Automotive Industry

Stormwater Related Information for Automotive Industry

Preventing runoff from automotive work activities from entering our streets and storm drains helps protect our waterways from pollution!  All sources of pollution, including runoff from automotive work activities, are prohibited from leaving your property and entering streets or storm drains. Only rainwater is allowed in the streets and storm drains.

Did you know…

  • Car maintenance generates liquid waste such as antifreeze, fuel, cleaners and oils that can degrade our water quality if not contained on site and correctly disposed of. 

  • When cars are washed metals such as chromium, cadmium, lead, and zinc can be found in the wash water and these have the potential to contaminate drinking water supplies as well as harm aquatic life if they flow into storm drains. 

  • Detergents and cleaners used to wash cars often contain high levels of phosphorus, which is a leading cause of algae blooms. 

  • Releasing pollutants directly or indirectly into the storm drain system is a violation of the County’s Watershed Protection Ordinance (WPO).   


What can I do?

  • Dispose of waste thoughtfully: Hazardous waste materials such as antifreeze, motor oil and transmission fluid must be disposed of at an authorized Household Hazardous Waste drop off facility. For a list of locations, visit the County's Department of Environmental Health - Household Hazardous Waste Program

  • Use Best Management Practices (BMPs) for your business:  BMPs are techniques or controls used to prevent or reduce the discharge of pollutants, such as oil, antifreeze, and solvents, into the storm drain system. BMPs for the automotive industry include sweeping your shop floor instead of hosing it down, using a drip pan when changing car fluids, using berms around car washing areas to avoid run off.   


Want to learn more?

The resources below provide suggested BMPs and further information on how to protect our waterways. Click the buttons to view available languages:  

Automotive Businesses
General Pollution
Inspect Your Business
Materials Management Spill Response
Train Your Employees
Loading and Dumpster Areas
Fire Sprinkler Maintenance
Green Business Program


Know before you go…

Any automotive spills and/or drips should be cleaned up with dry clean-up methods such as a rag. 


Contact Us

If you would like to report an automotive industry discharge concern, have questions about our program, or would like additional information call the County Storm Drain Pollution hotline at: 1(888) 846-0800 or e-mail us at 


Thank you for doing your part to protect our waterways!