The contribution of discharge from carwashes to pollutant levels in stormwater was evaluated. Five carwashes and two outlets in the city of Toulouse (France) were selected. Water samples were collected from December 2006 to December 2007. Concentrations and loadings of classical water quality parameters (conductivity, pH, turbidity, chemical oxygen demand, nitrogen, phosphorus, ammonium, nitrate, suspended solid and volatile suspended solid) and five groups of organic compounds (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, lauryl alkyl benzene sulphonates, methyl tert-butyl ether and total hydrocarbons) were determined. The results suggest that the wastewater derived from carwashes was negligible compared to the volume and flow rates within the stormwater network. However, high concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, phosphorus and lauryl alkyl benzene sulphonates in liquid waste from carwashes, and the impact of these pollutants on stormwater quality could not be neglected.
Keywords: organic pollutants, pollutant loading, separated sewer system, urban stormwater