Concrete Wash Water/Wash Outs
In Orange Village the sanitary sewer system and the storm water systems (drains, inlets, and catch basins) are separate piping systems that are not connected. Sanitary sewer water gets treated at the wastewater treatment plant, but everything that washes into the storm sewers and accompanying storm water system (i.e. gutters, footer drains and yard inlets) flows untreated directly into our streams, rivers, and ultimately Lake Erie. This can lead to elevated levels of pollution in our streams, rivers and may contribute to local beach closures along the Lake Erie shoreline. Whether at home, work, or play there are ways that residents and businesses can prevent pollutants from reaching our streams, rivers and Lake Erie.
Because the storm sewers from the Orange Village streets and gutters direct the water and pollutants directly to our streams, it is important to limit what we dump down these drains. One common source of pollution from ‘do it yourself’ or general contracting projects such as driveway, sidewalk or foundation repair work is concrete wash water. Concrete trucks should never be rinsed, cleaned or washed out into the street or down the storm sewer drain. Concrete is full of cement, sand, gravel and chemical additives that pollute our streams.
Remember The 3 Cs:
- Control The best line of defense is to prevent materials and debris from entering the storm drain via procedural methods or "good housekeeping."
- Contain Isolate your work area to prevent discharges from leaving the site. Construct or dig a pit to contain concrete wash water and make sure it does not have the potential to discharge into the street. Allow the water to soak into the ground and then clean up and throw away the concrete residue, once it hardens, in the trash.
- Capture Clean up the work area by sweeping or vacuuming up any residual pollutants that have the potential to flow into the storm drains, and properly dispose of the residue, and check with the manufacturer for disposal requirements. Rinse truck chutes on the lot away from streams, ditches, storm drains, or any other water conveyance.
Contact Orange Village if you have any questions on how to implement these recommendations. And always check with the Building/Zoning Department to make sure you have all the appropriate permits before beginning a project.
For more hints on how to keep our water clean check out Orange Village stormwater page.
-Chagrin River Watershed Partners (Modified from San Diego Think Blue campaign)