Small leaks matter. It only takes four quarts of oil from your car's engine spilled or dumped down a storm drain to create an eight-acre oil slick.


Maintain your car and fix leaks right away.
Clean up spills immediately using rags or kitty litter and dispose of the waste at your local hazardous waste collection site.
Wash your vehicle at a car wash or on your grass at home. At a car wash, the dirty water is treated before it reaches larger water bodies. At home, direct dirty water to the grass.
Recycle used motor oil and other fluids.
Enlist the help of a professional to change your motor oil. This saves you time and energy and increases the likelihood the collected motor oil will be recycled.
Dispose of fluids like oil and antifreeze properly so they stay out of the storm water system.


Don't use more than the minimum amount of detergent when cleaning your car.
Don't wash your car on your driveway or in the street.
Don't perform vehicle maintenance, including oil changing, in places where oil and grease could wash into gutters.
Don't pour vehicular fluids down a drain.

Car Care Effects

  • Inhibits sunlight from reaching aquatic plants and animals.
  • Clings to dirt and settles on the bottom of water bodies, damaging underwater habitats such as fish spawning areas.
  • Coats animals' fur and feathers.
  • Reduces the amount of oxygen available to aquatic plants and animals.