Waste water from vehicle wash stations

Vehicle washing of a certain extent is subject to notification to the municipality in accordance with Miljöbalkens (Environmental Code’s) ordinance (1998:899) on environmentally hazardous activities and health protection.

The notification obligation covers automatic washing facilities or manual washing areas at car care facilities such as petrol stations, car repair shops, car reconditioning, do-it-yourself halls or other facilities where vehicle washing occurs.

Self-monitoring and water analysis

By conducting self-monitoring, operators must be able to meet the requirements that follow from Miljöbalken (the Environmental Code) and the authorities’ decisions. Part of the self-inspection can be recurring sampling of outgoing wastewater from the washing plant. For example, it is common for samples to be taken once a year at washing facilities that are from the notification level in washing frequency and upwards. Very large washes may need to check their emissions more often.

During sampling, normal activities should prevail so that there is a turbulent water flow. Collection samples are taken by our certified staff for a certain period of time, for example during a working day.

Environmentally hazardous activity

The Environmental Code’s regulations also apply when washing the car on the street, in the car park or in the garage driveway, as polluted water (wastewater) often flows down into the stormwater well whose water can end up untreated in the nearest watercourse. The washing water contains both pollutants from the car in the form of metals, oil products and other substances, as well as chemicals from the car care product.

Therefore, this type of car wash is considered an environmentally hazardous activity according to the Environmental Code. Car and vehicle washes must be done at do-it-yourself facilities or in automatic washes where there are requirements for water purification.


Safe Control has certified sampling personnel

We take care of analyzes of wastewater and we have certified sampling staff who take the necessary samples on site. The best time of the year for sampling is between November and April, which is the most environmentally stressful period of the year.

Contact us for more information and book an appointment for sampling »


Contact person

Catarina Wernlund
Head of Environment
Phone: +46 (0)31-65 64 93

Catarina Wernlund
Head of Chemistry
Phone: +46 (0)31-65 64 93


Swedac Ackrediteringsmärke 5622


Safe Control Materialteknik AB is accredited since 2001 and has had flexible accreditation since 2016.

All testing takes place against European and international standards.

See our Scope of Accreditation »

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