Around the Monterey Bay, most storm drains flow directly to local creeks, streams and the ocean sanctuary without treatment. Storm water pollution is a serious problem for wildlife dependent on clean water and for people who depend on healthy waterways. Fresh concrete and cement-related mortars that wash into lakes, streams, or estuaries are toxic to fish and the aquatic environment.
All paints, solvents, and many adhesives contain chemicals that are harmful to the wildlife in our creeks and Bay. Toxic chemicals may come from liquid or solid products or from cleaning residues or rags. It is especially important not to clean brushes in an area where paint residue can flow to a gutter, street or storm drain.
Prior to construction, obtain a permit from the City. Determine if any underground hazards exists (utility lines, sewer lines, etc.). Soil excavation and grading operations loosen large amounts of soil that can flow or blow into storm drains if handled improperly. Soil erodes due to a combination of decreased soil stability, more and faster-moving water. Some of the most effective erosion control practices reduce the amount of runoff crossing a site and slow the flow with check dams or roughened ground surfaces.
Poorly maintained vehicles and heavy equipment leaking fuel, oil, antifreeze or other fluids on the construction site are common sources of storm water pollution. Prevent spills and leaks by isolating equipment from runoff channels, and by watching for leaks and other maintenance problems. Remove construction equipment from the site as soon as possible.
Road paving, surfacing, and pavement removal happen right in the street, where there are numerous opportunities for storm drain contamination by asphalt, saw-cut slurry, or excavated material. Extra planning is required to store and dispose of materials properly and guard against runoff to storm drains. Inform your employees and subcontractors about storm water regulations and their responsibilities. Contact your City Public Works Department for more construction BMPs.