A press release from City of University Place.
Pollution from car tires that flows into our waterways is extremely poisonous to Coho salmon. Research shows that the newly discovered toxic chemical associated with tires (6PPD-quinone) is the reason large numbers of salmon are dying in Northwest creeks before they have a chance to spawn. That’s why this year’s Puget Sound Starts Here Month campaign is focused on vehicle-related pollutants.
With three small changes to how we drive and take care of our cars, we can keep pollution out of our creeks, lakes, rivers and Puget Sound. When it rains, pollution from cars wash into storm drains, and then straight into local streams, lakes, rivers, and Puget Sound. Pollutants like oil, car wash soaps and chemicals, and bits of tire dust are bad for water quality and harm people and wildlife, like salmon and orcas, that depend on clean water to survive.
When you wash your car, the rinse water contains harmful pollutants like oil, grease, heavy metals and soaps. If you wash your car on the street or in your driveway, the pollutants run on the street and into the storm drain, and then flow untreated into our local creeks, lakes, rivers and Puget Sound. In most communities it’s actually illegal to let that soapy water enter a storm drain. Here are two things you can do instead:
- Take your car to a commercial car wash. Commercial car washes are required to treat their dirty wash water.
- If using a commercial car wash isn’t an option, wash your car in a grassy area. The grass and soil will soak up the wash water, preventing it from running down the street into a storm drain.
For more information about taking care of your car in an environmentally-friendly way, visit Puget Sound Starts with Car Care.