Businesses, institutions, churches and medical facilities all play a role in protecting our local waterways. Check out these housekeeping tips for ways to reduce your contribution to stormwater pollution. You can also contact the GLRC to partner in educating your staff and customers on pollution prevention.
Download these education flyers to print and post at your establishment.
Waste and Material STorage
Property managers should inspect dumpsters regularly to ensure that they are covered and not overflowing. Otherwise, rain can sweep up any pollutants in or around the dumpster, and carry it into storm drains and local waterways.
A lot of the time, fertilizer is a waste. Make sure you get a soil test prior to fertilizing to determine if it is even necessary. If fertilizer is used, sweep or blow it off of hard surfaces so it doesn't flow into storm drains. Also, ensure that the mowers don't direct mower discharge into the road or towards other paved surfaces, as they can clog storm drains and cause localized flooding.
Never clean driveways or parking lots by spraying it with water. Sweep up litter and dirt and dispose of it in a dumpster. If washing is necessary, look for environmentally friendly, water based cleaning products. Any rinsing of mops, brushes, paint cans, and buckets should be done in an inside sink.
If you must irrigate, only turn sprinklers on in the early morning. Wasteful evaporation occurs if lawns are irrigated during the heat of the day. It's also important to keep sprinklers pointed away from roads, driveways, and sidewalks so the water doesn't become runoff. If your property has detention basins or cisterns, think about using that water for your landscaping needs.
Snow and Ice Removal
While road commission and city trucks distribute a lot of salt in the winter, it's estimated that half of all salt is sold to private homes and businesses. When snow and ice melt, the water carries salt into drains and impacts aquatic habitats. Remove as much snow as possible with a shovel or plow before salting and apply it sparingly. Also consider using alternative de-icing products that are safer for the environment.
Wash vehicles at a commercial car washing facility. They reuse water and send it to treatment plants. When you wash a vehicle in the street or parking lot, the grease, oil, and suds flows into drains that discharge into waterways. Any maintenance like oil changes should be performed inside with oil pans, drip cloths, and spill kits.