Water Quality – Nonpoint Source Pollution

ooyFwWEStormwater pollution is an important environmental issue—it is the United States’ #1 source of water pollution. Businesses can have a direct impact by properly managing day-to-day activities and ensuring only rainwater goes into storm drains and gutters.

Contact Project Azul Verde to Improve Your Water Quality Management:
  • Audit activities
    • Assess cleaning, landscaping, trash, and equipment maintenance practices, products, and flows
    • Identify ways to reduce resouce use, reduce costs, and reduce negative environmental impacts
    • Determine a baseline, set goals, and monitor progress
  • Engage and communicate with your staff and vendors
    • Identify and maximize employee engagement opportunities
    • Improve sustainable purchasing policies
  • Report success and build community
    • Leverage your leadership by setting and communicating progress on your water quality goals
    • Share your success stories to reach more customers and investors

About Water Quality Management:

Stormwater pollution occurs when rain or snow melt flows over streets and picks up trash, oil, dirt, and other pollutants as it travels. These pollutants are then carried to the storm drainage system, which drains directly into our local creeks and streams, untreated. Motor oil, sediment, yard waste/leaves, biodegradable materials, and paint are common pollutants that should never be put down the storm drain. These materials will travel directly into streams and creeks polluting water and natural habitats.

Remember: Only Rain to the Drain. Stormwater drains are designed to send water to waterways to manage rain events. Consider this: if you wash your equipment or vehicles in the driveway, it’s just like washing it in the stream—not good!

Actions You Can Take Right Now For Your Business:

  • Cleaning of equipment or buildings. Cleaning water must drain to the sanitary sewer. Use earth friendly cleaning products and use the minimum amount possible. It is best to wash vehicles at a commercial car wash (if you must, wash on an unpaved surface and empty the wash bucket into the sink or toilet).
  • Spills. Clean up spills promptly by having a spill kit ready nearby. Use kitty litter, saw dust or other dry absorbents instead of spraying with water. Allow it to sit for several hours, then sweep into a bag, and dispose of the material in the trash.
  • Landscaping and grounds maintenance. Prevent grass clippings and other landscape debris from flowing or blowing onto paved surfaces and gutters. Avoid harmful fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides—if you must, use earth friendly products and follow the instructions to use the proper amount. Store chemicals securely using secondary containment so that if the container leaks the chemical remains contained.
  • Dumpster and loading dock areas.  As trash sits in the dumpster, excess liquids from the trash form “trash juice.” Cover dumpsters with a lid so that when it rains the trash juice doesn’t flow away. Ensure the dumpster is emptied at the proper frequency so that it is not over filled as trash can blow away and critters can wreak havoc.
  • Equipment – driving and parking lots. Oils and other harmful chemicals drip from vehicles regularly—don’t drip and drive. Clean up spills and litter immediately in parking lots.
  • Illegal connections to storm drainage systems. Ensure all drains are connected to the sanitary sewer system and do not flow directly to storm drains.
  • Ensure employees, service providers, and contractors know how to do their jobs right (trash, cleaning, facilities maintenance, landscaping).
  • Check property daily to make sure your business is not causing water pollution, use this checklist.

Learn More:

Keep It Clean – Resources for Businesses

EPA – What You Can Do

Materiales en Espanol para Automoviles