Sound Off

Can you give us the specific law for washing cars, like for high school fundraisers and in your yard? Do you have to use a certain soap, contain all of the water, or are they all illegal?

According to the city’s stormwater engineer, Matt Bond, Stormwater Pollution Prevention (Ordinance No. 7373) sets guidelines for this type of use. Those guidelines say any soap used, including biodegradable or “green” products, are considered pollutants because the chemicals used within the products.
When groups have requested to hold fundraisers where the intention is to wash multiple cars during a time frame and profit from the process, the city has recommended the use of a commercial car wash facility or placement of the car wash in a grassy area where no water from the car wash can run off into the stormwater system.
The ordinance does contain an exemption for the occasional noncommercial washing of vehicles in residential areas.


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