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Tips for Businesses

Discharges from businesses within Santa Maria may contribute to water pollution. By following these Good Housekeeping best management practices (BMPs), Santa Maria and surrounding communities can be a much cleaner and better place to live and work.

Click cover images below to download PDF factsheets.

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Pollution Prevention Fact Sheet for Mobile Car Washing and Outdoor Surface Pressure Washing 

California Storm Water Quality Association Best Management Practice Handbooks

For New Development and Redevelopment, Construction, Industrial and Commercial, and Municipal Operations

Managing Fats, Oil, and Grease

  • DrainWipe cookware and work areas prior to washing. DO NOT pour cooking oils, fats, and grease directly into the storm drain.
  • Dispose of food waste directly into the trash. Minimize use of the garbage disposal.
  • Collect waste cooking oil and grease and store for recycling. DO NOT pour waste cooking oil, fats, or grease directly into a storm drain or onto a parking lot or street.
  • Clean floor mats indoors and over a utility sink. Do not wash floor mats outside where water will runoff directly into the storm drain.

Landscape Areas

  • Save $$$$ and minimize over irrigation of your lawn. Irrigate during the cooler times of the day and avoid discharging irrigation water into a storm drain.
  • Apply lawn and garden chemicals sparingly and according to directions. To prevent chemicals from being washed into a storm drain DO NOT apply chemicals to landscaping when moderate to heavy rain is forecasted.
  • Reduce the use of fertilizers. Try making your own compost or using slow release organic fertilizers instead.
  • Cover piles of dirt and mulch to prevent these pollutants from blowing or washing off your landscaping and into a storm drain or waterbody.
  • Select native plants and grasses that are drought and pest resistant. Native plants require less water and fertilizer.
  • Direct downspouts away from paved surfaces and onto lawns and other vegetated areas to save $$$$ on irrigation, increase infiltration, and reduce polluted runoff.
  • Control soil erosion on your property by planting ground cover and stabilizing erosion-prone areas.
  • Eliminate toxic pesticides or use less toxic alternatives for a healthy home and garden.
  • See the Our Water Our World Program website for more information.

Machinery and Maintenance

  • Properly dispose of hazardous materials and wastes such as paints and paint thinners, pesticides, oil and fuel additives, starter fluids, and solvents at the Santa Maria Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility located at the Santa Maria Regional Landfill, 2065 East Main Street.
  • Only Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQG) can bring materials to the HHWCF. Regularly maintain machinery and equipment to prevent fluid leaks.
  • Clean up spilled brake fluid, oil, grease, antifreeze, and other fluids with dry absorbent material like kitty litter or sand. DO NOT hose them into the street or a storm drain.
  • Sweep a parking lot or sidewalk rather than pressure washing or hosing them.
  • NEVER pour mop water into the street.
  • DO NOT pour motor oil into storm drains.

Outdoor Washing Activities

  • Before beginning an outdoor project, be aware of the nearest storm drains and protect them from loose debris and other material.
  • Sweep-up and properly dispose of construction debris such as concrete and mortar.
  • Use hazardous substances like paints, solvents, and cleaners in the smallest amounts possible and follow manufacturer directions. Clean up spills immediately and dispose of the waste safely.
  • Store substances properly to avoid leaks and spills.
  • Purchase and use nontoxic, biodegradable, recycled, and recyclable products whenever possible.
  • Clean paint brushes in a sink, not outdoors. Filter and reuse paint thinner when using oil-based paints. Properly dispose of excess paints and thinners for free at the Santa Maria Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility located at the Santa Maria Regional Landfill, 2065 East Main Street.
  • Trash, Waste, and Debris

Trash, Waste, and Debris

  • DumpsterMake sure trash cans and dumpsters are covered and emptied regularly.
  • Maintain clean and debris free ditches, street gutters, and storm drains. Not only will this reduce storm water pollution but it will prevent flooding.
  • Pet waste can contain disease causing bacteria and parasites that can make people and other animals sick. Pick-up pet waste and dispose of the waste and used kitty litter in the trash. Do NOT dispose of kitty litter in the toilet.

Cleaning Supplies

  • Purchase detergents and cleaners that are low in phosphorous.
  • Use less toxic products and dispose of any excess at the Santa Maria Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility located at the Santa Maria Regional Landfill, 2065 East Main Street.

Spill Prevention, Control, and Clean Up

  • Never store or handle chemicals adjacent to a storm drain or waterway.
  • In the event of a spill, first attempt to contain it and prevent it from spreading, then clean-up the spill.
  • Use dry absorbents and clean-up methods for spills (e.g., sawdust, kitty litter, rags, mops, and buckets). Do not rinse or hose spills into a storm drain or to a street or parking lot. Properly dispose absorbent material in the trash.

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