It is illegal to power wash or hose down your sidewalks and driveways if the water enters the street, a storm drain, storm water conveyance system, or receiving waterbody (the lagoons or ocean). Hosing and power washing flush all of the pollutants that are on the streets, sidewalks and driveways into the nearest storm drain and out to the ocean. These pollutants typically include the following:
- Lawn waste
- Metals from air pollution that have settled
- Oil and other automobile fluids
- Pet waste
There are methods that can be implemented to contain and properly dispose of wash water, preventing it from entering the storm drain. For example, commercial power washers are required to contain the wash water with berms or other methods, vacuum it up, and then dispose of it in an approved location, usually the sanitary sewer. If residents do not have the resources to prevent the wash water from entering the streets and storm drain, an easy alternative is to sweep up (instead of hosing down) the areas and dispose of the debris in the trash.