Car washes can be great fundraisers, but they can be lousy for the environment. The average driveway car wash, if I am washing my car at home, uses about 160 gallons of water if I leave the hose running. You get oil, grease, rust, cadmium, brake lining off the vehicle, you have dyes and phenols in the soap, and you end up with 160 gallons of wastewater more toxic than untreated sewage. More toxic that the stuff you flushed down the toilet this morning. When these toxins go into the storm drain and then into local creeks, they end up polluting what is going to be our drinking water, and drives up the cost of treatment and impairs the water. That's why the city Stormwater Management Division is letting civic groups, sports teams, school clubs, and others use their SudSafe portable carwash kit.
The SudSafe system is a kit that we provide to local non-profits and organizations that are having fundraising carwashes, to help protect our surface water from area runoff from car washes. The kit contains an insert that is placed in the storm drain that captures any runoff from the car wash. Then there is a small sump pump that will divert the water through a hose to a grassy area where some of those pollutants and toxins can be absorbed into the soil before the water runs off into the closest creek or stream. An even better option would be to divert the runoff to a sink or toilet. Any non-profit group can check out a SudSafe system from the city Stormwater Management Division at no charge.
If you are having a car washing event, just call City Link at (336) 727-8000 to reserve your kit today.
Water is a finite resource, we all must be responsible for helping to keep it clean.
Short Public Service Announcement
Raising money with a car wash? Make sure it is Suds Safe. Runoff from a car wash contains soap, gasoline, motor oil, and residues from exhaust fumes and brake pads. When it goes into the street drain, it pollutes the source of our drinking water. SudSafe intercepts the runoff so it can be filtered through the soil. Harmful pollutants are removed and our water supply is protected.
There is no charge to borrow a SudSafe system.
Call City Link (336-727-8000) and tell them you want your car wash to be a SudSafe car wash.