Automotive Services


Oil, grease, anti-freeze, and other toxic automotive fluids often make their way into the Madison County storm drain system, and do not get treated before reaching the streams and rivers. This pollutes our drinking water and contaminates waterways, making them unsafe for people and wildlife. Follow these best management practices to prevent pollution, protect public health, and avoid fines or legal action.

For more information, please contact Stormwater Program Management at (731) 423-2041.

Best Management Practices

  • Storing Hazardous Waste: Keep your liquid waste segregated. Many fluids can be recycled via hazardous waste disposal companies if they are not mixed. Store all materials under cover with spill containment or inside to prevent contamination of rainwater runoff.
  • Proper Disposal of Hazardous Waste: Recycle used motor oil and oil filters, anti-freeze and other hazardous automotive fluids, batteries, tires, and metal filings collected from grinding/polishing auto parts. Contact a licensed hazardous waste hauler.
  • Cleaning Auto Parts: Scrape parts with a wire brush or use a bake oven rather than liquid cleaners. Arrange drip pans, drying racks, and drain boards so that fluids are directed back into the sink or the fluid holding tank. Do not wash parts or equipment in a parking lot, driveway, or street.
  • Preventing Leaks and Spills: Place drip pans underneath to capture fluids. Use absorbent cleaning agents instead of water to clean work areas.
  • Metal Grinding and Polishing: Keep a bin under your lathe or grinder to capture metal filings. Send uncontaminated filings to a scrap metal recycler for reclamation. Store metal filings in a covered container or indoors.
  • Cleaning Spills: Follow your hazardous materials response plan, as filed with your local fire department or other hazardous materials authority. Be sure that all employees are aware of the plan and are capable of implementing each phase of the plan. Use dry methods for spill clean-up (sweeping, absorbent materials, etc.). To report serious spills, call 9-1-1.
  • Washing vehicles: Wash vehicles where the wash water can soak into grass, gravel, or be diverted to nearby landscaping, away from the street and storm drains. Wash vehicles at a designated wash rack that is connected to the sanitary sewer or take vehicles to a professional car wash. Use soaps, cleaners, and detergents that are labeled phosphate free or biodegradable. The safest products for the environment are vegetable-based or citrus-based soaps.