July 10, 2009

Car washing can harm fish, WA regulators say

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Saying soap, metals and other pollutants in runoff from car-washing can make their way into streams and harm fish, Washington environmental regulators are requiring residents to keep that runoff out of storm drains. The Washington Department of Ecology is requiring cities to adopt ordinances saying car washing wastewater has to stay  on the washer’s property. Officials say the best way to do that is to wash the car on gravel or grass rather than pavement – or go to a commercial car wash. Local governments are likely to try to get the word out through public education campaigns. Doug Navetski of King County’s water-quality division told Phuong Le of the AP: “Are we going to have car wash police out there? No.”

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