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Caring for you

Caring for the Environment

Many small actions can create a big success… Everyone can contribute.

Our cars are valuable and need to be well maintained and looked after. It is easy to care for your car in a way that can both save water and reduce your environmental impact on the rivers, creeks, lakes and coastline. Read full document here.

What seems like just a little bit of soap and dirty water flowing down the gutter is much more serious than you think. A single uncontrolled car wash might appear inconsequential; however, when extrapolated over an urban area for a year, the pollutant loading becomes very significant.

Extensive research has determined that over 13 Gigalitres of contaminated waste water are being directed into our stormwater systems across Australia each year as a result of uncontrolled vehicle washing on hard surfaces. That is the equivalent to 5000 Olympic-sized swimming pools of toxic waste and contaminated sludge.

It is far worse than just detergents and mud being flushed into the streams and rivers. The waste water includes Petroleum Hydrocarbon waste (gasoline, diesel and motor oil), Heavy Metals such as copper, lead and zinc, Nutrients (phosphorous and nitrogen), Surfactants and Suspended Solids. This cocktail of waste far exceeds accepted health standards and destroys marine environments.

For the Research Report and detailed technical information go to

Every commercial car wash must have a Trade Waste Agreement which requires approved EPA treatment and disposal of waste, to protect Australia’s precious rivers, lakes and coastline. This includes oil separation, solid sludge collection and disposal, and the remaining waste water directed into the sewer system for the correct regulated cleaning processes.

The image to the right illustrates the gravity of the pollution problem from car wash waste water flowing into the stormwater systems and waterways. Every individual who decides to protect the environment by using a regulated commercial car wash instead of washing their car at home is making a difference. Every car wash matters. Be part of the revolution.

Stormwater Pollution Educational Awareness Campaign


Car in Bay Poster

Toxic Sludge from Carwashing


Car Washes listed on this Site are members of the Australian Car Wash Association, and comply with all legal and environmental requirements.

ACWA CarwashLook for the Carwash that displays the ACWA Logo (below). These Car Wash facilities are displayed on the Search Map by the star symbol:


The highest level of environmental care, including compliance with demonstrated water saving initiatives can be found by Car Washes that also display the Water Saver Rating sign (below).

WRS CarwashCar Washes that comply with environmental waste treatment and Water Saver Rating are shown on the Search Map by the WRS droplet symbol:



Help our Environment... Save Water... Clean Up our Waterways

Find your closest environmentally friendly Car Wash by using the links below:

VIC | QLD | WA | TAS | NSW | NT | SA | ACT



The Australian Car Wash Association is not responsible for the accuracy of information contained in the text of any advertisements displayed on this website. The Australian Car Wash Association does not in any way endorse or take any responsibility whatsoever for any material contained in such advertisements or on external websites referred to therein.

Therefore any persons accessing this website are cautioned that they should always take their own independent advice from an appropriately qualified expert where necessary before making any decision relating to any products or services advertised on this website.