Industrial Facilities

Man Painting House

BMPs For Industrial Facilities

Through review and adoption of the following Best Management Practices (BMPs) recommended for your industrial facility, your organization makes an environmentally sound investment in San Antonio’s rivers, creeks and natural waterways by helping to reduce and eliminate storm water runoff pollutant contamination.  Facilities like yours also help ensure that current and future generations of residents continue to enjoy a healthy, thriving community and clean environment.

Employee Training & Education

  1. Incorporate storm water management practices as part of your SOPs and train employees.
  2. Employee training should include routine inspection of all industrial activities and equipment which is exposed to storm water runoff.
  3. Consider assigning trained, experienced facility workers to train new hires and perform large-group procedural reviews of SOPs at least once a year.
  4. Storm water management employee training can be paired with employee safety training regarding hazardous waste management, storage and proper disposal.
  5. Periodically check and assess employee work practices, identify and correct any storm water management BMPs which are not being implemented properly.
  6. Prominently display BMP procedure signs throughout your facility (i.e., wash equipment properly, close dumpster cover, do not dump in street or storm drain, etc.) as reminders for your employees.

Preventing Illicit Discharges to Storm Drains

  1. Identify two classifications of unauthorized storm drain discharges: a) Illicit Connections – improper connections which allow waste waters to enter storm drains, and b) Illegal Dumping – water which has been exposed to industrial activities, chemicals, or product materials and are incorrectly released into the storm drains, either through practices which discharge water outdoors, or by discharging wastes, wash water and materials to storm drains, catch basins and other conveyances on your property or on streets.
  2. Establish well-marked proper collection and disposal procedures for waste water in facility site areas where wash water, cooling water or liquid wastes are present and which pose a risk to storm drains.
  3. Consider labeling storm drain inlets and nearby catch basins with visual deterrent markers reminding employees and others that water runoff drains straight into rivers and waterways.
  4. Periodically inspect storm drain inlets at your site and remove debris from nearby catch basins to prevent debris from being washed into the storm drains.
  5. Consider using special insert filters for on-site storm drains which can capture pollutants standard to your facility operations.

Spill Prevention, Containment and Cleanup

  1. Prepare and have ready a clear, defined set of contingency procedures for responding to chemical, material or by product spills at your facility; ensure that your employees are well-trained on cleanup procedures.
  2. All spills should be cleaned up promptly and not allowed to evaporate or allow pollutants to soak into pavement where trace amounts can be washed into the storm drain or seep into soil as a groundwater pollutant. If pollutants do enter soil, determine if the soil itself requires removal in order to prevent future pollutant exposure to runoff.
  3. Minor spill cleanups such as leaks and drips should employ dry cleaning methods as much as possible (application of absorbent materials such as cat litter, sawdust and dry sweeping) – hosed water should not be used to clean up a spilled area, as wash water only removes the liquid while spreading the pollutant out to a larger area.
  4. Small spills which are mopped up with a shop rag or similar material should not be placed wet into a dumpster with regular trash, nor should disposable paper towels be used. Spill rags should be stored in a covered bin for dry-out and reuse; rags should never be used to mop up gasoline, solvents or other volatile chemical liquids.
  5. For mid-size spills on regular facility floor surfaces, employ absorbent dry sweeping as with small spills. Spilled material can also be wet-dry vacuum cleaned to collect liquid for proper disposal with liquid or hazardous wastes. Vacuums should not be used to clean up gasoline, solvents or volatile chemicals as they may pose an explosion hazard to the vacuum itself.
  6. Large spills requiring containment should seek to clean up spilled liquid with minimal amount of wash water used. In the event of a large spill, place temporary barriers, plugs or covers over nearby storm drain inlets until spill has been completely cleaned.
  7. Hazardous product or waste spills should be addressed immediately through established emergency procedures and notification of the San Antonio Fire Department for emergency hazmat response.

Outdoor Equipment Operations & Maintenance

  1. Identify all equipment at your facility site that may be exposed to storm water runoff or which can discharge pollutants that can come into contact with runoff. Know and train employees on which chemical pollutants each piece of equipment generates.
  2. Assign employees at your facility to regularly monitor and inspect each piece of equipment in order to maintain clean, proper operational function. Equipment should be regularly inspected for leaks and discharges – procedures should direct employees to report spills or discharges from equipment immediately, initiate a proper cleanup response and ensure repairs to equipment is completed to prevent future leaks.
  3. Station outdoor equipment on an impermeable surface or place drip pans beneath potential leak points. Consider constructing roof covers over equipment and install berms to prevent both run-on and runoff. Equipment involved in wet process tasks in which wash water or process liquids are released should be placed on a paved surface with an installed connection to the sanitary sewer.
  4. Air compressors and other equipment which occasionally produce small amounts of blow-down water should be connected to the sanitary sewer or have drip pans in place to prevent leakage and flow onto unpaved surfaces or in runoff.

