Businesses can have a negative impact on local waterways, even if you do not directly work with water. By making a few small, simple changes, your business could help keep local waterways clean and safe for all to enjoy!
One way to help our lakes is by properly cleaning your parking lots. They should be regularly swept and the debris should be thrown away. This will keep the pollutants from getting washed down the storm drain. When cleaning up spills, dry methods, such as absorbents, sweeping and vacuuming, should be used prior to pressure washing. Only power wash near a place where the water will go into vegetation or down a sanitary sewer, not the storm drain. For additional tips, read this NEWSC brochure.
Proper dumpster use also helps keep our lakes clean. Clean them away from the storm drain and near a place where the contaminated water will go down the sanitation sewer. Make sure there are no leaks in the dumpster and you are not throwing away liquids. Keep them closed as much as possible. If they are opened, the garbage can contaminate the rain water and garbage can get out. Dirty rain water and escaped trash then make their way to the storm drain, polluting our water ways. See this flyer for additional tips on dumpster maintenance.
Look below for tips pertaining to your business! You can also visit Renew Our Waters website for additional information.
Water used for carpet cleaning contains many harmful chemicals and debris. If this water is dumped down the storm drain, it goes out to the lakes while it is full of pollutants. Chemicals and debris contribute to making our waterways gross. Make sure all of your hoses and filters work properly, reducing the amount of leaks. Vacuum the area prior to cleaning to help reduce debris in the water. Filter the wastewater prior to disposal. Discharge your water down a sanitary sewer, such as a toilet or utility sink. If your client has a septic system, transport the water to a sewage discharge point. NEVER dump waste water down the storm drains!
Concrete Supplies and Finishers
Wastewater from washing a concrete truck is highly alkaline (pH 12), caustic, and corrosive. The pH of concrete can essentially be the same as Liquid Drano ® or other household cleaners.When it is not properly managed, it can pollute surface water and groundwater by changing its pH, increasing the toxicity of other substances, and polluting our waters and destroying the habitat fish and plants rely on. When washout is needed on a construction site, use designated temporary storage facilities large enough to contain all the liquid and concrete waste generated by washout operations, until you can properly dispose of it. See this brochure for additional tips.
Lawn Care Specialists
Manicured lawns look nice, but can be a huge pollution source for our local waterways. By making a few small changes, you can still give clients a beautiful landscape and notcontaminate our waters by doing so. Apply fertilizer in the fall or during a dry spell so the rain will not wash it down the drains into the lakes. Get a soil test done to see what needs to be added to the soil to avoid extra chemicals being used. Use chemicals for fertilizing and ice removal sparingly and as directed. Instead of letting the grass clippings and leaves go out into the street, either sweep them up to throw them away or compost them instead. Compost will become great fertilize, and it is free. Keep all water from lawn care in the grass, not the concrete.
Most people love to swim in pools. However, the water hosts a ton of chemicals harmful to our lakes and rivers. If you are building with concrete, use environmental friendly methods to do so. See our Construction Information page for tips. Help clients make smart choices about what chemicals, how much of them to use and how to dispose of the water properly. Stress to clients the importance of not dumping their pool water down the storm drain. They should keep it on the grass and/or dechlorinate it first. See this flyer for more information.
Power washing cleans up buildings and other private property, but it harms our water ways in the process. By adopting a few simple, cleanup methods, you can keep the community and lakes clean. Try dry cleanup method, such as absorbents and sweeping, first. When at all possible, avoid using soap (even biodegradable ones). All types of soap can be toxic to wild life. Do not let the waste water get to a storm drain. Filter the water prior to disposal. Keep it in the vegetation or put it in a storage unit to transport it.
Even if your restaurant cooks indoors, you can still contribute to water pollution. Dump water down a sink or another drain that leads to a sanitation sewer. Never just dump it out a door. Use dry cleanup methods first, before dirtying water. Keep your garbage area clean and make sure solid waste, such as trash or oil, does not have a way to reach the storm drains. See this poster for more ways to have an environmentally friendly restaurant.