Extra precautions keep soap and contaminants from entering water system

It used to be that groups wishing to raise funds for projects could hold a carwash and worry about little more than lining up manpower, sponges and making a few signs.

However, today a simple carwash involves far more, as the Lakeridge waterpolo team discovered recently. The team placed an ad in last Thursday’s Review for a carwash to be held at Grimm’s 76 service station the following Saturday, which caught the attention of Dave Gilbey, Water Quality Program coordinator for the city of Lake Oswego.

“This will almost certainly cause suds and foam as well as the metals, oils and grease to be discharged to Lost Dog Creek,” wrote Gilbey in an email to parent organizer Charlotte Woodcock.

He stressed that “although car washes are not prohibited activities per our stormwater permit issued by the state of Oregon, the city asks charity car wash organizers to utilize the city’s Car Wash Kit to prevent this type of pollution to the receiving waters of Lake Oswego.”

Another group had already reserved the city’s car wash kit, which includes a special pump system, for the weekend, but Gilbey was able to borrow a kit from another jurisdiction.

“After several emails from the city, school board and the Lake Corp and administration at Lakeridge, everybody jumped in,” said Woodcock. “In the end, we resolved the problem by simply using a pump system that (prevented) the water (from entering) the storm drain. We, of course, used bio/phosphate free soap. ... Grimm’s Fuel are big supporters of the idea and the community. They want to buy their own pump system for future car washes and jobs. I think Grimm’s and Lakeridge could be cited as leaders in the environmental movement in our community. It might inspire other businesses, builders, schools, etc., to be more conscientious of the water ways in our community.”

The carwash raised $1,200 for the waterpolo team. Those wishing to contribute to the team’s fundraising can make donations through Lake Oswego School District Community School.

The Lake Oswego School District requests that charity activity organizers use the city Car Wash Kit for car washes in the future. For information about reserving the kit, contact Gilbey at 503-675-3999 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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