Mobile Cleaning Education

Drain Sketch

Pressure Washing and Surface Cleaning

S Mobile cleaning and pressure washing related business need to be aware that the discharge of pollutants from washing activities into storm drains or into surrounding waterways is prohibited by local, state, and federal laws. Wash water from cleaning activities may contain significant quantities of oil, grease, dirt, detergents, acid solutions, solvents, and metals, and could potentially be discharged into local waterways within Madera County. In order to minimize the discharge of these pollutants, mobile cleaning businesses need to employ various Best Management Practices (BMPs) while conducting cleaning operations. The BMPs provided below are broken up into categories based on the type of mobile cleaning being conducted. For more information regarding the BMPs provided please visit the California Stormwater Quality Association website (CASQA.org).

Carpets and Upholstery

  • Cleaning waste must be discharged to a sink, toilet, or other drain connected to the sanitary sewer system – never to a street, gutter, parking lot, or storm drain.
  • Check the local wastewater authority’s requirements for discharge.

These guidelines apply even to cleaning products labeled “nontoxic” and “biodegradable.”
“Nontoxic” means the product is not toxic to the user. “Biodegradable” means the product
will eventually break down. Such products can harm wildlife if they enter a storm drain.

Food Service Related

Restaurant Alleys and Dumpster Areas

  • Do not discharge wash water to storm drain.
  • Use dry cleaning methods only (use absorbents, sweep debris), or
  • After using dry cleaning methods, seal the storm drain. Wash area. Pump wash water to sanitary sewer. Use screens to collect wash water particles before entrance to sanitary sewer.

Restaurant Floor Mats and Exhaust Filters (baffles)

  • Do not discharge wash water into the storm drain.
  • Clean mats, etc. indoors and discharge to sanitary sewer or clean mats, etc. outside in bermed or sloped area which drains to sanitary sewer, or
  • Take mats and baffles to a public car wash that discharges wash water to the sanitary sewer.

Kitchen Oil and Grease

  • Do not pour into storm drain or sanitary sewer (sink, floor drain, etc.).
  • Save in sealed containers such as tallow bin.
  • Separate recyclable fats from waste grease (from an interceptor or trap).
    Search “Tallow,” “Grease Traps”, or “Septic” online for recycling or disposal service or locations.

Surface Cleaning

Sidewalks & Plazas

  • Perform a dry clean up first, and then wash.
  • If no soap is used, discharge to landscape, or to a gutter, street, or storm drain.
  • If soap is used, block the storm drain (if needed) and discharge to landscape or collect and dispose in the sanitary sewer.

Parking Areas, Driveways, and Drive-Throughs

  • Block the storm drain or contain runoff.
  • Use absorbents to pickup oil; then dry sweep.
  • Clean with or without soap.
  • Collect water and pump to the sewer.

Building Surfaces without Loose Paint

  • Use high-pressure water, no soap
  • Screen wash water, if needed, to catch debris then discharge to landscaping, or to a gutter, street, or storm drain.

Unpainted Building Surfaces

  • Block the storm drain or contain runoff. Use soap or acid wash to remove deposits, wood restorer, or other chemicals.
  • Make sure pH is between 6 and 10 then discharge to landscaping or collect wash water in a tank and pump into sanitary sewer.

Painted Surfaces being Cleaned to Remove Paint or Graffiti

  • Block the storm drain or contain any runoff. Use any cleaning method.
  • Collect wash water in a tank and pump into the sanitary sewer, or dispose as hazardous waste.

Graffiti Removal

  • Block the storm drain or contain runoff. Wet sand-blast.
  • Direct all runoff to a landscaped or unpaved area or follow the instructions above for painted surfaces.

Transportation Related

Exterior Fleet Washing

  • Do not discharge wash water into the storm drain.
  • Use wash pads to capture wash water.
  • Discharge to sanitary sewer, or
  • Seal storm drain, collect water, and discharge to sanitary sewer or if minimal discharge is present, discharge to unpaved area if it will contain all wastewater without runoff.

Semi-Trailers (food service business-related interior cleaning)

  • Do not discharge wash water into the storm drain.
  • Sweep, collect, and dispose of debris.
  • Use dry cleaning methods.
  • Dispose of food residue as garbage or to sanitary sewer.
  • Avoid hosing down trailer.
  • Send wash water to sanitary sewer.

Acid Cleaning of Unpainted Trucks or Containers

  • Do not discharge wash water to storm drain.
  • Neutralize runoff to a pH between 6 and 10.
  • Discharge to sanitary sewer (once runoff is neutralized).

Auto Detailing

  • Small amounts of runoff may be allowed to evaporate on a paved surface.
  • Block the storm drain. Collect and discharge to sanitary sewer or if minimal discharge is present, discharge to unpaved area (with owner’s permission) if it will contain all wastewater without runoff.

Rinsing of New Cars for Dust Removal (no soap)

  • May discharge to storm drain or unpaved area.
  • Do not allow runoff to flow through oil deposits on streets.

Comments are closed.