Cars, boats, lawn mowers, RVs...all vehicles have the potential to introduce pollutants into the environment. Just one quart of oil can pollute 250,000 gallons of water. Whatever fluids leak from a vehicle will be washed away during the next rainfall or snowmelt. Similarly, washing your car at home can lead to soapy, nutrient filled water flowing down the street and into the storm drain.
When working with vehicles remember to:
- Fix leaks as quickly as possible. Place cardboard under your vehicle to catch drips until you can have it serviced.
- Use kitty litter to absorb small amounts of spilled fluids. Sweep up the litter and dispose of it in the trash.
- Should you change the oil yourself, be sure to take the used oil to the Olmsted County Hazardous Waste Facility.
- Opt for a trip to the car wash rather than a do-it-yourself job at home. Car wash facilities send the used water to the Water Reclamation Plant for treatment.
- If you do wash your car at home, use biodegradable soap and wash on the lawn to prevent soapy runoff reaching the storm drain.
- Ensure proper storage of vehicles over winter months.
- Use a small trash bag in the car so that you don't accidentally litter.