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 You Do?
Here are some suggestions to help all of us take action to prevent stormwater pollution in the communities where we do business.
- Sweep outdoor areas and throw debris, including leaves (leaves should be recycled as compost) 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 receptacles 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 catch basins
- 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
Property Managers & Owners
Property owners are responsible for all pollutants leaving their property. Your tenants and visitors do not see BWSC informational inserts including stormwater pollution facts mailed with your water bill. If you would like information to share with your tenants, download and print the Stormwater Management for Small Businesses brochure and distribute it to your tenants. Educating your tenants could avoid costly plumbing repairs and help prevent stormwater pollution.