Storm Water Pollution Prevention

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Storm Water Pollution Prevention for Construction Related Activities
Runoff is a major source of pollution to our water. Regardless of the size of the project, dirt, debris and other wastes generated by construction related activities can have a negative impact on the environment if allowed to contaminate storm drains and other waterways. Following these guidelines will help you comply with City of Richardson requirements as well as other applicable state and federal regulations.


  • Keep excavated soil on the site where it is least likely to collect in the street. Transfer to dump trucks on the site, not in the street.
  • Use straw waddles, silt fences or other control measures to prevent the flow of silt off the site. Controls must be effective and maintained.
  • Never schedule earth-moving activities when rain is forecast. If grading activities must be conducted during wet weather, implement effective control measures to prevent erosion. 
  • Mature vegetation is the best form of erosion control. Minimize physical disturbance and chemical damage to existing vegetation especially on site perimeters. 
  • If you disturb a slope during construction, prevent erosion by securing the soil (use erosion control fabric, seed with fast-growing grasses, etc.) as soon as possible. Place effective controls down-slope until soil is secure.

Paving/Asphalt Work

  • Always protect storm drain inlets and manholes when paving or applying seal coat, tack coat, slurry seal or fog seal.
  • Place drip pans or absorbent material under paving equipment when not in use.
  • Protect gutters, ditches and drainage courses with effective controls (straw waddles, sandbags, earthen berms, etc).
  • Provide filtration and overflow to prevent flooding of streets. Check all controls before and after heavy rain events.
  • Do not use water to wash down fresh asphalt or concrete pavement.

Vehicle & Equipment Care

  • Inspect vehicles and equipment for leaks frequently. Use drip pans to catch leaks until repairs are made and repair leaks promptly.
  • On-site fueling should only be performed in a bermed area or over a drip pan that is a big enough to prevent runoff.
  • If you must clean vehicles or equipment on-site, clean with water only in a bermed area that will not allow rinse water to run into gutters, streets, storm drains, or creeks. Do not use soaps, solvents, degreasers, steam cleaning equipment, etc.
  • Place spill kits in accessible locations near storage/maintenance areas containing oil.
  • Place covers over drains near oil storage or waste transport areas.
  • Provide secondary containment for above-ground storage tanks.
  • Do not store oil or other chemicals near storm drains or drainage paths.

Materials Storage & Spill Cleanup

Non-hazardous Materials Management

  • Sand, dirt and similar materials should be stored at least 10 feet from catch basins or storm drains, and covered with a tarp when rain or high winds is forecast.
  • Use (but don't overuse) water for dust control.
  • Sweep streets and other paved areas daily. Do not wash down with water!
  • Cover and check dumpsters regularly for leaks and to make sure they don't overflow. Repair or replace leaking dumpsters promptly.

Spill Prevention and Control

  • Keep an adequate supply of spill cleanup materials (rags, absorbents, etc.) available at all times.
  • When spills or leaks occur, surround, contain and remove them immediately, being particularly careful to prevent them from reaching the gutter, street or storm drains. Never wash spilled material into a gutter, street, storm drain, or creek!
  • Place spill kits in accessible locations near the main waste transfer areas and loading docks. Train all employees on the proper use of these kits and proper disposal of used absorbents.
  • Report any hazardous materials spills immediately! Call the Richardson Fire Department (911) and/or the Richardson Response Center (972-744-4111) for assistance.


  • Never rinse paint brushes or materials onto the ground or in a gutter or street.
  • Paint out excess water-based paint before rinsing brushes, rollers or containers in a sink. If you cannot use a sink, direct wash water to a bucket or other container for proper disposal.
  • Paint out excess oil-based paint before cleaning brushes in thinner.
  • Filter paint thinners and solvents for reuse whenever possible. Dispose of oil-based paint sludge/unusable thinner as hazardous waste.
  • For further waste disposal information contact the City of Richardson at 972-744-4111.

Dewatering Operations

  • Reuse water for dust control, irrigation, etc. to the greatest extent possible.
  • Be sure to call City of Richardson (972-744-4111) before discharging water to a street, gutter or storm drain. Filtration or diversion through a basin, tank or sediment trap may be required.

Saw Cutting

  • Always effectively protect storm drain inlets when saw cutting. Use filter fabric, straw waddles, sandbags, gravel dams or other effective controls to keep slurry out of the storm drain system.
  • Shovel, absorb, or vacuum saw-cut slurry and pick up all waste as soon as you are finished in an area or at the end of each workday.
  • If saw cut slurry enters a catch basin, clean it up immediately.

Concrete, Grout & Mortar Storage and Waste Disposal

  • Store concrete grout and mortar under cover and away from drainage areas. These materials must never reach a storm drain.
  • Wash concrete equipment/trucks at an appropriate off-site location or designate an on-site area for washout (water must be contained). Wash water can never reach the street, storm drain or fresh water sources such as creeks or streams. Prevent rain water from reaching fresh concrete wash out areas.

Any questions should be directed to the City of Richardson Health Department at 972-744-4083.