Only rain in the storm drain

Overview

When it rains, stormwater runoff flows over driveways, sidewalks, streets, and parking lots picking up pollutants such as trash, oil, pet waste, and pesticides, carrying them to the storm drain system. But unlike the water from sinks and toilets, stormwater flows through storm drains UNTREATED into surrounding rivers, washes, and retention areas. Polluted stormwater runoff can have adverse effects on plants, animals, and people.

Learn how you can help prevent stormwater pollution!

Business

Make stormwater pollution prevention your business! When it rains, pollutants spilled on the ground can be carried UNTREATED to rivers, washes, and retention areas. Best Management Practices (BMPs), such as good housekeeping and careful management of materials stored outdoors can prevent stormwater contamination.

  • Good Housekeeping

    Keep facility grounds free of litter and debris. Clean and sweep work areas and collect trash and recyclables in closed or covered dumpsters.

  • Spill Management

    Keep a dedicated spill kit to contain and cleanup spills. Use absorbent materials such as kitty litter and sand to clean spills. Immediately sweep used absorbent into a trash bag and dispose properly.

  • Chemical Storage

    Store chemicals in labeled and closed containers within secondary containment and under permanent or temporary cover (such as a tarp).

  • Outside Storage of Parts/Equipment

    When storing equipment and parts outdoors, place items on pallets and under permanent or temporary cover (such as a tarp). For long-term storage of fluid filled parts, drain fluids and cut and crimp all lines. Collect and dispose of all fluids properly.

  • Runoff Management

    Regularly maintain and clean retention basins, drywells and stormwater treatment devices to ensure proper operation. Keep pollutants out of these structures.

  • Administrative Controls

    Develop and implement a Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP) or Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). Train personnel on practices to minimize stormwater pollution. Conduct routine stormwater inspections, and inspect after rain events. Obtain Multi-Sector General Permit coverage, when required. Check with ADEQ for applicable state requirements.

  • Vehicle and Equipment Maintenance

    Use drip pans to catch leaks from vehicles awaiting service. Clean up leaks and spills using an absorbent such as kitty litter or sand. Sweep up immediately and properly dispose. Properly dispose or recycle greasy rags. Keep auto parts indoors or on pallets and under cover. Store chemicals in closed and labeled containers.

  • Fueling

    When possible, cover fuel islands and grade the area to contain spills. Use spill and overflow devices at the pumps. Have spill control kits available at the fuel island. Install curbing and/or posts to protect pumps.

  • STORM DRAIN vs. SANITARY SEWER

    The City has two separate collection systems. The sanitary sewer system collects waste water from sinks, toilets, showers and washing machines and conveys it to a wastewater treatment plant. Storm drains carry untreated stormwater runoff directly to our rivers, washes and parks.

Residential

Stormwater hits home! Pet and yard waste, chemicals, cleaners, paint and vehicle fluids are examples of materials that can cause stormwater pollution if not properly stored or cleaned up when spilled outdoors. Rain can carry pollution from our yards and driveways into the streets and storm drain system where it flows UNTREATED to the environment. However, there are many ways you can prevent stormwater pollution!

  • Pet waste

    Collect pet waste in a plastic bag and throw it away in a garbage can. Rainfall can wash pet waste, which contains bacteria and other pathogens, into local rivers, washes, and parks.

  • Pools and Spas

    Backwash or drain your pool, spa, or water feature to the sanitary sewer using your home’s cleanout. Or backwash the water to your yard, making sure the water stays on your property. Discharging pool water to the street can carry chemicals, bacteria and other pollutants to rivers, washes, and parks. See Draining and Backwashing Pools Legally for more information.

  • Lawn Care

    Use pesticides, fertilizers and other lawn care products sparingly and in accordance with label instructions. Over watering can carry pollutants to rivers and washes. Do not sweep or wash yard debris into the street. Debris can clog storm drain inlets causing flooding.

  • Household Chemicals

    Keep chemicals in labeled, closed containers. Unused household chemicals, including paint, used oil, cleaners, and yard chemicals should be properly disposed or recycled. Take these items to a Household Hazardous Waste site or collection event. See Household Hazardous Waste for more information.

  • Automobile Maintenance

    Properly maintain vehicles to prevent fluid leaks. Use drip pans to catch leaks. Clean up leaks and spills using an absorbent such as kitty litter or sand. Sweep up immediately and properly dispose. Pollutants from automotive fluids can contaminate stormwater runoff. One quart of motor oil can contaminate over 250,000 gallons of water.

  • STORM DRAIN vs. SANITARY SEWER

    The City has two separate collection systems. The sanitary sewer system collects waste water from sinks, toilets, showers and washing machines and conveys it to a wastewater treatment plant. Storm drains carry untreated stormwater runoff directly to our rivers, washes and parks.

  • Spill Management

    Keep absorbents, such as kitty litter, sand or old rags on hand for cleaning up spills. Absorb spills and immediately sweep into a trash bag and dispose in the garbage.

  • Trash & Recycling

    Bag and tie loose trash. Keep trash and recycling bins closed. See the City of Phoenix’s Public Works Department website for more information.

  • Vehicle Washing

    Take your vehicle to a commerical car wash, where wastewater is properly disposed or reused.

Construction

Design and build stormwater pollution controls into your project! Construction activities can cause excess sediment to be released into the storm drain system, impacting stormwater and surface water quality. Construction site operators can minimize stormwater pollution by implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) to control soil erosion and sedimentation, properly storing chemicals and wastes, protecting stockpiled materials, and preventing track-out.

  • Construction Entrance/Exit

    Stabilize site entrances/exits to minimize track out into the street. Conduct regular sweeping at entrances/exits.

  • Sedimentation Control

    Use silt fences, wattles, organic fiber rolls, straw bales, etc., to control sediment at the perimeter of the site, around material stockpiles, and at storm drain inlets. Regularly inspect and maintain controls.

  • Erosion Control

    Preserve existing vegetation, use diversion channels, and stage construction phases to minimize soil disturbance. Stabilize areas not actively being worked. Protect exposed soil and slopes with erosion control products. Inspect and maintain controls.

  • Chemical storage

    Store chemicals inside or under cover when possible. Provide secondary containment, and have appropriate spill response procedures and equipment.

  • Concrete Washout

    Designate a contained, lined area for concrete washout. Ensure the washout area is clearly marked, used only for the intended purpose, and maintained properly.

  • Administrative Controls

    Develop and implement a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) or Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP). Train personnel on practices to minimize stormwater pollution. Conduct routine stormwater inspections and inspect after rain events. Obtain Construction General Permit (CGP) coverage, when required. Contact ADEQ for specific CGP requirements.

  • Post Construction Controls

    Stabilize areas where construction activities have temporarily or permanently ceased. Install and maintain final site landscaping to minimize erosion. Verify that drainage structures such as drywells, retention basins, and stormwater treatment devices were properly installed and are operational.

  • Low Impact Development

    Incorporate Low Impact Development (LID) principles in the building design whenever possible. Use LID strategies, such as pervious pavement, vegetative swales, onsite retention, rainwater harvesting, and reuse to minimize stormwater runoff from the property.

  • STORM DRAIN vs. SANITARY SEWER

    The City has two separate collection systems. The sanitary sewer system collects waste water from sinks, toilets, showers and washing machines and conveys it to a wastewater treatment plant. Storm drains carry untreated stormwater runoff directly to our rivers, washes and parks.