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Stormwater Best Management Practices for Businesses & Schools

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Best management practices facilitate regulatory compliance by going beyond established minimum requirements. There are ways of carrying out your business activities that can significantly reduce the risk of pollution and may even save you money. Best management practices are good for the environment, your customers, and your business.

All Businesses Types

Commercial activity can be a source of polluted water that enters the storm drain system and harms our waterways. The types of pollutants vary—from sediment generated during construction to litter from poorly maintained garbage dumpsters. All businesses can implement common sense best management practices to reduce or eliminate their contribution to storm water pollution. Most practices involve modest changes to routine operations and maintenance practices.

Best Management Practices for All Businesses

Automotive Industry 

Automotive-related industries can cause storm water pollution unless materials, wastes, and wash water are properly handled. Below are guides to keeping pollutants from illegally polluting our creeks and San Francisco Bay.

Best Management Practices for the Automotive Industry

Construction & Development 

Stormwater runoff is part of a natural hydrologic process. However, land development and construction activities can significantly alter natural drainage patterns, resulting in polluted stormwater runoff. Conditions of approval for development projects include the installation and maintenance of Best Management Practices for site design and stormwater treatment. Visit the City of Livermore's Permit Center for more information.

Food Service Establishments

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 San Francisco Bay.

Best Management Practices for Food Service Establishments

Industrial Facilities 

Certain categories of industrial facilities are required to file for a General Industrial Permit with the State of California. The permit requires the implementation of management measures that will achieve the performance standard of best available technology economically achievable (BAT) and best conventional pollutant control technology (BCT). The General Industrial Permit also requires the development of a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) and a monitoring plan. Through the SWPPP, sources of pollutants are to be identified and the means to manage the sources to reduce storm water pollution are described. For more information, see the State Water Resources Control Board website.

Landscape Contractors

Learn how to design landscapes that reduce polluted water from entering storm drains. Rescape Qualified landscapers are trained to use a sustainable, holistic approach to landscaping to conserve water and soil, reduce waste, and prevent pollution. Qualified Water Efficient Landscapers are trained on local water supply and installing water-efficient irrigation systems.

Mobile Businesses

Mobile businesses like carpet cleaners and car detailers typically generate wastewater at the place of activity, often outdoors. However, wash water from mobile business activities must not be drained into gutters or storm drains. Follow the practices below to prevent pollution. If your business cleans outdoor surfaces, such as plazas or parking lots, you can receive a certificate of training through the Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association.

Best Management Practices for Mobile Businesses


Learn how your school can prevent harmful rainfall runoff from polluting our local creeks and the San Francisco Bay. These guides cover equipment and surface washing, floor and carpet cleaning, landscape maintenance, outdoor storage, and construction and remodeling guidelines.

Traditional car wash fundraisers can cause water pollution if wash water flows to the storm drain. Water from washing cars not only contains dirt and soap, but also oil, grease, and metals such as copper, nickel, and zinc. Dirty wash water from car wash fundraisers held in parking lots or on the street flows into the storm drains and goes straight to local creeks and the San Francisco Bay without any treatment.

Best Management Practices for Schools

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