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Environmental Management Assistance Program

Mobile Washing Operations

If you are considering starting a mobile washing operation, there are regulations and best practices that pertain to managing the cleaning wastewater that is generated.  

Examples of mobile washing operations include washing cars from one location to another, power washing operations, window cleaning, and any other operation that cleans automobiles, buildings, sidewalks, driveways, pavement, etc.

Wastewater Management for Mobile Washing

Under the Clean Water Act an organization cannot discharge wastewater directly to the “waters of the Commonwealth” without obtaining a permit.  Often, mobile washing operations can make arrangements with the local wastewater treatment facility (known as the publicly owned treatment works, or POTW) to properly dispose of the water that has been contaminated with dirts, oils, detergents, cleaning chemicals, or other contaminants.

Depending on the frequency, location, volume, and ingredients used in the cleaning operation, there may be acceptable methods of managing the cleaning wastewaters without the need for a permit from Pennsylvania DEP.


(877) ASK-EMAP

Speak to a consultant about your environmental compliance questions.
Jeremy Hancher is the EMAP Program Manager located at the Widener University SBDC.  He holds over 15 years of experience in environmental compliance, environmental policy, and program management.  He is proud to be the team lead of the award-winning EMAP program which provides free and confidential environmental assistance to the Pennsylvania small business community in fulfillment of the requirements of the Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act and Section 507 of the federal Clean Air Act.
In 2015, Jeremy was part of the team effort when EMAP was recognized by US EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for Outstanding Accomplishments by a State Small Business Environmental Assistance Provider in Providing Technical Environmental Assistance to the Small Business Community. Jeremy holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a certificate from the Wharton School.