sound.
One fundraiser car wash generates over 1,000 gallons of polluted water. This
water contains oils, grease, elements from brake linings, rust, trace
amounts of benzene, and possibly chromium. Soap, even biodegradable soap, is
toxic to fish. Several studies have analyzed the pollution generated from
traditional parking lot car washes, including one done by Central Kitsap
High School students and another by the City of Federal Way. Follow the
links at the end of the release to reviews these studies.
When runoff from car washing flows to the stormwater system, including
drains, storm ponds, swales or ditches, it receives little or no treatment.
It then flows to creeks, lakes and Puget Sound, bringing with it all those
pollutants. Stormwater systems
are not designed to treat large volumes of this concentrated toxic soup of