Good Housekeeping

The Problem

Municipal operations include a wide variety of activities conducted to maintain City and County owned property and facilities, such as public streets and the storm drain system. Significant amounts of urban pollutants are found on street and road surfaces due to pavement abrasion and littering. Petroleum and heavy metals are deposited on roads from clutch and break wear, vehicle exhaust, and leaking motor fluids. These pollutants are also found on sidewalks and parking lots, and in the storm drain system. In addition to litter and debris, vegetation management and herbicide use are concerns associated with maintenance of street medians, parks, and other landscaped areas. Street repairs typically involve asphalt or concrete removal/addition and therefore, materials such as saw-cut slurry and leftover waste must be properly contained to avoid discharge to the storm drain.

The Solution

Step 1: Implement Best Management Practices

The Watershed Partners will implement a program to inspect all vehicle maintenance facilities and confirm that they are being managed to minimize the discharge of pollutants into the storm sewer system. Best Management Practices (BMPs) such as general good housekeeping, waste reduction, spill prevention and response, and fluids management will be implemented at facilities identified through the inspection process.

Step 2: Train Employees

Employees at these facilities will be trained on how to best prevent pollutant runoff from maintenance activities. Training will include controls of the discharge of pollutants to streets, proper maintenance of salt and sand storage areas, waste cleanup and spill prevention and response. Sediment and debris will be removed from the storm sewer conduits, channels and catch basins during maintenance activities so that the system operates effectively. Training will be offered annually to help ensure that all maintenance activities are performed in an environmentally sound manner.

Step 3: Conduct Annual Street Cleanings

The Watershed Partners will conduct street cleaning on an ongoing basis and will strive to reach all paved streets at least once every other year. Street cleaning keeps much of the sand and sediment out of the storm sewer system. To complement the street sweeping effort, an inspection program will be initiated to identify areas where sediment, litter and debris may need to be removed from the conduits, channels and catch basins.