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      Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation

How to Prevent Stormwater Pollution at Food and Related Products Facilities

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General Activities

  • Inspect material transfer lines/connections for leaks or signs of wear and repair or replace as necessary.
  • Regularly sweep and clean up the facility to remove dust, spilled materials, animal and food products, etc.
  • Initiate inventory control for all raw and spent materials.

Raw Material Unloading/Product Loading

  • Ensure that a facility representative is present during unloading/loading activities.
  • Perform all unloading/loading activities in a covered and/or enclosed area. Situate loading/unloading areas indoors or in a covered area. Ensure that berms and dikes are built around the unloading/loading areas, if applicable. If outside or in covered areas, minimize run on of stormwater into the unloading/loading areas by grading the areas to ensure that stormwater runs off.
  • Use rubber seals in truck loading dock areas to contain spills indoors. Use drip pans when loading/unloading liquid product. Close storm drains in surrounding areas during loading/unloading activities. Use dry cleanup methods for unloading/loading areas rather than washing the areas down.
  • Inspect the unloading/loading areas to detect problems before they occur. Inspect all containers prior to unloading/loading of any raw or spent materials. Inspect all connection equipment (e.g., hoses and couplings), and replace when necessary, before performing unloading/loading activities.
  • Install backflow prevention devices on liquid transfer equipment. Drain hoses back into truck, railcar, etc. after loading/unloading materials. Install high level alarm on tanks to prevent overfilling.

Pest Control

  • Reduce costs and pesticide use through Integrated Pest Management (IPM):
  • Identify and remove source of pest problem
  • Spot apply pesticides to the problem area
  • Use baits and traps instead of sprays when possible
  • Follow manufacturers (label) directions for application of pest control materials to site. Only apply pest control materials during dry weather. Do not apply if rain is in the forecast. Apply insecticides during breeding months. Protect rat bait houses from stormwater. Store containers indoors or undercover.

Solid and Liquid Storage

  • Cover and enclose storage areas using berms or dikes. If storing outside, minimize stormwater runon into storage areas by grading area to ensure that stormwater runs “off” and not “on”. Locate the tank outlets for bulkhead liquid storage tanks indoors. In solid storage areas, consider vacuum emission control systems for airborne dust and particulate matter.
  • Inspect the external condition (corrosion, leaks) of the containers. Inspect the general area around the containers. Ensure that all containers are closed (e.g., valves shut, lids and manways sealed, caps closed).
  • Wash containers indoors before storing empty containers outdoors.
  • Employ measures to protect against spills from overflows (e.g., high level sensors, alarms).

Waste Management and Storage

  • Treat wastewater in-house, if possible. Route trash compactor leakage and overflows/condensates from process vents to treatment system or sanitary sewer.
  • Inspect the outside pipe connections (couplings, valve seals and gaskets, flanges, etc.) of the wastewater treatment system for leaks, corrosion, and poor upkeep. Inspect air emission control systems (e.g., baghouses) regularly and repair and replace as necessary. Inspect the general area around solid waste storage areas for signs of leaching.
  • Store waste in proper containers (dumpsters, drums, bags) in an enclosed and covered area. Minimize stormwater runon to storage areas by grading the area to ensure that stormwater runs “off” and not “on.”
  • Ensure hazardous waste disposal practices are performed in accordance with Federal, State, and local requirements.
  • Clean around vents and stacks to atmosphere from process and storage areas. Place tubs around vents and stacks for easy collection of settling particles.

Numbers to Call for More Information

Department of Toxic Substances Control (hazardous waste questions) (818) 551-2800/2830 (Duty office) or (916) 324-1826

Regional Water Quality Control Board, Los Angeles Region (213) 266-7500

Check the phone book for your local wastewater treatment plant.

If you have questions about this fact sheet, please call (800) 974-9794.

Immediately clean up spills using dry methods.
Regularly inspect storage, processing, and loading/unloading areas and equipment.
Use sensors and alarms to prevent spills from overfilling tanks
Apply pesticides during dry weather and according to label directions.
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