Stormwater Quality for Auto Shops

Stormwater is runoff from precipitation (rain, melting snow or ice) that flows across the ground and off of rooftops and pavement. It can combine with sprinkler and irrigation runoff and easily picks up and carries with it dirt, oil, pet waste, soaps, trash and other pollutants and drains into storm sewers. Storm sewers are the drains located on street corners and low points on the sides of town streets. These drains all lead to our local waterways and bodies of water. Contaminants that enter our waterways degrade the quality of drinking water sources for people downstream, our own recreation areas, and the quality of fish and wildlife habitats.

Best Management Practices for Auto Shops

Material storage

  • Store all containers under cover to protect from rain and snow.
  • Use secondary containment devices or construct dikes/curbs to contain any possible leaks.
  • Close and secure any opened containers.


  • Keep a spill kit appropriate for the materials you use handy and stocked, ready for use.
  • Clean up any spills immediately.
  • Use absorbent material or containment berms for liquid spills.
  • Always use dry methods to clean spills (sweeping) and never hose down the area.

Cleaners and solvents

  • Read labels carefully and follow directions.
  • Dispose of unused portions properly and follow appropriate cleanup practices.
  • Collect wastes for recycling or proper disposal.
  • Whenever possible, purchase water based cleaning products. Look for products labeled “non-toxic” and “biodegradable”.


  • Prevent polluted runoff by covering all dumpsters and replace leaky ones.
  • Keep the area around the dumpsters free of trash.
  • Ensure trash is properly bagged before placing it in the dumpster.