Car Washing

Think twice before washing in your driveway


Vehicle wash water contains pollutants like oil, grease, heavy metals, solvents and soaps. When these harmful pollutants run off our driveways and roads, they go down the storm drain and travel to our local streams, rivers, and Puget Sound - untreated. Over 2,000,000 gallons of contaminated car wash runoff flows into our streams each year!

Car going through a commercial wash

Commercial car wash (JPG)

What does the law say about car washing?


Allowing soapy car wash water to enter any storm drains in the city is a violation of Bothell Municipal Code 18.04.260, even if you use biodegradable soap. This is true for both public stormwater systems as well as private stormwater systems.

How can I safely wash my vehicle?


Use a commercial car wash


You can reduce pollution in our streams by using a commercial car wash.
CarWashingYesBMPs

Can't use a commercial car wash facility?


  • Wash on your lawn or graveled area so the soil can soak up the water and break down the pollutants
  • Try using a waterless car wash product
  • Save money by hand-washing your vehicle in a commercial car wash bay
  • Always divert the wash water away from the street and storm drains

What if I want to host a car wash as a fundraiser?


There are a number of other ways to raise money that don't negatively impact our water quality.
Q: Are car washing fundraisers allowed in Bothell?
A: Click for the answer.
Values lighter colors (PNG)