Automotive maintenance operations can produce a wide variety of waste and materials that can be potential sources of stormwater pollution. Implementing best management practices can help prevent these pollutants from entering our stormwater.
Best Practices for Preventing Stormwater Pollution
Storing Hazardous Waste: Keep your liquid waste segregated. Many fluids can be recycled via hazardous waste disposal companies if they are not mixed. Store all materials under cover with spill containment or inside to prevent contamination of rainwater runoff.
Proper Disposal of Hazardous Waste: Recycle used motor oil and oil filters, anti-freeze and other hazardous automotive fluids, batteries, tires and metal filings collected from grinding/polishing auto parts. Contact a licensed hazardous waste hauler.
Cleaning Auto Parts: Scrape parts with a wire brush or use a bake oven rather than liquid cleaners. Arrange drip pans, drying racks and drain boards so that fluids are directed back into the sink or the fluid holding tank. Do not wash parts or equipment in a parking lot, driveway or street.
Preventing Leaks and Spills: Place drip pans underneath to capture fluids. Use absorbent cleaning agents instead of water to clean work areas.
Metal Grinding & Polishing: Keep a bin under your lathe or grinder to capture metal filings. Send uncontaminated filings to a scrap metal recycler for reclamation. Store metal filings in a covered container or indoors.
Cleaning Spills: Follow your hazardous materials response plan. Be sure that all employees are aware of the plan and are capable of implementing each phase of the plan. Use dry methods for spill cleanup (sweeping, absorbent materials, etc.). To report serious spills, call 911.
Proper Management of Wastewaters: Wastewaters should be collected for off-site disposal or discharged to the sanitary sewer (if permitted, i.e. car wash wastewater). Examples include wastewaters from degreaser wash off, wet sanding, radiator flushing, floor wash down, mop water, and controlling overspray or dust in the paint booth.