Be Stream Smart – Keep pollution out of Bear Creek and the Rogue River!
Car wash kits keep pollutants (soap and car fluids) — which are toxic to fish — out of our waterways by rerouting water to the wastewater treatment plant. So if you hold community or charity car washes or are an organization that works with those who do, use this page to learn how you can use a free car wash kit or build one of your own! Don’t let our water quality go down the drain!
Frequently asked Questions:
- Why use a car wash kit?
- Who should use a car wash kit and when?
- How does a car wash kit work?
- How can we borrow the kit?
- Where can I go to learn more?
Why use a car wash kit?
When a car is washed on pavement such as a driveway or a parking lot all the soap, detergents, oil, and road grime that washes off the car goes straight into a storm drain. All storm drains lead directly to streams, lakes, Bear Creek and the Rogue River. That water runoff, containing soap — even biodegradable soap — and automotive fluids, is toxic to fish, can harm plant life and degrade our water quality. A car wash kit redirects the dirty water away from the storm drain by connecting a hose to a sink or drain that sends the polluted water to the wastewater treatment plant.
Who should use a car wash kit and when?
- Organizations such as schools, clubs, churches and other non-profit organizations that hold community or charity car wash fundraising events.
- Residential groups such as townhome complexes, condominiums, homeowners associations or others who may have a high volume of car washing in their community. Use a car wash kit if using a professional car wash for a fundraising event is not feasible. Using a professional car wash service is the best thing you can do to keep our water clean and protect our streams. Use a car wash kit as an alternative if a professional service is not available to you.
How the car wash kit works
Car wash kits work by redirecting dirty water — polluted with soap, oil and automotive fluids — away from the storm drain. The kit uses a hose to connect to a toilet, sink or drain that sends the water to the wastewater treatment plant. When you don’t use a car wash kit, the water runs off the driveway, parking lot or street into a storm drain and directly in to our streams, lakes and rivers. Those pollutants damage water quality and poison fish and other animals.
How can we borrow the car wash kit?
Kits are available from the Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG), the City of Ashland, Phoenix, and Central Point. The RVCOG kit is available on a first come, first served basis. For questions, please contact the Rogue Valley Council of Governments Natural Resources Department at (541) 664-6674.
Where can I learn more?
- Video from the City of Roseville, CA.