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Calculate Your Car Wash Footprint

Water, gasoline, motor oil, phosphorus, nitrogen, ammonia, surfactants, solid waste. . . 

What’s the yearly impact of hose and water car cleaning on your community? How many pounds of harmful car wash by-products, oil, and gasoline go untreated to storm sewers and eventually make their way to the ocean or to local rivers and lakes? How much water is wasted?

We’ve incorporated data from The Residential Car Washwater Monitoring Study conducted by the City of Federal Way, WA to allow you to estimate pollutant loading to storm sewers from traditional hose and water residential car washing.  

Estimate your community’s car wash footprint
Enter the number of registered vehicles and click “calculate.” To find the number of registered vehicles in your community contact your city traffic department or State Department of Motor Vehicles. You can also multiply the population base by .688 to arrive at the national average of registered vehicles based on population. 

Number of registered cars
Gallons of water
Gallons of gasoline, diesel and motor oil
Pounds of phosphorous and nitrogen
Pounds of ammonia
Pounds of surfactants
Pounds of solid wastes


Bring those numbers to zero
Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash eliminates the discharge of untreated contaminants and conserves water. This highly effective biodegradable spray and wipe cleaner is available in concentrate and ready-to-use.

The calculator is based on the study’s following research-based assumptions:

  • Thirty-eight percent (38%) of car owners wash their cars in the driveway. (International Carwash Association)
  • The average frequency of residential car washing in their region is once every two weeks.
  • 80% of driveway car washing effluent drains to storm sewers.
  • The average amount of water used to wash a vehicle based on field observations and simulations using a low-flow nozzle are 20 gallons.

* Smith, Daniel J., Shilley, Hollie. 2009. Residential Car Washwater Monitoring Study. City of Federal Way, Washington, Public Works, Surface Water Management 


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