You Can Prevent Nonpoint Source Pollution
When rain or stormwater flows across rooftops, lawns, streets, parking lots, construction sites and open lots it collects all kinds of pollution from “nonpoint sources” and washes them into our rivers and streams. Typical pollutants from stormwater pollution include sediment (dirt), oil and grease, fecal coliform, pesticides and fertilizer, lawn clippings, debris, and heavy metals.
Contrary to what you might think, stormwater run off does NOT flow into the sewer and to the wastewater treatment plant for treatment (clean up). Polluted stormwater flows directly into our fresh water rivers, streams and lakes. It also can impact groundwater sources. Cleaning up contaminated water can be costly or not possible. Preventing pollution by applying “Best Management Practices” (or BMPs) is easier and more economical.
- EPA National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
- TCEQ Pollution Prevention Planning and Technical Assistance
- Texas Groundwater Protection Committee Pollution Prevention
2. Proper Hazardous Materials Storage
Hazardous materials that are not stored properly have much greater chances of entering the waterways. The Texas Administrative Code regulates industrial waste and municipal hazardous waste. Refer to the Secretary of State's website for details of the regulations.
- Maintaining Sufficient Aisle Space
- Storing Away from High Traffic Areas
- Stacking in Accordance with Manufacturers’ Directions
- Storing on Pallets
- Delegating Responsibility to Trained Hazardous Substance Management
- Covering or Enclosing Hazardous Materials Areas
- Considering Usable Life of Container
For further information refer to Menu of BMPs: Hazardous Materials Storage. (U.S. EPA, July 2001).
3. Materials Management
Proper materials management involves the responsible selection, use, storage, and disposal of a product. These actions will help prevent the materials from entering waterways.
- Minimize Materials Used
- Minimize Waste Generated
- Routine Housekeeping
- Proper Collection and Disposal of Wastes
- Regular Inspection
- Employee Training
- Materials Inventory: identify all substances; label all containers (name, unit number, expiration date, handling instructions, and health and environmental hazards); note hazardous chemicals
- "Menu of BMPs: Materials Management." (U.S. EPA, July 2001).
- “Source Water Protection Practices Bulletin: Managing Small Quantity Chemical Use to Prevent Contamination of Drinking Water.” (U.S. EPA, July 2001).
4. Spill Response and Prevention
To protect storm drains from spills and leaks, a spill response and prevention plan should be developed. These plans include spill prevention measures, response procedures, cleanup procedures, reporting and training. Product substitution and use of recycled, reclaimed, and reused materials may reduce the toxic materials requiring a spill response and prevention plan.
- Description of Facility, Address, Activities and Materials
- Identification of Spill Response Personnel
- Identification of Potential Spill Areas or Operations
- Identification of Areas Requiring Berms
- Facility Map (Including Areas, Activities, Materials, Structural BMPs etc.)
- Material Handling Procedures
- Spill Response Procedures: assessment of site and potential impacts; containment; notification; clean up; disposal; record keeping
- Install Leak Detection Devices, Overflow Controls, and Diversion Berms
- Disconnect Drains to Storm Sewer
- Preventative Maintenance
- Minimize Spills
- Product Substitution
- Recycle, Reclaim, or Reuse Materials
- “Menu of BMPs: Spill Response and Prevention.” (U.S. EPA, July 2001).
- “California Stormwater BMP Handbook, Municipal, BMP Fact Sheets: SC-11 Spill Prevention, Control & Cleanup.” (California Stormwater Quality Association, January 2003).
5. Trash Management
Trash management involves source control and structural control to reduce the amount of trash present in stormwater and entering source waters.
- Source Control: waste reduction; public education; infrastructure; clean-up programs;
- Structural Control: filtration; centrifugal separation
For further information refer to this site:
“Menu of BMPs: Trash Management.” (U.S. EPA, July 2001).
Links to Specific Best Management Practices
AUTOS: Repair, Parts, Sales, Salvage, Towing
hazardous wastes, hydrocarbons, trace metals
Perchloroethylene, other solvents and chemicals, separator water, used carbon and cartridges from absorbers, residues and sludge from stills, filter powder, filters, rags, and extra chemicals and drums
Acetone and other chemicals
PETROLEUM STORAGE TANKS
Technical Assistance for Implementing BMPs
Small businesses are eligible to receive free on-site technical help with pollution prevention from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Small Business and Local Government Assistance (SBLGA) program. The program provides confidential technical assistance without the threat of enforcement. Help is available from regional offices located throughout the state; click here to find the nearest Compliance Assistance Specialist or call toll free at 1-800-447-2827.
Following are shortcuts to compliance tools for specific operations:
- Auto Body Shops
- Automotive Repair
- Auto Salvage Yards
- Car Washes
- Dry Cleaners
- Edwards Aquifer
- Fleet Maintenance
- Metal Finishers
- Petroleum Storage Tank (PST) Facilities
- Public Water Supply
- Reinforced Plastics
- Sawmill Operations
- Small Airports and Tenant Operations
- Surface Coating
- Wastewater Treatment Plants
- Wood Products Industry
The Environmental Protection Agency has developed a special resource guide entitled Environmental Assistance Services for Small Business .