U.S. Towns Weigh Up Car Wash Ban

December 28, 2007 12:02 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Around the country, local officials consider a ban on car washes, hoping to prevent pollution from soap and other residue making its way from storm drains into nearby streams and rivers.

30-Second Summary

The Wall Street Journal recently reported on a number of cities where officials are losing patience with residents wasting water to maintain the gleam on their automobiles.

Even fundraisers are coming under fire. In Santa Monica, Calif., a city proposal describes charity car washes as “one of the biggest water wasters and pollution-generating events of this type.”

The runoff containing soapy water and scum from cleaning an automobile often makes its way through drains into lakes, rivers and streams.

Some environmentally conscious car owners are turning to waterless car wash products, such as the detergent made by mom-and-pop manufacturers Lucky Earth Products.

According to Lucky Earth’s Web site, a typical car wash “uses between 20 to 45 gallons of water per car.” To reduce this wastage, it came up with Green Earth Car Wash, which applies a water-based, eco-friendly cleaner from a spray bottle.

Another way of combating the pollutant runoff from car washes is recommended by the Mass Department of Environmental Protection, which suggests that car owners should wash their vehicles on gravel or lawn, rather than the driveway, to prevent the water running into storm drains.

Headline Link: Car wash ban

Opinion & Analysis: Environmental concerns

Related Links: Puget Sound Car Wash Association; Green Earth Waterless Carwashes

Reference Material: Combating car wash pollution


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