Restaurant Best Management Practices (BMPs)

Activities within our watersheds have a direct impact on our rivers and streams. These restaurant Best Managment Practices help prevent pollution from going down storm drains and into rivers, lakes and streams.

When water polluted with detergents, disinfectants, trash and grease from food preparation and clean up enters storm drains, it flows, untreated, into neighboring creeks. Using best management practices assures that oils, food wastes, fatty substances, and trash do not flow into a nearby storm drain.

Maintaining a clean environment is a priority for restaurants. The following are environmentally friendly practices both indoors and out.

  • Pour wash water into a janitorial or mop sink, not a dish washing sink. Don’t pour it out onto a parking lot, alley, sidewalk or street. Oil and grease can cause sewers to be clogged.
  • Recycle grease and oil instead of dumping down the drain. Rendering services are available to sample grease for pesticides and other chemicals before it can be resold.
  • Check your outdoor cleaning. If you use cleaning products or detergents, you should mop up wastewater or capture it with a portable pump or a wet vacuum. Pour the water into a janitor sink or a sanitary sewer if approved of by the local sanitary sewer authorities. Train outside cleaning contractors on company cleanup practices.
  • Clean floor mats, filters, and garbage cans in a mop sink or floor drain. Don’t wash them in a parking lot, alley, sidewalk, or street. The oils can travel into drains and pollute stormwater.
  • Inspect dumpsters and grease traps for leaks.
  • If strong chemicals are sprayed on roof-mounted equipment (vents, air conditioning coils, etc.), they will flow from the roof drains into the storm drain and end up in the nearest creek. Collect the wastewater and pour it into a mop sink or sanitary sewer clean out.

Did You Know? It is illegal to discharge wastewater or water containing soaps, detergents, cleaning products, grease, etc. into streets or curb inlets. Curb inlets were designed to drain water from the streets to prevent flooding, but the same curb inlets carry pollution (detergents, disinfectants, grease, trash, etc.) to the nearest neighborhood creek. They do not remove pollutants.

Additional Resources:

Click here to download a poster/brochure about cleaning practices for preventing stormwater pollution. Download a “Menu For A Cleaner Environment.”Click here for the menu in spanish.

To contact a local food hauler, click here for a complete listing.