Pollution prevention for businesses
Stormwater (rainwater runoff) from industrial and commercial properties can be a major source of pollution that affects local waterways. Stormwater drains directly into waterways and out into the Bay without filtration or treatment, so controlling potential pollutants at businesses is important for protecting water quality.
Businesses with outdoor operations, such as processing/storing materials or repairing/storing vehicles outdoors, have the greatest potential to release pollutants. Best Management Practices (BMPs) such as proper storage of chemicals and materials, cleaning spills and leaks, and proper waste management can help prevent pollutants from reaching the storm drain system. The implementation of pollution prevention BMPs allows businesses to protect the community and environment while maintaining their business objectives.
The Watershed Protection Division is a division of the County's Consumer and Environmental Protection Agency (CEPA). The Division is responsible for meeting the requirements of State permits which regulate the discharge of rain water to local waterways.
Watershed Protection Division staff will inspect storage areas and outdoor operations for potential sources of stormwater pollutants at your business. If needed, we will identify corrective actions to prevent contamination of stormwater runoff.
Gutters, storm drains, and ditches discharge stormwater runoff to local streams without treatment. The County is required to inspect certain commercial and industrial businesses, and to educate business owners about ways to prevent stormwater pollution.
Watershed Protection Division staff will contact you in advance to schedule the inspection.
Areas subject to inspection includes:
- Outdoor material storage areas
- Outdoor processing, manufacturing, and repair areas
- Outdoor waste and disposal areas
- Outdoor vehicle and equipment parking areas
- Loading docks, sumps, and exposed equipment
Business Inspection Program
The County’s Watershed Protection Division is required to inspect businesses that could potentially pollute the storm drain system or local waterways. Our goal is to work together with businesses so we can all have a safe, clean, and healthy environment. Inspections are intended to teach business managers and property owners how to identify potential sources of pollution at their facility and how to prevent pollutants from reaching local storm drains and creeks. When actual or potential discharges are observed during an inspection, we may issue enforcement actions as needed to ensure that pollutants are cleaned up and BMPs are implemented in business operations.
Our team only inspects facilities located in the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County. If you have any questions about the Business Inspection Program, or recently received a notice from our office, please send an e-mail to [email protected] or call us at (408) 918-4609.