Water pollution is a big problem around the United States. By some estimates, there are as many as 73 different types of pesticides that have been found in ground and surface water. These usually find their way into the drinking water supply. In addition to that, experts have found that more than two-thirds of the estuaries and bays in the country have been degraded due to pollution from phosphorous and nitrogen. To make matters worse, new research has shown that about 47% of American lakes, 45% of streams, and 32% of bays are currently polluted. The good news is that many things can be done by people at home and businesses to protect and improve groundwater and surface water quality.
Now the city of Salinas, California has put together some tips that can help businesses reduce their impact on groundwater and surface water quality.
Tips for All Business Types:
When they do not take care of their businesses in the appropriate way, industrial and commercial companies can have a big impact on the groundwater and surface water quality. It is important to implement policies that are environmentally friendly. Here are some things all businesses can do:
- Watch the way your garbage is stored. Most businesses have trash cans or dumpsters. It is important to keep the lids closed on these items. When water is able to get into the trash containers, it becomes contaminated and then it can impact the groundwater and surface water quality. Keep an eye on these items and make any repairs as they are needed. You should have the right sized bins or dumpsters and keep them clean with dry cleaning supplies, not water.
- Never put hazardous waste in your dumpster. There are ways to dispose of this kind of waste that can make sure it does not get into the water supply.
- Keep the area around your business clean and free of litter, and trash.
Tips for Eateries and Restaurants:
It is easier than business owners and managers may realize to create and implement policies that are good for the environment.
- Keep your floor mats, garbage cans, and filters clean. To do this in a safe way, clean them in some kind of sink that is connected to the sewer system. Make sure you have a grease trap and never clean these in the parking lot of your establishment.
- If you have a spill, do not clean it by hosing them down with water. Use dry materials and methods to deal with any spills.
- Be careful with your oil and grease. This should be recycled, if possible. If that is not an option, you should put in in a grease bin. Oil and grease should never be poured down a drain or onto the parking lot.
- Use sinks with grease traps for your wash water. This should never be poured into an alley, on the sidewalk, or on your parking lot.
Tips for Car Care Centers:
This may seem like a daunting challenge for places where cars and trucks are repaired but this does not have to to be the case. It is easier than you may think to implement policies to protect the groundwater and surface water quality in your area.
- Capture any fluids from the vehicles with drip pans. When you need to clean up an area, use dry materials to do so. Never hose down these areas with water.
- When spills happen, clean them up as soon as you can. Again, you should never use water to clean your work areas. Use dry cleaning products and methods for this.
- Separate your liquid waste from other waste. If it can be recycled, do that. Work with hazardous waste disposal companies to get rid of this waste. You should also work with these companies to deal with used anti-freeze, air filters, lubricants, metal filings, and batteries.
- Use brushes or a bake oven to clean auto parts. When you use liquid cleaners, they can find their way into the local water supply. No one wants or needs that
Keeping pollutants from getting into the water supply and impacting the groundwater and surface water quality is something we all should be concerned about. These tips can help businesses do their part.