Puddles help Rangers
PUDDLES Car Wash is set to have a squeaky clean reputation of caring for the environment thanks to a new initiative to help keep our oceans clean.
Before buying the local car wash, owner Karen Rann said she never knew just how dirty the water coming from cars was.
"People think it just dirty water but it's actually quite greasy," Mrs Rann said.
"When you drive on the road, all of the tar and oil and fuel residue sticks to your car.
"Then when you wash your car in the driveway, all of that gets washed down the gutter, into storm water drains and into the ocean."
Mrs Rann said that concept was very concerning to her, especially with Bundaberg's close proximity to turtle nesting grounds.
"At the car wash, we have big pits, about six cubic metres, where all of the sludge is collected and professionally removed," she said.
"It's not toxic but when you see it in a concentrated form, it's surprising - and that's what's going into the ocean."
Mrs Rann has spent the past year working with the Department of Environment and Resource Management, the Marine Park Authority, the Australian Car Wash Association and others to develop a program which educates the community on the benefits of using car washes.
The effort has earned Puddles Car Wash the title of being a Reef Ranger site.
Mrs Rann said from now on, whenever kids came through the car wash with their parents, they could collect cards which are stamped each time they visit.
Every fourth stamp will earn them an environmental ranger badge.
Mrs Rann said she was also working with local schools to use the stamp system as a fundraiser.
"Whenever they complete a card, they can put it in a box at the carwash and each card will have a dollar value that will be donated to the school," she said.
"It's really about educating people."