How can businesses help improve water quality?

As a business owner or employee, you can help us most by keeping storm water out of the sewer system whenever possible, and disposing of certain materials in the trash as opposed to down a sink drain, floor drain, toilet, or sewer.

Ways to Help:

  • Make sure that down spouts and sump pumps are NOT connected to the sanitary sewer system.
  • Install a green roof, rain garden, or rain barrels to help capture storm water runoff.
  • Reduce impervious surfaces (blacktop, concrete, etc.) on the property where possible.
  • Reduce water use, especially during rainy weather.
  • Avoid planting trees, shrubs, and bushes near the sewer lines. Roots can enter, block, and damage sewers.
  • Keep private sewer lines (between the business and the public sewer line) free of cracks, separated joints, tree roots, and other blockages that could result in sewage backups.
  • Properly dispose of hazardous waste. Please do NOT put waste materials down the drain, or toilet, or dump them directly into a sewer.
  • Collect and dispose of or recycle municipal trash and waste properly. Please do NOT put trash down the drain or dump it directly into a sewer.
  • Properly dispose of rags in your trash or launder them. Please do NOT flush them down the toilet.
  • Keep lids closed on grease storage containers and trash dumpsters so stormwater will not be contaminated.
  • Make sure that chemicals and other materials stored onsite are covered.
  • Regularly inspect waste dumpsters for cracks and leaks.
  • Keep storm drains clear of debris, dirt, or other waste.
  • Properly dispose of all wastewater into the sanitary sewer.
  • Verify interior floor drains are plumbed to the sanitary sewer.
  • Routinely sweep parking lots and pick up litter.
  • Minimize the use of landscaping chemicals and properly dispose of yard waste.
  • Do not dispose of grease, oil, and fats down sinks, toilets, or floor drains. Dispose of them in the trash instead. Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) can build up in drains and sewers over time and eventually creates clogs. Clogged sewers can cause sewer overflows, which release untreated sewage into our neighborhoods, rivers, and streams. FOG from food preparation establishments is a major source of these wastes in city sewers. Fats, oils, and grease are found in food scraps, meat fats, lard, oil, margarine, butter, baking goods, sauces, and dairy products.
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