Information for Business Owners

Your business may be contributing pollution to our local creeks and you may not even know it! When it rains, pollutants reach parking lots, sidewalks, streets, and gutters, then wash into storm drains, then into the nearest creek, and ultimately into the ocean. Unfortunately, storm drains do not filter water, nor are they connected to the sanitary sewer system.

Pollutant Forms
Pollutants come in many different forms and from many different sources. Some common pollutants include:
  • Chemicals
  • Dirt
  • Fertilizers
  • Fuels
  • Litter
  • Paints
  • Powders
  • Soaps
  • Solvents
  • Vehicle and equipment fluids
  • Wash-water, etc.
Chemicals Stored in a Warehouse

Pollutant Sources

Some common sources of pollutants include:

  • Building maintenance activities
  • Leaking vehicles and equipment
  • Overflowing dumpsters
  • Spills
  • Unkempt outside storage areas
  • Wet cleaning, etc.

The good news is that pollution can be prevented from mixing with urban runoff and storm water.


Best Management Practices

While activities differ from business to business, the following list represents a few of the water quality protection practices, also known as Best Management Practices (BMPs), that all businesses must implement.

  • Keep your trash and dumpster lids closed. Do not place liquids in dumpster areas. Clean-up any spills and leaks. Contact your hauler if dumpsters are leaking or need repair.
  • Do not discharge any of the pollutants described above into alleys, gutters, parking lots, storm drains, or creeks.
  • Protect bare and landscaped areas to prevent sediment discharges into the street or storm drain.
  • Use dry-sweep methods to clean instead of using a hose. If you need to apply water, use a mop. If you need to hose-down an area, use water sparingly, capture the runoff, and send it into the sewer.
  • Store all liquids, gels, and powders under a roofed area, with secondary containment, to avoid contact with rain water.
  • Do not over-irrigate your landscaping. Runoff and over-spray from irrigation contributes herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers and sediment to our storm drains.
  • Do not release sewage water from blocked or cracked laterals into the street or storm drains. If a spill occurs, contact the local sewer agency immediately.

In order to ensure businesses comply with the City’s Municipal Ordinance TMC 8.28.200, facilities that contribute pollutants to our local creeks, or pose a threat to water quality, are subject to inspections.


 Businesses Inspected

Businesses typically identified for inspections include:

  • Automotive and equipment repair
  • Cemeteries
  • Concrete and masonry supplies
  • Fueling
  • Golf courses
  • Manufacturing
  • Mobile cleaning
  • Nurseries
  • Pest control
  • Plating
  • Restaurants
  • Warehousing
  • Other businesses that generate pollutants or pose a threat of releasing pollutants to our creeks
All businesses are required to correct any deficiencies or violations noted as a result of an inspection.

NPDES Hotline
Report illegal discharges at 951-694-6411 during business hours, and at 800-506-2555 after business hours.
Only Rain in the Drain Illustration
References