Best Practices and Programs

All businesses can implement common sense best management practices (BMPs) to reduce or eliminate their contribution to storm water pollution. Most BMPs involve modest changes to routine operations and maintenance practices. Below you will find a list of specific practices for food and auto related facilities.

Food Service

If your business involves food service, below are a few things you can do to keep litter, grease, cleansers and other pollutants from illegally polluting our creeks and Bay. For a complete description of best practices for food service facilities, download a copy of our booklet.

  • Don't wash kitchen mats outside. Wash kitchen mats indoors near the floor drain or in the mop sink. If you don't have either, take the mats to a coin-operated car wash or have a company wash them for you.
  • Don't pressure wash building exteriors and sidewalks using soap unless storm drains are blocked and wash water vacuumed up or pumped into the sanitary sewer.
  • Clean outside waste storage areas and parking areas by first sweeping up food particles, cigarette butts, and trash. If water or cleansers are needed, spot mop the area and dispose of water into a sink or toilet.
  • Don't scrub down trash containers using toxic detergents and don't wash them into alley or street gutter. Discharge all wash waters into sanitary sewers. Contract a mobile cleaning company who agrees to collect all wash water for proper disposal.
  • Don't dump grease into trash bins, street gutters, or sewers. It clogs pipelines. Keep grease storage areas clean. Collect bulk grease in containers and contract a company to haul them away. These are located under "grease" or "tallow" in your phone directory. The grease will be recycled into useful products like soap or animal feed.
  • Prevent litter by providing adequate receptacles for waste and keeping dumpster lids closed.
  • Control pests using less toxic pest management methods and appropriate timing of pesticide use.


Automotive-related industries can cause storm water pollution unless materials, wastes, and wash water are properly handled. Below are a few things you can do to keep pollutants from illegally polluting our creeks and Bay. For a complete description of best practices, download a copy of our Vehicle Service Facilities Best Management Practices booklet - English - Spanish - Chinese - Vietnamese

  • Label storm drain inlets, so that employees do not use them to dispose of waste
  • Train employees not to dump anything down storm drains
  • Store hazardous waste in drums and covered bins and contract a company to dispose of it for you.
  • Prevent leaks and spills. Clean up leaps, drips, and other spills without water whenever possible. Use rags, or a damp mop, and dry, absorbent materials.
  • Recycle fluids whenever possible so they never become waste to dispose. Purchase reusable or recyclable products whenever you can. Send used liquids, batteries, metal scrap and shop rags to a recycler.