Outdoor Materials Storage & Handling

  1. When handling bulk solid materials outdoors, keep materials properly covered and held in appropriate containment which will protect them from storm water and inclement weather exposure. Proper storage of outdoor solid materials should include raw materials, manufactured products, by products and construction materials, especially gravel, sand, lumber, topsoil, compost, concrete, packing materials, and metal products.
  2. Preferred method for storage of outdoor materials is on a paved surface with a roof or top covering in order to prevent exposure to direct rainfall, along with appropriate berms or mounding to prevent storm water run-off. For temporary storage, place material on a paved surface and cover with durable tarps or plastic sheeting secured with weights or ropes. Temporary storage areas should be located on a mounded or bermed area that will prevent storm water run-off and contact with material.
  3. Sweep parking lots and other surfaces near bulk materials storage areas periodically and avoid tracking materials off-site.
  4. Liquid storage containers should be kept in a designated area on a paved impermeable surface and within a berm or secondary containment. Containers should be regularly inspected for leaks or structural damage, and any leaks or spills detected should immediately be resolved through proper spill cleanup methods and leak repair.

Waste Handling & Disposal

  1. General shop trash should be placed in a dumpster receptacle with the lid closed. Dumpsters should be placed on paved areas, not on unpaved soil or grassy areas. Regularly clean areas around dumpsters but do not hose down dumpsters with water. As nearly all dumpsters leak, lids should remain closed or roof cover should be placed over dumpsters in order to keep rainfall out.
  2. Scrap metals and materials should be kept under a roof, cover, or indoor area so that rainfall runoff does not come into contact with metals and pick up trace amounts of chemical pollutants such as mechanical oil or fluids.
  3. Hazardous waste materials should be properly disposed of through a special hazardous waste drop-off/collection facility in accordance with city, state and federal requirements. Until hazardous wastes are transported or hauled away from your facility, keep these housed indoors or under sufficient cover in secured areas and in appropriately labeled, sealable containers. These can include empty containers such as oil cans, paint buckets, and aerosol cans, as well as hazardous waste materials from vehicle maintenance.

Trucking & Shipping/Receiving

  1. Load and unload raw materials and industrial-use products only at designated loading areas in order to isolate and effectively control any accidental spill or leakage.
  2. For facilities that must use an outdoor loading dock instead of an indoor bay, cover the dock area with a roof overhang or top cover and utilize a door skirt that fits well between the building and truck cargo doors.
  3. Install curbs or berms around the loading area to help prevent storm water run-on and runoff in event of spilled materials.
  4. Assign the delivery driver or facility receiver accepting the shipment the task of inspecting the delivery vehicle for any leaked motor fluids, spilled materials or foreign debris while on-site at your facility.
  5. Have facility maintenance teams on standby in the event of an accidental spill during cargo delivery.
  6. Liquids and hazardous waste materials should be delivered and handled in accordance with all priority facility guidelines and in compliance with city, state and federal requirements.
  7. When parking heavy trucks or equipment at your facility, periodically inspect the parking and loading lots for signs of automotive fluid leaks. In the event that leaks are detected, immediately activate proper cleanup procedures and expedite repair of the leak source.
  8. Designate assigned parking spots for individual vehicles so that detected leak spills can be effectively traced to an identified vehicle.

Fleet/Vehicle Maintenance

  1. All equipment maintenance should be performed in an indoor garage facility and not in an outdoor parking area. If outdoor maintenance is necessary, vehicles and equipment should be serviced within a designated area for vehicle repair.
  2. Regularly clean maintenance tools; avoid allowing buildup of grease and oil which can be washed away with runoff if maintenance tools are exposed to rainfall.
  3. Utilize drip pans or catch containers for placement under vehicles where automotive repairs are being performed in order to prevent spread of accidental fluid leaks or spills during repair.
  4. Periodically inspect facility parking and storage yards where equipment is housed for fluid leaks as evidenced by ground staining. Keep equipment yards clear of debris and dry sweep areas while avoiding water hosing.

Fleet Vehicle/Equipment Fueling

  1. Equipment fueling areas at your facility should be designed and operated to minimize fuel spill and prevent leaked fluid exposure to rainfall runoff.
  2. Used a paved area or concrete slab on which to park equipment for fueling – do not fuel on open ground; concrete material is preferred to asphalt as the latter can deteriorate with gradual exposure to illicit leakage.
  3. Clean up accidental gasoline overflows and fuel spills using absorbent dry sweeping methods and never wash off spilled liquid with hosed water.
  4. Post signs instructing pump operators, fleet vehicle drivers and equipment operators to avoid “filling up” gas tanks in order to prevent top-off spill. Regularly inspect fueling areas each day for gasoline, motor oil or other fluid leaks and clean as prescribed.

Building Maintenance & Grounds Upkeep

  1. Seek to utilize building and grounds maintenance methods which require minimal amounts of water, utilize dry sweeping and remove illicit debris from the ground.
  2. If pressure washing outdoor areas at your facility, water discharges may not enter the storm drains. Block storm drain inlets prior to washing and capture recovered wash water for proper discharge into the sanitary sewer.
  3. Position rooftop drains and downspouts so that rainfall does not drain directly onto paved surfaces – these can either be connected directly to the storm drain inlet or allowed to flow onto a grassy surface large enough to accept the roof’s entire runoff volume.
  4. Storm drain inlets and catch basins around your facility should be periodically cleaned and cleared of debris. Storm drain inlet/catch basin cleaning and inspection should occur following any large storm, flooding or other inclement weather condition.

About Remember the River

Remember the River is a community campaign focused on nonpoint source pollution prevention outreach and education. The campaign is led by the City of San Antonio.

All campaign education and outreach efforts are conducted in compliance with educational/outreach guidelines established under a TPDES Phase I Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) discharge permit regulated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Contact Us

Darlene Dorsey 210.207.1011

Email Address:
Email Us

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 839966
San Antonio, TX 78283-3966