Did you know...

  • Every gallon of gas you use produces about 19 pounds of carbon dioxide

  • Idling your vehicle for more than just 10 seconds uses more fuel than restarting your engine

  • Idling your vehicle for just 10 minutes can use as much fuel as it takes to travel 5 miles

Although it is not always easily seen, cars emit, deposit, and transport various pollutants as they move throughout the watershed. A number of these pollutants can be transported into streams and lakes as stormwater runoff.

Pollution from Car Parts

  • Air Conditioning System - CFCs

  • ABS (anti-lock brakes) - Mercury

  • Auto Bodies - Iron, grease, dirt, paint

  • Brake and Clutch Linings - Wear and tear releases asbestos, Cadmium, Copper, Lead, Manganese, Zinc, tire rubber

  • Convenience Lighting (hood and trunk switches) - Mercury

  • Engines - Chromium, Copper, nickel, oil, antifreeze

  • Exhaust - PCBs, phosphorus, Zinc

  • Tires - Rubber, sediment

You can help!

Avoid unnecessary idling

Shut off your engine when waiting for friends or family to prevent excess exhaust production. It's best to park the car and walk into a restaurant, coffee shop, or bank rather than idling in the drive-thru lane. Exhaust from cars can result in PCBs, phosphorus, and zinc pollution entering our waterways.

Avoid warming up the car in the morning. According to ASE, today's cars are designed to warm up quickly and do not require time to warm up.

By avoiding unnecessary idling, you'l be helping to protect Lake Whatcom from air and water pollution in addition to achieving fuel and money savings.