Car Care

Puget Sound Starts Here Car CareWe can keep pollution out of our creeks, lakes, rivers and Puget Sound. Our small actions add up to a BIG difference for Puget Sound, the Salish Sea and marine life!

When it rains, pollution from cars wash into storm drains, and then straight into local streams, lakes, rivers, and Puget Sound. Pollutants like oil, car wash soaps and chemicals, and bits of tire dust are bad for water quality and harm people and wildlife, like salmon and orcas, that depend on clean water to survive.


Christina Rohila 
Public Information Specialist [email protected]
  1. Car Washing
  2. Don't Drip and Drive
  3. Tire Maintenance

Take your car to a commercial car wash. Commercial car washes, both tunnels and bays, are required to treat their dirty wash water.

If using a commercial car wash isn’t an option, wash your car in a grassy area. The grass and soil will soak up the wash water, preventing it from running down the street into a storm drain.

When you wash your car, the rinse water contains harmful pollutants like oil, grease, heavy metals and soaps. If you wash your car on the street or in your driveway, the pollutants run on the street and into the storm drain, and then flow with little to no treatment into our local creeks, lakes, rivers and Puget Sound. That’s why in many communities it’s illegal to let that soapy water enter a storm drain.

Planning a fundraising car wash?

Car washes that send soapy water to stormwater systems contribute pollution to the Puget Sound. Many local commercial car wash operators offer fundraising programs that allow groups to sell car wash tickets. Pierce County encourages you to reach out to a local operator to explore that option, rather than host your own fundraising car wash.