Restaurant Best Management Practices

Restaurants contribute to storm water pollution through improper cleaning practices that allow food particles, oil, grease, trash and cleaning products to flow into the street, gutter or storm drain. These discharges pollute our creeks, rivers and ocean and are prohibited by law. Below are recommended Best Management Practices (BMPs) for restaurants.

  • Never pour wash water outside or into a street, gutter or storm drain.
  • Never pour grease or oil into a sink, floor drain, storm drain or dumpster.
  • Sweep, mop or vacuum instead of using a hose to clean outdoor areas.
  • Always clean equipment including floor mats, grease filters, grills and garbage cans indoors or in a covered outdoor wash area that is plumbed to the sanitary sewer.
  • Clean equipment in a mop sink if possible (never in a food preparation sink).
  • If your restaurant does not have a mop sink, dedicate an indoor cleaning area where there is a drain that is plumbed to the sanitary sewer.
  • Discharges to the sewer should not contain hazardous materials, grease, grit, or any material that could clog piping.
  • All wastewater containing oil and grease must be disposed of in a grease trap or interceptor. Concentrated waste oil and grease must be collected in a grease bin and disposed of by a certified waste grease hauler.
  • Major cleaning of exterior surfaces must include capturing wash water and disposing of it in the sanitary sewer in compliance with local regulations.
  • Wash water should not be allowed to enter the street gutter or storm drain.
  • All mop water from cleaning floors must be disposed of indoors in a mop sink, toilet or other drain that is plumbed to the sanitary sewer.
  • Dry sweep pavement areas, including "drive-through" areas, parking lots, outdoor eating areas and dumpster or grease bin areas frequently. If you must use water for cleaning, use a mop and bucket and dispose of wash water in a mop sink or floor drain that is plumbed to the sanitary sewer.
  • Use dry methods for spill clean-up. Rags or absorbents can be used to pick-up liquids or grease. Sweep-up the absorbent, seal it in a plastic bag and dispose of it in the trash.
  • Keep outside areas free of trash and debris. Clean outdoor eating areas frequently using dry cleaning methods such as sweeping or vacuuming.
  • Never wash down dumpsters or grease bins with a hose. Check dumpsters regularly for leaks. If a dumpster or tallow bin must be cleaned or repaired, contact the leasing company.