The Problem with Car Washing

Washing your car on a paved surface, like in a driveway or parking lot is not a good idea. The soap and grime wash off and goes straight into a nearby storm drain that connects to a lake, stream or Puget Sound. This contaminated runoff can cause significant harm to aquatic plant life, fish, and other animals.

How can you wash your car and help keep our waters clean?

  • Use a commercial carwash: Use a coin operated or tunnel carwash. They reuse wash water several times before sending it to the sewer system for treatment.
  • When washing your car at home:
    • Wash on the lawn or a surface that does not drain into the street.
    • Use soap sparingly. Use a hose nozzle with a trigger to save water.
    • Pour your bucket of soapy water down the sink when you're done, not in the street.


Car Wash Fundraisers

You can sell Charity Car Wash tickets instead of having a parking lot car wash fundraiser. It is a way for you to raise funds and protect the environment! Buy them at a discounted price, sell them at a profit, and keep the difference for your selected charity.

Commercial car washes reuse water several times before sending it to the sewer system for treatment. They conserve water and prevent pollutants from reaching our waterways. Contact one of the following to get started today:


Public Utilities

Andrew Lee, General Manager and CEO
Address: 700 5th Avenue, Suite 4900, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34018, Seattle, WA, 98124-5177
Phone: (206) 684-3000

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Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is comprised of three major direct-service providing utilities: the Water Utility, the Drainage and Wastewater Utility, and the Solid Waste Utility.