Tips for Businesses

Better for Business and Better for the Environment
One of the most common types of pollution from businesses is contaminated water runoff, usually from cleaning and maintenance activities. Establishing simple Best Management Practices (BMPs) can prevent stormwater pollution, and it’s good business practice to show your clients and customers your concern for local community and environment.

businesses1Work Sites

  • Locate the storm drains on or near your property. Do not allow materials to flow into these drains.
  • Examine your business premises for sources of pollution.
  • Identify specific activities with the potential to cause spills or release pollutants such as oil, grease, fuel, etc. Post signs and train employees on how to prevent and clean up spills during these activities.
  • Sweep or vacuum the floor of your business premises daily. Use a damp mop to clean work areas.
  • Never hose down surfaces into the street, gutter or storm drain.
  • Use non-toxic cleaning products whenever possible.
  • Store workplace chemicals in a properly maintained and approved storage facility, such as a fire-proof chemical storage locker with a spill catchment reservoir.


  • Cover dumpsters to keep insects, animals and rainwater from entering. Keep the area around the dumpster clear of trash and debris. Do not overfill dumpsters.
  • Call your trash hauler to replace leaking dumpsters.
  • If there is a choice, avoid locating dumpsters immediately adjacent to streams, ditches, or storm drains.


  • Never sweep leaves, grass cuttings or pruning waste into the street, gutter or storm drain. For yard waste, only use trash cans or biodegradable yard waste bags.  Do not use plastic bags; they will not be collected.
  • In Manassas, yard waste is only collected on Mondays.
  • Plant native vegetation to reduce the need for water, fertilizer and pesticides.
  • Try not to over water and periodically inspect hoses and sprayers for leaks.
  • Never apply pesticides or fertilizers when rain is predicted within 48 hours.
  • Only apply the quantity and dose of fertilizer or pesticides suggested by the manufacturer.
  • Try to purchase the quantity of fertilizers or pesticides anticipated for immediate use in order to reduce the amount of chemicals needing to store and maintain for extended periods. 
  • Take unwanted pesticides to HHW Collection day at the Manassas Transfer Station

businesses4Preventing Leaks & Spills

  • Train employees on how to properly clean up spills and waste.
  • Document employee training.
  • Keep a spill kit with absorbent materials in the work area.
  • Check equipment, wipe up spills and repair leaks on a daily basis.
  • Contain equipment spills and leaks in suitable pans until the fluids are drained. Do not expose these overflow/leak containment pans to the rain or snow.
  • Place collected fluids and other contaminated handling supplies into an approved hazardous waste container and then promptly dispose of properly.
businesses5Cleaning Spills

  • Never hose a spill into the street, gutter or storm drain.
  • Clean up spills immediately by using a broom, damp mop or rag.
  • For larger spills, use absorbents such as rags, cat litter or sand. If the material spilled is hazardous, dispose of the rag, litter or sand in the same manner as hazardous waste. If the material spilled is nonhazardous, dispose of it in the trash.
  • Immediately report spills that have entered the street, gutter or storm drain. Call the Stormline on 703-257-8378 and you will be directed to the appropriate staff member.

businesses6Grease and Oil Disposal

  • Never put food waste down the drain. Food scraps often contain grease, which can clog drains, pipes and sewers.
  • Contain grease and oil by using covered grease storage containers or installing a grease interceptor.
  • Grease control devices must be emptied by permitted companies only.
  • Keep maintenance records on site.

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