Resources for Industrial Facilities

Material handling and storage, equipment maintenance and cleaning, and other activities at industrial facilities are often exposed to the weather. Runoff from rainfall or snowmelt that comes in contact with these activities can pick up pollutants such as heavy metals, oily wastes, and other substances, and transport them directly to a nearby river, lake, or coastal water or indirectly via a storm sewer and degrade water quality. Stormwater discharges from industrial activities require a Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP). The MSGP requires operators of industrial facility sites to develop a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). Common practices to reduce stormwater runoff at industrial facilities include:

  • Only rain down the drain – protect all storm drain systems located on your industrial site. These systems are not designed to handle illicit discharges like sewage, washwater, spills, or dumped materials. Inspect floor drains, sinks, and process drains ensuring no connection with storm drains.
  • Where soils are exposed to water, wind, or ice, erosion can result. Leave as much vegetation onsite as possible. Encourage infiltration into soil to prevent runoff from flowing across exposed areas.
  • Take care of your septic system – Have your septic tank pumped and inspected at least once every three to four years. Plant only grass over your drainfield to avoid damage from roots and do not park or drive on it. Only put washwater and wastewater down the drain. Don’t dump excessive chemicals, medications, food or household products into your system. Learn more!
  • Dust comes from smokestacks, stockpiles, cleared ground, gravel roads, and open areas. Store all materials, products, and waste inside the facility or ensure they are properly covered. Routinely clean vents and filters. Conduct sweeping on a regular basis. Properly dispose of toxic and hazardous wastes.
  • Cover salt piles and place them on an impervious pad under salt storage and work areas. Limit the amount of salt applied. Sweep and properly dispose of any visible salt deposits once the application surface or storage area has dried.
  • Conduct employee training at least once a year.
  • Encourage infiltration by installing infiltration-based features such as rain gardens and bioswales.
  • Perform pressure washing or steam cleaning of equipment, outdoor surfaces, and/or vehicles on well-constructed and maintained impervious surfaces with drains piped to the sanitary sewer where possible.
  • Sweep paved roads, parking lots, and storage areas with a type of vacuum sweeper that incorporates HEPA filtration or other high efficiency method of filtration of the exhaust air from the sweeper to trap the very fine metallic particles found in road or parking lot dust reduce these discharges to storm water.
  • Conduct frequent sweeping, vacuuming, or other cleanup methods and for accumulated dry chemicals and materials to cut down on possible storm water contamination.

Maintain spill prevention and response procedures to quickly and efficiently respond to any spills that may occur.

 

Resources for Industrial Facilities