Pressure washing removes pollutants
such as oils, grease, metals, and dirt, and sends these pollutants to the
storm drainage system if the water is not collected and properly disposed of.
Most storm drains lead directly to our lakes, creeks, or Bellingham Bay
Discharge of pressure washing
wastewater to the storm drainage system is prohibited. Bellingham Municipal
Code 15.42 prohibits the discharge of anything other than rain to the storm
drainage system. This includes wastewater from pressure washing activities.
State and Federal laws also prohibit these discharges.
What Should You Do?
- Clean up spilled materials such as oil, antifreeze, and gasoline
with absorbents as soon as they occur. Collect, contain, and dispose of
soiled materials as solid or hazardous waste. Never wash absorbents into
- Sweep outdoor areas often to prevent dirt and contaminant buildup.
- If you pressure wash, you must capture and collect all wash water
and dispose of it in a drain that leads to the sanitary sewer or direct
it to a vegetated area.
Our Source Control Specialists can help you find a way to properly
collect and dispose of pressure wash water. Please call us for assistance.
Lot Maintenance (Seattle Public Utility)
For printed copies of fact sheets and other resources, or for more
information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For business-related stormwater resources, trainings, and more, visit the