The Simple Answer is “Yes,”
But There’s More to It Than That

Technically, you can wash your car in your driveway in Calgary BUT you need to install an interceptor system permitted by the city to remove debris like oil and filth from the water before it reaches the stormwater drainage system. Without the interceptor system, you could be facing a hefty fine from the city. 

Why is the city so strict about washing cars in driveways? Just consider this: 

There are approximately 60,000 storm drains spread throughout Calgary designed to prevent flooding during heavy rainstorms and snow. This vast network of drains directs rainwater (or any other water that enters the system) into nearby rivers. 

When you wash your car in the driveway, the water and any contaminants (dirt, soap, oil, etc.) run into the stormwater drain system. This can result in contaminated water being released into the rivers and creeks, which could have serious environmental impacts.

Calgary’s Driveway Rules According To The Law: Drainage Bylaw 37M2005 Explained

Since the water flowing into the stormwater management system (and yes, that includes water runoff from your driveway when you wash your car) ends up in nearby rivers, the drainage bylaw was created to keep grease and debris out of the system to avoid blockage. The top concrete contractors in Calgary know this and factor it in with their professional work. 

The law is also written to ensure that chemicals and other harmful substances aren’t introduced to the nearby plant and animal life of our city’s rivers. 

Some aspects of the ordinance that could impact how often you wash your automobile are as follows:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Drainage Bylaw 37M2005

How much is the penalty for not having an interceptor system?

Calgary’s stormwater drainage system is not to be polluted with soap, odorous compounds, greases, or trash. When you wash your automobile, soapy water will eventually run off into the drains and pipes below. A fine of up to $3,000 for a first offense is possible if you break this local rule.

What items/elements should I look out for whenever dealing with water waste and drainage?

The following items are specifically prohibited from being placed in storm drains by ordinance: 

  • Substances that break down into soil, such as silt or other solids (including yard debris like leaves and grass clippings).
  • Oils and fats used in cooking
  • Automotive fluids include gasoline, oil, transmission fluid, and antifreeze.
  • Inks and thinners
  • Swimming pool and spa water
  • Garbage from Industry

Is Drainage Bylaw 37M2005 really important?

Yes. It sets forth regulations and standards that prevent the contamination of natural water bodies, such as rivers and streams, by pollutants, chemicals, and other harmful substances. By controlling how stormwater is managed, collected, and discharged, the bylaw mitigates the risk of water pollution and its detrimental effects on ecosystems.

So, can you wash your car in your driveway or garage pad? Yes, you can. Just make sure to comply with the standards set up to safeguard Calgary’s water resources.

Calgary has set up precautions to mitigate the risks associated with washing vehicles in driveways

The Next Step For You

There are pros and cons to washing your own car at home. But some of the advantages that make it worthwhile include:

  • Saving money since you don’t have to go to the carwash
  • Enjoying the satisfaction of knowing your vehicle is clean inside and out
  • Customizing the job to your liking
  • Getting in a good workout

To fully capitalize on these advantages, the next step is to install an interceptor system that has been approved by the city of Calgary. Be sure to contact a professional concrete contractor to install an interceptor system for your driveway so that it meets the standards of Drainage Bylaw 37M2005.

Is It Only For Residential? How About Car Wash Services?

Would you rather get your car washed by a professional car wash service? Car wash businesses, much like other enterprises that interact with water and potential contaminants, are also subject to regulations that promote environmental responsibility and compliance with the law. Consequently, car wash businesses must uphold both environmental responsibility and adherence to legal requirements.

Want to know how a professional contractor can help you with your driveway interceptor system in Calgary? TNA Concrete offers dependable and cost-effective services for both commercial and residential projects. Get in touch with us today to find out more about our specialized concrete services or to schedule a free quote!