Registered car wash owners will adhere to relevant guidelines in regards to Environmental legislation and regulation. There are separate organisations that cover England (Environment Agency) to Scotland (Scottish Environment Protection Agency), Wales (Natural Resources Wales) and Northern Ireland (Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs).

The Scheme expects the same standards across all car washes, although some official procedures and documents may differ.

Despite the regulations being withdrawn, the Environment Agency’s PPG13 guidelines to prevent pollution during the car wash process is still a good guide to follow for best practice. Further guidance can be found at (Pollution prevention for businesses)

Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland – Compliance in these parts of the UK come under GPP 13. This can be found here.

Operators will need to demonstrate the following including that, where appropriate, they meet necessary legislation:

Trade Effluence:

  • That they have obtained a Trade Effluent License from a water supply company relevant to the area which each individual site comes under. The Water Industry Act 1991 deals with Trade Effluent and operators are expected to comply with required regulations of the Act, and the license that is issued by the relevant Water Board.
  • Water UK can assist operators in finding out which Water Company your sites are under (Water Company-Find your supplier).
  • That each site has appropriate Spill Kits in place and staff are trained on how to use these.

Waste Material:

  • That they dispose of all waste material (including trade effluent, hazardous waste, non-hazardous waste etc.) in accordance with the Environment Agency’s guidelines and other appropriate legislation, and retain accurate comprehensive records and evidence of any licences / permits etc.

Appropriate site:

  • Operators will need to demonstrate that they have ensured their site is appropriate for the operation.
  • This includes an impermeable wash surface (e.g. concrete wash pad) with appropriate shielding to reduce and capture effluent run-off (e.g. a proper side screen and kerbs surrounding the site, bar access point).