Help Protect Your Watershed
Best Management Practices
Best Management Practices (BMPs) are precautions and simple everyday operating practices and devices that prevent pollution at the source.
BMPs At Home
- Sweep driveways instead of hosing them down.
- Don’t allow leaves or green waste to accumulate; compost or dispose of them properly (not along creek banks).
- Use Bay-Friendly Landscaping and Eco-Wise gardening methods. Adopt integrated pest management (IPM) methods. Minimize the use of chemicals around your home.
- Consider installing raingardens to treat stormwater run-off on your property.
- Use a cistern to collect roof runoff to water your garden.
- Consider replacing paved areas with more pervious materials that allow water to percolate into the ground.
- Oversee your contractors to ensure they are not illicitly discharging pollutants to the storm drain system.
- Never clean-out paint brushes or tools in the gutter (where waste water will flow to the storm drain and impact waterways.) Even latex paint negatively affects water quality.
- Remember street sweeping days and move your cars and trash/recycle bins to allow street sweepers to access the street. Also, remind your neighbors!
- Discharge your pool/spa/fountain into the sanitary sewer or onto landscaping.
- Wash your car at a commercial car wash, where waste water is treated and recycled.
- Organize litter clean-ups in the neighborhood and volunteer for creek restoration events.
BMPs At Work
- Prevent stormwater from coming in contact with work areas, especially maintenance areas and material storage areas, in order to prevent the discharge of contaminants.
- Store materials under roofs or coverings such as tarps, and on paved areas that are bermed or curbed, in order to prevent contact with stormwater.
- Keep dumpsters closed and keep property free from accumulated trash.
- Use drip pans under leaking vehicles, equipment and work areas; better yet, have leaks repaired.
- Secure hazardous waste storage areas to prevent unpermitted access and vandalism.
- Use shop vacs, vacuum trucks and/or mechanical sweepers to periodically clean work areas and parking lots.
- Clean out on-site catch basins regularly. At a minimum, do so before the rainy season (October).
- Clean up spills and leaks immediately using dry methods such as shop rags and absorbents.
- Train employees in pollution prevention. Explain the reason for the change in procedure in order for behavior modification to be most effective. Reinforce training regularly.
- Communicate BMPs with signage and document spill notification, training, clean-up procedures and spill kit management.
- Periodically inspect and audit your facility.