Heavy metals, pesticides, petroleum products and trash all pose a health risk to the public when they’re washed off the job site and into storm drains. Storm-water drains generally dump the water they collect directly into lakes, rivers or the ocean, so fuel spills travel with rainwater and can end up in fisheries and swimming areas.
The EPA mandates that builders working on larger job sites create a storm-water pollution-prevention plan to detail how the builder will contain soil erosion and prevent chemical runoff from the job site.
While best management practices such as silt fences are needed to keep soil from washing into storm drains, chemical and petroleum spills and contamination can often be prevented with a little effort and training.
Here are a few ideas for preventing water contamination by job-site chemicals:
Even though federal and state regulations may not apply to a smaller builder, everyone benefits from cleaner waters and a healthier environment. Making sure chemical spills are properly contained and cleaned up can also reduce the chance of future lawsuits or complaints from the homeowner. Larger builders who fail to contain chemical contamination to their site can face large fines and risk work delays for inspections and testing.
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