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Stormwater Pollution Prevention

Stormwater Pollution
Prevention

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Resources - Get Involved

Resources/
Get Involved

Commercial Pollutants

When it rains or snows, anything on the ground including chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, pet waste, automotive fluids, motor oil, and other pollutants can flow over driveways, parking lots, sidewalks and streets in our neighborhoods, then into the storm drain system, which flows into our brooks, rivers, ponds, and into Boston Harbor. These pollutants can be harmful to water quality and the environment.

Owners and renters of commercial spaces have a responsibility to help prevent stormwater pollution by cleaning up trash, including cigarette butts, food and beverage containers, and chemicals found near their business. There are ways to safely get rid of unused chemicals, motor oil, antifreeze, fertilizers, pesticides, and paint so that these chemicals do not end up dumped onto the ground or into a catch basin.

What Can We Do?

Here are some suggestions to help all of us take action to prevent stormwater pollution in the communities where we do business. We can:

    Broom
  • Sweep outdoor areas and throw debris, including leaves, into the trash can, not into a catch basin. Do not use detergents or chemical cleaners to hose down areas and be sure to direct the runoff away from the catch basin.
  • Put trash cans and cigarette receptacle in highly trafficked, visible areas including employee break areas.
  • Keep the area around dumpsters clean and the lids closed. Place them away from catch basins. Make sure the clean-out plug is properly secured to prevent leaking. Have the containers cleaned on a regular basis and store spill equipment on-site to clean up spills and releases.
  • Ensure hazardous materials are disposed of properly by asking the manufacturer or contacting the Massachusetts Hazardous Waste Hotline for Businesses at (617)-292-5898.
  • Pour wash water into a janitorial sink or a floor drain that is connected to the sanitary sewer system. Never pour wash water onto a parking lot or into catch basins.
  • Install and maintain grease traps and never pour cooking oil, grease or fats into sinks, floor drains, solid waste containers or into a catch basin.
Telephone

Report catch basins that are clogged with debris and not accepting stormwater, to BWSC for cleaning and report someone illegally dumping into a catch basin immediately to BWSC at (617)-989-7000. Dumping any material into catch basins is illegal with fines up to $5,000 per day of violation.

Litter in storm drain

Property Managers and Owners

Property owners are responsible for all pollutants leaving their property. In most cases, your commercial tenants and visitors do not see information mailed from BWSC because only ratepayers, like you, receive important stormwater pollution information with their bill. If you would like information to share with your tenants, please visit our Resources page, and look for the Stormwater Management for Small Businesses brochure. Download and print the information and distribute it to your tenants. Educating your tenants could avoid costly plumbing repairs and help prevent stormwater pollution.

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