Puget Sound Innovation Stories

Don’t Drip and Drive

Helping drivers prevent pollution from drips and leaks

Each year, vehicles driving around Puget Sound leak approximately 7 million quarts of vehicle fluids, including motor oil, fuel, lubricants and more into the Puget Sound watershed. Oil and other petroleum products are toxic to fish and other wildlife. When it rains, stormwater runoff carries fluids that drip from our cars to rivers, streams, lakes and Puget Sound. The Don’t Drip and Drive Program was created to address this significant source of pollution in the Puget Sound region. Launched in 2012 by the Stormwater Outreach for Regional Municipalities (STORM) in partnership with state and non-profit organizations, Don’t Drip and Drive is a regional campaign designed to increase vehicle owners’ awareness of leaks and motivate them to get them repaired. The campaign supported free leak inspections at participating Automotive Service Association (ASA) repair shops and at participating Quick Lube shops, which provided coupons for discounted repairs. Certified instructors offered 175 free leak inspection workshops at community colleges around the region. And volunteers conducted “Vehicle Leaks Blitz” events at parking lots, reaching thousands of vehicle owners. Paid radio advertising combined with other on-air promotions further targeted vehicle owners. The campaign hosts a website (fixcarleaks.org) with information in English and Spanish about how drivers can check their vehicles for leaks and about local automotive shops offering free leak inspections. The program has directly engaged over 28,000 vehicle owners.

What worked:

  • Offering 175 free auto leaks workshops from 2012-2019 attracted thousands of local drivers to learn how to prevent harmful fluids leaking into Puget Sound.
  • Partnering with ASA and Quick Lube to conduct free inspections resulted in 4,649 repairs.
  • Incorporating Spanish messaging and workshops engaged more vehicle owners.
  • Initial radio campaign content was broadcast 8.6 million times in 2012-2013.


  • Fixing leaks reduced the amount of toxic pollution entering Puget Sound and protected water quality for fish and wildlife.


  • Congressional District: 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
  • Legislative District: 10, 21, 23, 24, 26, 27, 30, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 38, 40, 42
  • WRIA: 1, 2, 3, 6, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 13, 12
  • County: Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, Whatcom, Skagit, Island, San Juan, Mason, Thurston, Pierce, King


  • Department of Ecology
  • ASA Northwest
  • Envirostars
  • AAA
  • Local automotive shops

Project Funding:

  • Department of Ecology

More Info

Publish Date: May 13, 2020