When your car drips oil, gas, and engine fluid onto driveways, parking lots, and roads, it degrades water quality in our local waterways.
What’s the problem with a leaky car?
It may not seem like a lot of pollution coming from one car, but if you combine the total amount of oil and gas leaking from cars all across Puget Sound, leaky cars create a very serious problem. Oil and other vehicle fluids don’t dissolve in water, are toxic to humans and wildlife, and remain in the environment for a long time. Oil clings to plants, rocks, soil and sand. It also sticks to the feathers and fur of animals, who can become poisoned by ingesting or absorbing oil. Another hazard to wildlife from oil is hypothermia, which often results when animals become coated with oil and their feathers or fur can no longer retain body heat.
How you can help
There are a variety of ways that you can help stop oil and other vehicle fluids from getting into our waterways.
- Regular car maintenance such as checking for and repairing leaks
- Changing old motor oil
- Placing drop cloths, old carpet, or cardboard under your car if you are doing engine work or suspect your car is leaking
- Promptly cleaning up oil leaks and spills before they enter a storm drain
- Store any excess oil in containers with tight fitting lids (do not mix different vehicle fluids in the same container)
- Disposing of used motor oil at a legal recycling site such as an auto supply store or gas station that accepts used motor oil, or at the Snohomish County Household Hazardous Waste Facility in Everett
If you would like more information on this subject, follow the links or review the informational material we have available below: