Washing vehicles at Malmstrom

  • Published
  • By Cody Koontz
  • 341st Civil Engineering Squadron
Malmstrom Air Force Base operates under a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System permit from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

This permit allows Malmstrom to discharge storm water from our property toward the Missouri River by implementing various management strategies.
It is important to recognize that anything that goes into a storm drain ends up going to the Missouri River untreated.

This is why washing a vehicle in the street or in a parking lot is not allowed on base.

It is imperative to take all vehicles (personal or government-owned) to a designated car wash.
Some car wash soaps are advertised as biodegradable. While this may be the case for the soap, it does nothing more than transport vehicle fluids and sediment.

The vehicle fluids and sediment can cause line blockages and impact the biology in the waterways.
You wouldn’t wash your vehicle next to your favorite fishing spot, so why do it outside of a proper car wash?

The car washes on base are designed to handle the dirt, grease and oil that come off a vehicle. These units also discharge to the sanitary sewer system which is treated by the City of Great Falls before reaching the river.

For more information on what we do to curb storm water pollution, view Malmstrom’s Storm Water Management Plan located on the Environmental Resources page on malmstrom.af.mil.

This document is updated every year and we welcome any comments or questions on how we control storm water.

Please contact Cody Koontz at 406-731-6155, or cody.koontz@us.af.mil for more information.