Good Housekeeping

Bottom Curve

There are many ways your business can reduce or eliminate pollutant discharges to the storm drain system. These Best Management Practices (BMPs) commonly fall into three categories: administrative, source control, and treatment control.

BMPs should be considered and implemented in that order: administrative, source control, and then treatment control. Implementing BMPs in this order is the most cost effective and does the best job of protecting stormwater quality. Administratively eliminating pollution sources will almost always be the best solution. Using source control BMPs to eliminate pollutant sources prior to polluting stormwater runoff should be your next option. Your last option is to treat stormwater runoff in an effort to remove pollutants.

Treatment is likely the most expensive and often least effective way to go. Treatment control should be a part of your overall stormwater pollution prevention strategy as a last and final effort to remove pollutants that could not feasibly be addressed through administrative and source control BMPs. Treatment control BMPs should not be used as stand alone BMPs.


  • Provide stormwater BMP training to employees and conduct regular facility self-inspections to monitor for prohibited non-stormwater discharges or conditions.
  • Maintain records of training activities, facility self-inspections, spill logs, and disposal manifests.
  • Utilize your existing facility, or design your new facility, to minimize the threat to stormwater quality from your activities. If necessary, you may need to conduct activities that are not compatible with your facility (for example, commercial vehicle washing if you don’t have a wash rack, or other means to contain, collect, and properly dispose of vehicle washing wastewater) at an offsite commercial facility.
  • Consider the weather when you plan outdoor activities. You should not conduct pollutant-generating activities outdoors when it is raining or when rain is forecasted, as stormwater contact with the pollutants would be more likely to occur.


  • Keeping outdoor areas swept and clean
  • Keep dumpster lids closed when not in use to keep rain out and never place uncontained liquids in a dumpster — they will leak out.
  • Clean shop and restaurant floors using dry cleanup methods
  • Cleaning spills promptly using dry methods (as opposed to hosing spills into a storm drain, which is prohibited)
  • Install erosion control measures
  • Stabilize exit points from unpaved areas with 2″ or larger rock
  • Repair any leaking vehicles or equipment
  • Install secondary containment for stored fluids, preferably under a covered area to prevent stormwater from filling the containment device
  • Construct roofs over outdoor material storage areas
  • Pressure wash to remove pollutants from outdoor surfaces. However, pressure washing wastewater should never be discharged to a storm drain. Storm drains should be covered, or the path to the drain should be blocked during pressure washing. With the property owner’s permission, the collected wastewater can then be pumped into a sanitary sewer clean out, or, in some instances, discharged to a landscaped area, provided that the discharge does not overflow the landscaped area, contain hazardous constituents, or create nuisance conditions. Sump pumps and wet/dry shop vacuums can be used to pump the wastewater.


  • On-site storm drain inlet protection devices, such as appropriately-selected storm drain filter inserts
  • Vegetative swales, sand filters, and bioretention devices
  • Stormwater treatment vaults
  • Detention basins