Pressure washing removes pollutants such as oils, grease, metals, and dirt, and sends these pollutants to the storm drainage system if the water is not collected and properly disposed of. Most storm drains lead directly to our lakes, creeks, or Bellingham Bay without treatment.
Discharge of pressure washing wastewater to the storm drainage system is prohibited. Bellingham Municipal Code 15.42 prohibits the discharge of anything other than rain to the storm drainage system. This includes wastewater from pressure washing activities. State and Federal laws also prohibit these discharges.
What Should You Do?
- Clean up spilled materials such as oil, antifreeze, and gasoline with absorbents as soon as they occur. Collect, contain, and dispose of soiled materials as solid or hazardous waste. Never wash absorbents into storm drains.
- Sweep outdoor areas often to prevent dirt and contaminant buildup.
- If you pressure wash, you must capture and collect all wash water and dispose of it in a drain that leads to the sanitary sewer or direct it to a vegetated area.
Our Source Control Specialists can help you find a way to properly collect and dispose of pressure wash water. Please call us for assistance.
For printed copies of fact sheets and other resources, or for more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 778-7800.
For business-related stormwater resources, trainings, and more, visit the Washington Stormwater Center.