Pressure washing uses a high pressure water stream that is typically sprayed from a hand-held nozzle and used for cleaning a variety of surfaces and objects. Pressure washing and other methods are used to clean many surfaces including:
Most pressure washing activities are conducted outside. Discharge of pressure washing wastewater to the storm drain is prohibited because it contains pollutants from the objects or surfaces being cleaned and/or from the cleaning compounds being used.
Even cleaners labeled “biodegradable” and “non-toxic” may be harmful to aquatic life, especially after cleaning various surfaces (e.g. dumpster areas, parking lots, equipment). Pressure washing wastewater that enters storm drains flows directly into lakes, rivers, and streams. This water is not treated or cleaned to remove pollutants. Pollutants discharged to the storm drain can harm fish and wildlife. It can also contaminate recreational sites and drinking water supplies.
Doing it Properly
Pressure washing done properly can improve the quality of our waterways to increase a positive impact on the environment. In all other cases, pressure washing discharges must be captured and hauled to a disposal facility or it must be discharged to the sanitary sewer. If you are involved in the commercial power washing, please contact the City for further details.
If you have any questions, please call the Public Works Department at 281-275-2450.