Stormwater Pollution Prevention: Safety Topic - April 1, 2024



Discussing stormwater pollution prevention may not be a common topic in your workplace but the more awareness you have in your facility, the better your pollution prevention program will be. Having an effective stormwater pollution prevention program requires everyone’s time and efforts. The end result of having an effective program is a cleaner environment which benefits everyone in the long run. This week we will discuss the basics of stormwater pollution prevention.

Monday – What is Stormwater and Why is it Important?

Understanding what is meant when referring to stormwater is an important step in understanding how it plays a vital role in the ecosystem. Stormwater comes from rain, snow and ice and helps generate fertile soil and recharges groundwater that supports all life on earth. The water that falls from the sky arrives clean and pure and it’s our job to ensure our workplace activities do not disrupt the healthy flow of water from source to destination.

Tuesday – What is Stormwater Pollution?

Understanding the different sources of pollution is the next step in the journey to improve the clean flow of stormwater from source to destination. There are 3 different types of stormwater pollution:

  • Natural: organic materials such as leaves, grass and sediment that can build up and disrupt clean flow paths of stormwater
  • Chemical: Detergents, coolants, oils, grease, fertilizers and pesticides
  • General Litter: human made trash that is discarded improperly

Wednesday – Common Sources of Stormwater Pollution at Industrial Facilities

Today we will take a little deeper dive into the types of pollution that is commonly introduced into stormwater at industrial facilities. Recognizing these pollutants is a critical step in reducing exposure and improving healthy stormwater flow.

  • Fuel and fluid leaks from vehicles and machinery
  • Chemical spills
  • Raw material and equipment stored outside
  • Snow removal processes that cause soil erosion and introduces zinc through rock salt application

Thursday – What Can I Do to Prevent Stormwater Pollution at My Workplace?

As we said earlier this week, it takes everyone’s efforts to have an effective stormwater pollution prevention program. Let’s discuss some ways you can help your facility improve in ways you may not have considered before.

  • Look out for areas where water is pooling due to obstructed flow paths
  • Watch for signs of oily sheen in the rainwater that could indicate pollution
  • Notice areas around your facility that have unused equipment stored outside uncovered that could be contaminating stormwater.
  • Make sure chemical storage areas are properly contained and only trained personnel have access to those areas.

Friday – Open Discussion

This week we’ve covered the basics of stormwater pollution prevention. Now let’s open it up to the group to discuss.

  • Do you feel stormwater pollution prevention is an important program? Why or why not?
  • Do you feel you can help your facility improve your program?
  • Have you already noticed areas of improvement?
  • Are there other areas where your facility can improve in pollution prevention?


Tags: Stormwater , Pollution , Prevention , SWPPP ,

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