Vehicle Maintenance and Repair BMP
Education Initiative

Everyone has to take their car or truck to be maintained or repaired once in a while. The vehicles we depend on for getting around on a daily basis contain a wide variety of highly toxic substances, including gasoline, motor oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, anti-freeze and heavy metals. Unless the job is done carefully, maintenance work presents a high potential for pollution of local water resources. In addition to Environmental Protection Agency requirements, the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County have both passed ordinances prohibiting activities which result in stormwater pollution.

The RRSEP formed six teams to visit sixty local business establishments in late January and early February 2007 as part of an education initiative targeted to the vehicle maintenance and repair industry. Team members spoke to business managers, and presented them with a poster and a brochure with suggested best management practices. In addition,  each enterprise was invited to enroll in the Businesses for the Bay Program, which provides recognition to businesses in the Chesapeake Bay watershed that take steps to reduce waste and reduce the potential for water pollution.

Team members reported that most local businesses are aware of their responsibility to keep potential pollutants out of the stormdrain system, and have instituted good workplace practices with that purpose in mind. It is hoped that the education initiative not only served to remind businesses of their responsibilities, but also helped educate the public at large in the importance of preventing stormwater pollution.

Click Here for a PDF version of our education initiative brochure.
Click Here for a PDF version of our education initiative poster.
Used Motor Oil
Did you know 1 quart of motor oil can contaminate 250,000 gallons of water?  Every year in the U.S., millions of gallons of used motor oil, chemicals, and other wastes are disposed of illegally – down a storm drain or in the trash.  Unlike sewage, stormwater is not treated.  Storm drains empty directly into local streams and eventually reach the Chesapeake Bay.  Please do your part to keep our waterways healthy.  Recycle used motor oil at the Rivanna Solid Waste Authority’s Ivy location or return it to where you bought it.
Properly Disposing of Used Motor Oil
  1. If you change the oil in your car or lawn mower at home, please dispose of the oil properly. Most service centers and garages will recycle used motor oil. You can find information about recycling used motor oil and other hazardous waste on the Rivanna solid Waste Authority's Recycling information page.   

  2. Pouring motor oil down a storm drain will send it directly into a stream or river where it will contaminate the drinking water supply, make it unfit for recreational uses such as swimming and fishing, and will harm fish and other aquatic life.  

  3. Disposing of oil by pouring it on the ground can result in contamination of ground water, making the water in local wells dangerous to drink and unfit for other household purposes.