Public Works and Environmental Services

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our administrative offices are open 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Mon - Fri
703-324-5500 TTY 711
12000 Government Center Parkway
Suite 449, Fairfax, Va 22035
Joni Calmbacher
Director, Stormwater Planning

Car Washing the Right Way

car washIn Fairfax County, the storm drainage system is separate from the sanitary sewer system. Storm drains convey stormwater runoff directly to local creeks and streams. Runoff is not treated before entering the waterways.

Car wash water may contain oils, greases, detergents and other materials that pollute water and harm fish and wildlife that live in streams.

Fairfax County’s Stormwater Management Ordinance (Chapter 124, Article 9 Section 3 of the Fairfax County Code) prohibits unpermitted commercial car wash water from entering the storm drainage system or streams. Businesses must comply with this regulation.

Currently, individual residential car washing is exempt from this regulation. Residents are encouraged to use the recommendations, listed below, to reduce the impact on the environment.

Car washing as a noncommercial fundraising activity is permitted by the Code of Virginia Title 15.2-2114.1 if the washing uses only biodegradable, phosphate-free, water-based cleaners as described below.

For additional information, email the Stormwater Planning Division or call 703-324-5500, TTY 711.

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