Vehicle Care and Fluids

Stormwater Related Information Regarding Vehicle Care and Fluids

Preventing vehicle fluids from entering our streets and storm drains helps protect our waterways from pollution! All sources of pollution, including runoff from automotive work, are prohibited from leaving your property; 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 disposed of correctly.

  • 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. To locate a facility near you, visit

  • Use Best Management Practices (BMPs): 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 vehicle care include a drip pan when changing car fluids or taking your car to a car wash to avoid runoff entering the storm drain.


Want to learn more?

The resources below provide suggested BMPs and further information on how to protect our waterways. Some resources have been translated to multiple languages. Please click the buttons to view available languages:

Vehicle Washing

Know before you go…

Using dry methods for cleaning up spills, such as a rag, is the safest option for our waterways.


Contact Us

If you would like to report a vehicle related 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!