Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal Wells | Region 10 | US EPA

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Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal Wells

Informational Brochure for Alaska and Indian Country

EPA banned the use of motor vehicle waste disposal wells (MVWDW) nationwide, as well as in Alaska and in Indian Country in Region 10, to help protect drinking water resources. If your facility has a motor vehicle waste disposal well, please contact EPA to assess your underground waste disposal activity and to coordinate closure activities as needed.

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Why EPA is concerned
During vehicle repair and maintenance activities fluids can drip, spill, or otherwise enter the floor drains or sinks in service areas. If the floor drains and/or sinks are connected to a septic system, dry well, log crib, drain tank, or any other type of underground disposal system, waste fluids may be entering your drinking water.

What is underground injection?
Generally speaking, injection is any process that disposes of fluids underground. Injection wells are used to dispose of a variety of fluids underground. Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal Wells are injection wells that receive, or have ever received, waste fluids from motor vehicles.

Please note: Motor vehicle waste disposal wells are categorized by the type of waste received, not by the construction or shape of the well.

Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal Well diagram.

Click to enlarge

Examples of fluids that should NOT be disposed of into injection wells

Businesses that commonly handle these fluids

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How to tell if you may have a Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal Well

Answer the following questions as a self check guide
1. Does your facility handle motor vehicle waste fluids?
If YES go to question 2
If NO stop here
2. Does your facility have floor drains or sinks where these fluids are handled?
If YES go to question 3
If NO stop here
3. Are all of your floor drains and sinks connected to a municipal sewer or a holding tank where waste is pumped out regularly and taken off-site?
If YES stop here. You are
probably not subject to underground
injection requirements *
If NO you may be disposing of your
waste fluids into a Motor Vehicle
Waste Disposal Well

For more information on how to tell if you are operating a Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal Well use EPA Region 9’s Self Evaluation Checklist (PDF) (4pp., 390K).

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What should you do if you have a Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal Well?
Due to the risk to human health your injection well should be permanently closed in a way that will not cause further contamination. Contact EPA to further assess your injection activity and to coordinate pre- and post-closure activities as needed.

Well Closure Guidelines
The following actions are likely to meet closure requirements for motor vehicle waste disposal wells. Please contact EPA for review prior to initiating the closure activities.

Guidance for Underground Injection Control Class V Well Closures (PDF) (2pp., 17K)
Class V Well Pre-Closure Notification Form (PDF) (2pp., 20KB)

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Proper waste fluid disposal options
You can protect your drinking water and show your community and customers that you care about their health when you follow practices such as: Sample Signs to hang by sinks:
Downloadable "Handwashing Only" Sign (PDF) (1pp, 23K)
Downloadable "This Drain is for Wash Water Only" Sign (PDF) (1pp, 31K)


For more info on proper waste fluid disposal options visit:

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FAQ's - Frequently asked questions about Motor Vehicle Waste Disposal Wells

Jennifer Parker (
(206) 553-1900

Anne Christopher (
(206) 553-8293

Or call toll-free 1-800-424-4372

1200 Sixth Ave
Suite 900, OCE-082
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 553-0151 (fax)

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