Best Management Practices Toolbox
Conduct Activity in Designated Areas - Auto Repair
Spills can occur while draining fluids from vehicles and vehicles stored on site may also leak fluids. Paints, fuels, part cleaners, hydraulic fluid, and antifreeze are all toxic chemicals commonly handled in automotive repair and auto body work. Many of these products contain heavy metals, which accumulate in aquatic life if they reach our waterways. Particulate matter from sanding and painting, is also a source of pollution. This BMP explains how to contain these pollutants.
The best management practice is intended to isolate pollution to certain areas and prevent it from contaminating stormwater.
- Designate and post signs for specific areas for draining fluids, cleaning parts, storing vehicles, waste storage, etc.
- Designate specific areas for vehicles in line for service. Provide drip pans for these vehicles.
- Berm these areas so as not to drain to the storm drain. Berms can be rounded like speed bumps so that vehicles can move over them.
- Store and handle toxic chemicals over surfaces that will not absorb spills. Paving should be concrete or other less porous surface. Consider using an epoxy type of sealant on paved areas. Do not store and handle chemicals over dirt areas because soil will readily absorb any spills.
- Conduct activities indoors or under cover to protect them from rainwater. Rainwater may wash spilled chemicals, sediments, and other pollutants into storm drains.
- Conduct all sanding indoors. During wet sanding, place a pan under the car panel to collect the sludge. If floor slopes to exterior, consider installing slot drains to collect wet sanding wastes inside of the building. Slot drains must be cleaned routinely to remove sludge and place it into proper hazardous waste containers.
- Routinely collect and discard tape and litter used to mask glass and body work during painting processes. Place litter into the trash bin.
- Collect waste fillers and patch products for proper disposal.
- Label Storm Drain Inlets and drains that pass through an oil/water separator or directly to the sanitary sewer (municipal or septic system).
- Disconnect drains that flow from the processing area directly to the storm drain system.
- Where practical, use cleaning fluids in an area where they can be collected and reused. Otherwise, Properly Collect and Dispose of Wash Water.
- Practice safe filling procedures for tanks. Place drip pans or absorbent materials below where liquids are transferred.
- Ensure Proper Materials Storage.
- Never pour automotive fluids into a ditch, the street, ground, or storm drain.
- Never discard liquid paint or solvents into the dumpster. Empty dry paint cans may be discarded to the trash. Empty dry cans should be left open to prevent pressure from building up inside them.
- Do not hose down work areas to a storm drain. Clean Up Regularly with Dry Methods.
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