Friday, February 25, 2011

A good detail

I am fascinated with stormwater. So this week, I decided to educate myself about best management practices for stormwater management at auto repair and detail shops. I called lots of these businesses, asked them questions, and then went out to look at a few. I wasn't too surprised to find that many of these places wash vehicles outside, evidenced by little soapy trails to the nearest storm drain.

One shop had really good best management practices - Bellingham Detail & Glass - on Pacific Street, in Bellingham. The owner of this shop noticed me standing on the nearest sidewalk, staring. He was so surprised by my interest in stormwater that he invited me in and gave me a tour of his shop and indoor carwash. I learned that the washwater from the carwash is run through a filter to remove solids, and then through an oil/water separator, to remove oil and grease. After this treatment, it is discharged into a grassy bioswale, outside. What is not infiltrated by the bioswale eventually runs into the nearest storm drain, and into Whatcom Creek. If I had a car, I'd take it here. We really appreciate this extra effort, keeping our water clean.

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