In an email to Belmont Patch on Wednesday, Afshin Oskoui, Belmont's director of public works explained the city ordinance regarding .
Oskoui starts out by saying that the city needs to do a better job communicating to and educating the public on the rules and requirements regarding car washing.
"First of all, washing a car in your driveway is not a prohibited activity. However, the issue referenced in is part of a broader Municipal Storm Water Permit, issued by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board under the San Francisco Bay Region Municipal Regional Storm Water NPDES Permit," said Oskoui.
He explained that the permit covers all of the cities that have storm water discharges into the San Francisco Bay.
"In a way of background this permit covers municipalities in San Francisco Bay that collect and discharge storm water and urban runoff containing pollutants through their storm water conveyance systems. The Regional Board issued the required NPDES permit (commonly referred to as the Municipal Storm Water Permit) to local jurisdictions including the City of Belmont, in 2009/10, which requires the implementation of programs to reduce pollutants in storm water and urban runoff."
For the most part, our Storm Water Pollution Prevention Program (Storm Water Program) efforts to reduce pollutants in urban runoff and storm water has been through public education and outreach, as in this case. When our inspector notices an issue, he works to educate and provide information in assisting the individual’s understanding of this federal/state requirement," said Oskoi.
Oskoi included a link to the Municipal Storm Water Permit (see section A, page 8), which provides for the prohibition of discharge of non-storm water into the storm drain system. Section C.15iv discusses individual car washing: http://www.flowstobay.org/documents/municipalities/municipalities/R2-2009-0074_Revised.pdf
"Again, it should be noted that individuals can still wash their own cars, but have to take measures to eliminate direct run off into the storm system by washing their vehicles on their lawn or gravel area which then acts as a means of treatment," said Oskoui.
For more information, and for car wash discounts, go to http://www.flowstobay.org/cs_carwashdiscount.php.
For more information, contact the Public Works Department at 650-595-7425, or go to www.belmont.gov.