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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Gonna Wash That Car Right Out Of My Driveway, but NOT in Los Osos

According to this morning’s Tribune story, the BOS has decided it’s O.K. to wash your car in your driveway, if you live in the unincorported areas of the county. And Mark Hutchinson, the environmental program manager, was asked to get the public information on what kind of soap is best to get your car washed in the driveway without ending up with environmentally unsafe chemicals running down the driveway and into the storm drains and out to sea. In short, everyone’s got to get involved to reduce and/or eliminate bad stuff getting into the groundwater and/or creeks and eventually the ocean.

BUT, if you live in Los Osos, here’s what I learned on my own. Los Osos has hard water, hard enough to require wearing a hard hat when you shower. If you’ve ever rinsed or washed off your car with LO Water, you’ll soon notice the windows end up with crusted-on water spots that won’t wash off no matter what. Windex? Feh. Vinegar? Feh. Steel wool? Feh. a small hand-held nuclear device? Feh. More soap and water? Feh-feh. Ditto for all the crusty spots on the paint as well. Won’t budge. (Some weird petroleum based goo can be rubbed and buffed on the glass that will finally get that calcium/mineral crust off, but, c’mon . . . )

So I asked the official repair/detail guys at Toyota when I took my car in to get serviced and was told: Yep. Those LO hard water spots will crust on and etch both paint and glass and are impossible to get off. If you hose your car down, soap it up and rinse, before you can run around to completely dry it, that calcium/mineral-rich water will dry and ZOT! Crutsy spots that nothing gets off, except more water, which leaves more spots & etc.

So, what to do? Well, here was their advice: 1) always take your car to a carwash using soft-water and a blower that dries it immediately, or 2) use two buckets of water, (soft water, if you’ve got it in your home, though that creates it’s own “pollution” problem eventually,) to wash down and then rinse a small section at a time so you can rinse & wipe it dry immediately; then, when you’re done with the whole car, section by section, dispose of bucket water properly. Voi la! No more hideous, impossible to get off crusty water spots. And, no soapy pollution running down the driveway.

Or, you can always sell your car and get a bicycle. Or a horse.

Meantime, I’m glad the county’s moving on this problem and hopefully, their education outreach on “safe soaps” will enable people (in areas without LO Water) to safely wash and hose off their cars on their lawns (thereby not wasting water) AND not end up dumping long-lasting crud down the drain. Win-win.

5 comments:

*PG-13 said...

Please don't tell any county personnel or anybody who even knows somebody who works for the county, or anybody in law enforcement or the EPA. And certainly no lawyers. And heavens, please don't tell Ron - he'll write an expose and spoil it for the rest of us. Let's just keep this between you and me, OK? I use a wonderful gadget called the Auto Reclamator. Its an add-on attachment to my illegally installed alternative home-based sewer which outsources the most pure water which is absolutely perfect for rinsing my car. Indeed, it's so pure it even washes away those crusty mineral spots left behind by less pure rinses leaving my car looking like it did the day I drove it off the lot. I'm kinda surprised Tom Murphy isn't all over this one.

I probably shouldn't say this but after rinsing my car I collect the rinse water and recycle it. I find it works exceptionally well as a growth supplement in my vegetable garden and downstairs growing room. I've never had such a good crop of such high quality before. Man, I LOVE my Auto Reclamator!

Mike said...

Wait a minute pg-13, the Wreak-La-Mayter is being advertised as producing water so pure you can drink it right out of the outfall. So if you are wasting all that pure drinking water on vegetables, the CSD Water-Cop and Chipping Chippie will censor your butt in public!

I'll still bring home the bottled drinking water and let the magic Los Osos sand filter my septic discharges. As for washing the car and avoiding spots, Mr.Clean hand held washing nozzle blasts away the dirt with filtered water and then finishes with deionized rinse water for spot free, self drying. and it's "Guaranteed" try to get that from the reclamator!

Churadogs said...

Yep, no doubt about it. Something in the drinking water out here bends all minds straight to the sewer. 24/7 sewer-sewer-sewer-sewer. Post a poem about cows, you get a reply connecting cows with LO sewers. Post a column on a solar dryer and the replies connect clotheslines to LO sewers. Wash a car and it' LO sewers. Yep, gotta be something in the drinking water.

but, don't worry bout Ron and car washing. He's up to some wicked fun so is too busy right now to fool with car washing.

Ron said...

Ann wrote:

"... don't worry bout Ron and car washing. He's up to some wicked fun so is too busy right now to fool with car washing."

True, but I do have time for this:

Mike responded to *pg-13:

"... you are wasting all that pure drinking water on vegetables..."

Uhhh... I don't think it's "vegetables" that *pg-13 has growing in his/her "downstairs grow room."

*pg-13, you're funny.

Interesting little note... I live deep in the beautiful SLO County outback, with some of the sweetest well water you've ever tasted, and I have that damn, impossible to remove, crusty-water-stuff all over my truck windows.

Churadogs said...

Ron sez:"Interesting little note... I live deep in the beautiful SLO County outback, with some of the sweetest well water you've ever tasted, and I have that damn, impossible to remove, crusty-water-stuff all over my truck windows."

Well, there you go. Can you have "sweet-tasting" HARD water? If so, whatta ya gonna do?