City of St. Paul Park 

on the Mississippi

Car Washing

What is wrong with car washing?

We all know that cars cause air pollution.  But did you know that cars also cause water pollution? As we drive, our car and trucks leave bits of tires, brakes and rusty metal on the street.  When we park, our cars and trucks leave stains of oil, grease, and transmission fluid on driveways and parking lots.  Less visible are the tiny exhaust particles that gradually settle out of the air or come down with the rain or snow.

What happens to all this "car dirt" when it rains?  Rain and melting snow wash auto pollutants off the pavement, down the gutter, and into storm drains.  Under these drains are storm sewers-pipes that carry the dirty water to lakes, streams or wetlands.

Even on sunny days, polluted water often flows out of storm sewers.  To understand why, take a walk to a small stream in your town.  Do you see mounds of foam?  Streaks of blue? An oily sheen?

How can you help?

You can help stop this kind of pollution.  Explain to your family and friends that storm sewers carry water directly to our lakes and streams.  They do no connect to wastewater treatment plants.

City of St. Paul Park, 600 Portland Avenue, St. Paul Park MN 55071