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Contaminants from restaurants and other food service related facilities, operations, and activities have the potential to come in contact with stormwater runoff and pollute rivers, lakes, and streams with food waste, oil and greases, detergents, and litter.

By following proper procedures during the handling of solid and food wastes, cleaning activities and fats, oils and grease management, your business or facility can help to prevent these harmful contaminants from polluting our waters.

Food Service Cleaning Activities

  • Clean items such as floormats, vent filters, garbage cans, and cooking equipment either:
    • In an indoor mop sink (never in a food preparation sink) or dedicated indoor cleaning area with an internal floor drain connected to a sanitary sewer.
    • Using a covered outdoor wash area connected to a sanitary sewer.
  • Never pour washwater out onto a parking lot, alley, sidewalk, or to a stormwater drain or drainage ditch.
  • Regularly clean up food refuse and other trash and debris from parking lots and outside areas surrounding the restaurant or food service facility, particularly drive-thru and outdoor eating areas, using dry cleaning methods such as sweeping.
  • When pressure washing outdoor areas (including parking lots and dumpster storage areas):
    • Cover all nearby stormwater drains with impervious barriers such as berms, plugs, rubber mats or screens.
    • Collect and pump washwater to the sanitary sewer, filter the runoff and properly dispose of filtered solids or discharge to a landscaped area.
    • Never hose down litter, food wastes or spills to a stormwater drain or drainage ditch.

Solid Waste Management

  • Solid and food wastes must be sealed or contained in some manner to ensure they do not leak from dumpsters or other waste containers. Never place liquid wastes or leaky garbage bags into a dumpster.
  • Never dump any food products or wastes into a stormwater drain or drainage ditch.

Fats, Oil, and Grease Management

  • Never pour fats, oils or grease into a sink, floor drain, or outdoors onto the ground or into a storm drain or drainage ditch.
  • Never pour fats, oil, or grease into a garbage can or dumpster.
  • Dispose of all wastewater containing fats, oils and grease using a grease trap or interceptor.
  • Properly store or recycle fats, oil, and grease using approved collection containers. Ensure that collection containers are covered or sealed before transporting from the kitchen.
  • Collect and dispose of concentrated waste fats, oils and grease using a permitted waste grease hauler.