Oil, antifreeze, and other fluids from your vehicle that end up on your driveway or street will eventually be carried by stormwater to the nearest lake or stream when it rains. Small oil leaks and other vehicle fluids can add up to a big problem for our waterways. In fact, a single quart of motor oil can contaminate up to two million gallons of drinking water.
What Can You Do?
Even if you have never looked under your car’s hood, there are simple steps to be the solution to water pollution by following these tips:
- Never dispose of vehicle fluids into a storm drain or drainage ditch. Recycle oil and other fluids.
- Inspect and maintain your car regularly to prevent leaks of oil, coolant, and other vehicle fluids.
- Never work on a vehicle in the street or near a stormwater drain or drainage ditch.
- Perform maintenance work on a flat concrete surface where spills can be easily cleaned up.
- Place a tarp, ground cloth, sheet of plywood, cardboard, or newspaper under a vehicle to capture any leaks or spills.
- Always use a funnel when pouring liquids to avoid spills.
- Use a drip pan under a vehicle when changing fluids, unscrewing filters, and removing other parts that might leak.
- Immediately clean up vehicle fluid spills with rags or other absorbent materials such as kitty litter, sawdust, or oil absorbent.
- Recycle used tires and batteries.
Visit Earth911 to locate a local parts stores and service stations that will recycle vehicle fluids, batteries, oil filters, and parts.