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      Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation

How to Prevent Stormwater Pollution at an Automobile Salvage Yard

Good Housekeeping

Every day in Los Angeles, millions of gallons of polluted urban runoff flow through the massive storm drain system directly to our beaches and bays. What may come as a surprise is that we can’t point to a few "dirty" industries or treatment plants as the source of this pollution. Industrial and commercial facilities generally cleaned up their operations years ago, and are not the problem. The number one source of ocean water pollution today is each one of us working and living in the city and contributing small amounts of contaminants that add up to one huge problem for the environment.

The city’s storm drain system is an essential network of channels and pipes that prevents widespread flooding every year. Urban runoff in dry weather and stormwater flow from city streets, parking lots, and other paved areas into storm drains. The storm drain system is NOT connected to the municipal sewer system or waste water treatment plants. Any water that enters a storm drain flows directly to the ocean UNTREATED. Recent studies have confirmed that people are getting sick from swimming near storm drain outlets at our beaches. It is up to each one of us to take the simple steps necessary to eliminate our small contribution of contaminants to protect the environment and those who fish, swim, and surf in local waters.

Existing Facilities

Fuel Dispensing Areas

Maintain fuel dispensing areas using dry cleanup methods such as sweeping for removal of litter and debris, or use of rags and absorbents for leaks and spills. Fueling areas should never be washed down unless the wash water is collected and disposed of properly.
Fit underground storage tanks with spill containment and overfill prevention systems meeting the requirements of Section 2635(b) of Title 23 of the California Code of Regulations.
Fit fuel dispensing nozzles with "hold-open latches" (automatic shutoffs) except where prohibited by local fire departments. Post signs at the fuel dispenser or fuel island warning vehicle owners/operators against "topping off" of vehicle fuel tanks.

Facility – General

"Spot clean" leaks and drips routinely. Leaks are not cleaned up until the absorbent is picked up and disposed of properly.
Maintain and keep curent, as required by other regulations, a spill response plan and ensure that employees are trained on the elements of the plan.
Manage materials and waste to reduce adverse impacts on storm water quality.
Train all employees upon hiring and annually thereafter on proper methods for handling and disposing of waste. Make sure that all employees understand storm water discharge prohibitions, wastewater discharge requirements, and these best management practices. Use a training log or similar method to document training.

Label drains within the facility boundary, by paint/stencil (or equivalent), to indicate whether they flow to an oil/water separator, directly to the sewer, or to a storm drain. Labels are not necessary for plumbing fixtures directly connected to the sanitary sewer.

Inspect and clean, if necessary, storm drain inlets and catch basins within the facility boundary before October 1 each year.
Store materials and waste inside or in covered, bermed areas.
Immediately clean up spills using dry methods.
Inspect storage areas and equipment for leaks and corrosion, and repair promptly.
Label containers and maintain an up-to-date inventory of materials.
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