Business owners and managers can help prevent water pollution in the San Francisco Bay in many ways. Understanding how water pollution can occur and adopting behaviors designed to prevent pollution can significantly reduce harmful discharges. Preventing pollution is the best and most economical way to restore the health of local waterways and preserve these valuable natural resources for ourselves and future generations.
It is important to remember that almost everywhere in the Bay Area, the storm drainage system carries rainwater and other runoff from roads, parking lots, and roof drains directly to local creeks and the Bay, with no treatment. The “sanitary” sewer carries wastewater from sinks, toilets, and other indoor drains to local wastewater treatment plants, where treatment processes remove biological waste products before the treated water flows on to the Bay.
Neither of these systems -- storm drain or sanitary sewer -- is designed to handle solvents, metals, or chemicals.
Our Pretreatment Program, comprised of Industrial Waste Inspectors, Laboratory Chemists and Field Technicians are responsible for protecting the sanitary sewer collection system and treatment plant through the enforcement of regulations regarding the disposal of commercial and industrial wastewater and stormwater discharge.
A selection of brochures on industrial wastewater pretreatment, Best Management Practices for stormwater, and water pollution prevention is available. For more information, view the Pretreatment Program and Storm Drain pages, or contact Pretreatment staff through e-mail or by calling 408-730-7260, TDD 408-730-7501.
What Businesses Can Do
For general Best Management Practices (BMP's) please click the link provided.
For construction-related Best Management Practices, please click the link to view the booklet Blueprint for a Clean Bay produced by the Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association (BASMAA). Also listed are Specific Best Management Practices about Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control as well as General Site Maintenance. In addition, this on-line booklet contains guidelines for Demolition Waste Management, Roadwork and Pavement Construction, and Contaminated Ponded Stormwater, Groundwater, and Soil.
For information on Preventing Mercury Pollution, click on the link provided to see a fact sheet designed for use by small businesses. This two-page sheet may be printed out and folded for use as an easy reference by your staff.
For additional information, contact our Pretreatment staff.