What should I do concerning car washing on site?

The Issue Wiltshire College
It is illegal under the Water Resources Act and various Regulations for organisations to allow contaminated water to enter groundwater supplies or surface water without a formal Consent from the Environment Agency.
Car body work and tyres accumulate oils and chemicals during use which damage ground water, surface water and water habitats. Car shampoo can also damage river life.
The external drains on Wiltshire College sites are mostly 'storm drains', channeling rainwater to groundwater or local surface water systems (streams, rivers, ponds etc) without filtering or treating it.

Options

Cleaning College-owned vehicles, staff and student vehicles

It is not permitted to wash vehicles on any College site without a formal Consent from the Environment Agency issued under the Water Resources Act (unless an area served by foul drains can be found), and authority from the Site Manager (Estates).

Washing cars for charity

Unfortunately even charity car washes are not permitted without a Consent where the water will enter storm drains, for the same reasons. However these restrictions do not apply if the water is being directed to foul drains. Ask your Site Manager, or negotiate with a local industrial site where the external drains are connected to a water treatment works.

Further Information

Please contact the College Environmental Co-ordinator for further advice. You may also find the following websites helpful:

www.environment-agency.gov.uk
www.netregs.gov.uk

What are the issues? What should I do?