Best Management Practices for: Gas Stations, Auto Repair Shops, Auto Body Shops, Car Dealerships, Mobile Fleet Managers, Airplane Maintenance and Mobile Fleet Washing Services.
Many common vehicle maintenance and washing routines contribute to environmental pollution. Washing a vehicle or pouring used motor oil into a gutter or storm drain pollutes the environment. Water runoff from streets, parking lots and driveways picks up oil and grease dripped from cars, asbestos worn from brake linings, zinc from tires and organic compounds and metals from spilled fuels. These chemicals drain into surface waters, harming aquatic life. Oil and grease, for example, clog fish gills and block oxygen from entering the water. If oxygen levels in the water become too low, aquatic animals die.
*Seal storm drains* Wash water runoff and excess soapy water must be collected and pumped or otherwise discharged as follows:
- Pump into sanitary sewer system clean-out/sink or into an on-site private sanitary sewer manhole; verify with the facility manager that it is not a storm drain manhole. Solids separation will be required before disposal to prevent clogging system.
- Wash water may be discharged into a landscaped or soil areas. Discharge should be directly to an area sufficient to contain all wash water. Discuss this practice with the property owner. Acceptable for minimal discharge flows only. Repetitive use of the same area or excessive wash volume to the same area may be illegal. (Note: Be aware that soapy wash water may adversely affect landscaping).
- If disposal to the sanitary sewer and/or a landscaped area is not possible, then contract with a company capable of hailing the wash water off-site to an authorized disposal site.
Cleaning/Degreasing Engines and Equipment, Auto and Truck Drive Trains and Airplanes (including Landing Gear)
Clean with or without soap, no storm drain disposal permitted; requires treatment before allowed to be discharged to the sanitary sewer system; should be cleaned on a wash pad; requires discussion with facility operator.
Truck Trailer and Boat Cleaning (Exterior only - Food Related)
Sweep, collect and dispose of debris. Use dry cleaning methods as much as possible. Food residue must be disposed of as garbage or sent to the sanitary sewer. Avoid hosing down trailer. Wash water can not be discharged to the storm drain; it should be pumped to the sanitary sewer.
Truck Trailer Cleaning (Interior only - Where Toxic Substances May Be Encountered)
If toxic materials have been shipped in the trailer and there has been a spill, do not hose down the spill. Take immediate action to prevent the spread of the material and protect nearby storm drains.
Fleet Vehicle Washing (Exterior Only Removing Mainly Soil - With Soap)
Use wash pads that capture the wash water and discharge it to the sanitary sewer. Solids separation is required before disposal (ideally, a separate wash area that captures the wash water should be established. Use of temporary wash pads that can be drained to the sanitary sewer is also acceptable
Mobile Auto Detailing & Boat Cleaning (Infrequent, Light Cleaning, Rarely at Same Location; Removing Mainly Soil, With Minimum Water Volume) - With Soap
Minimal runoff may remain on paved surfaces to evaporate. If there is insufficient water volume to reach the storm drain, seal the storm drain and pump the water to the sanitary sewer. For landscaped or soil areas, discharge should be directed to an area sufficient to contain the water. Discuss this practice with the property owner. Acceptable for minimal discharge flows. Repetitive use of the same area or excessive wash volume to the same area may be illegal.
Boat Cleaning (Where Paint Chips Are Being Removed in Preparation for Painting)
Filtered wash water must be discharged to sanitary sewer. Contact your local wastewater treatment plant for more information. Dispose of paint particles appropriately according to paint type (e.g., if paint is lead-based, copper-based, or contains Tributyltin or PCBs, consult your local wastewater treatment plant and hazardous waste for information on disposal of hazardous waste). If non-hazardous, material may be disposed of as solid waste after filtered paint particles have dried. This BMP is not intended to address the disposal of paint waste.
Shop Area Cleaning (Interior Cleaning of Vehicle Shop Areas and Paint Booths)
Do not hose down your shop floor into streets or parking lots. It is best to dry sweep regularly. Use nontoxic cleaning products. Baking soda paste works well on battery heads, cable clamps and chrome; mix the soda with a mild, biodegradable dishwashing soap to clean wheels and tires; for windows, mix white vinegar or lemon juice with water. To reduce or eliminate the generation of waste fix sources of drips or leaks where possible. Routinely inspect the engine compartment and regularly replace worn seals on equipment.
*Avoid or Control Spills and Leaks*
- Prepare and use easy to find spill containment and cleanup kits. Include safety equipment and cleanup materials appropriate to the type and quantity of materials that could spill.
- Pour kitty litter, sawdust or cornmeal on spills.
- Change fluids carefully. Use a drip pan to avoid spills. Prevent fluid leaks from stored vehicles. Drain fluids such as unused gas, transmission and hydraulic oil, brake and radiator fluid from vehicles or parts kept in storage. Implement simple work practices to reduce the chance of spills.
- Use a funnel when pouring liquids (like lubricants or motor oil) and place a tray underneath to catch spills. Place drip pans under the spouts of liquid storage containers. Clean up spills immediately.