Australian car washes checked on wastewater management
Many car washes in the southeastern part of Australia recently got a visit from the environmental organization EPA to check if they obey the rules. Fines were not yet given. Raising awareness seemed to be the most important issue.
Under the General Environmental Duty, all car washes in New South Wales must manage their activities to avoid the risk of environmental damage.
The Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) officers are helping car washes across the state to clean up their act.
The inspections concentrated on stormwater management, the disposal of wash water, the storage and handling of chemicals, spill response readiness and each company’s trade waste agreement with local authorities.
According to a EPA-spokeswoman, a lot could be achieved with co-operation. “For most of the car wash operators it was the first time they’ve interacted with EPA officers, so we’ve focused on giving them a chance to get things in order with advice and guidance rather than regulatory notices or fines,” she said.
“It’s mostly about the cleaning products – you don’t want them winding up in the stormwater drains, local creeks and the nearest lake or river.”