Help Protect Your Watershed

Best Management Practices

Best Management Practices (BMPs) are precautions and simple everyday operating practices and devices that prevent pollution at the source.

Pine Creek with egrets and trash in the water BMPs You Can Implement At Home

  • Sweep driveways instead of hosing them down.
  • Don't allow leaves or green waste to accumulate; compost or dispose of them properly (not along creek banks).
  • Use Bay-Friendly Landscaping and Eco-Wise gardening methods. Adopt integrated pest management (IPM) methods. Minimize the use of chemicals around your home.
  • Consider installing rain gardens to treat stormwater run-off on your property.
  • Use a cistern to collect roof runoff to water your garden.
  • Consider replacing paved areas with more pervious materials that allow water to percolate into the ground.
  • Oversee your contractors to ensure they are not illicitly discharging pollutants to the storm drain system.
  • Never clean-out paint brushes or tools in the gutter (where waste water will flow to the storm drain and impact waterways.) Even latex paint negatively affects water quality.
  • Remember street sweeping days and move your cars and trash/recycle bins to allow street sweepers to access the street. Also, remind your neighbors!
  • Discharge your pool/spa/fountain into the sanitary sewer or onto landscaping.
  • Wash your car at a commercial car wash, where waste water is treated and recycled.
  • Organize litter clean-ups in the neighborhood and volunteer for creek restoration events.
  • Prevent storm water from coming in contact with work areas, especially maintenance areas and material storage areas, in order to prevent the discharge of contaminants.
  • Store materials under roofs or coverings such as tarps, and on paved areas that are bermed or curbed, in order to prevent contact with storm water.
  • Keep dumpsters closed and keep property free from accumulated trash.
  • Use drip pans under leaking vehicles, equipment and work areas; better yet, have leaks repaired.
  • Secure hazardous waste storage areas to prevent unpermitted access and vandalism.
  • Use shop vacs, vacuum trucks and/or mechanical sweepers to periodically clean work areas and parking lots.
  • Clean out on-site catch basins regularly. At a minimum, do so before the rainy season (October).
  • Clean up spills and leaks immediately using dry methods such as shop rags and absorbents.
  • Train employees in pollution prevention. Explain the reason for the change in procedure in order for behavior modification to be most effective. Reinforce training regularly.
  • Communicate BMPs with signage and document spill notification, training, clean-up procedures and spill kit management.
  • Periodically inspect and audit your facility. Pine Creek without litter