Mobile Washing Units

Wash water originating from mobile washer activity is classified as industrial wastewater and must never be allowed to enter the storm drain. The wash water often carries with it pollutants such as suspended solids, oil and grease, heavy metals, hydrocarbons, and other organic matter. This discharge enters into our drainage system untreated eventually leading to our lakes, rivers, creeks and streams. The person who generates and releases such discharge may be held responsible for failing to observe these environmental regulations and City Ordinances.

This Fact Sheet provides Best Management Practices (BMPs) that are recommended for mobile washing units including but not limited to exterior building or house washing, sidewalk or parking lot cleaning, brick or stone restoration, wet sandblasting, environmental fleet washing, and graffiti removal.

  • Identify all area drains, yards drains, emergency drains, and drainage channels where wastewater could be released to the storm drain system.
  • Block or seal off all identified release points using sand bags, plugs, rubber mats, vacuum boxes, containment pads, or temporary berms.
  • Use of soap, detergent, degreaser, solvents, emulsifier, dispersant, or any other cleaning substance is prohibited unless the wastewater is captured on-site to be disposed of via sanitary sewer.
  • Sweep all surfaces prior to washing so as to minimize the amount of debris (soil) and grit contained in the resulting industrial wastewater.
  • Collect all trash, litter, and debris from the area and place in a proper trash bin or waste receptacle for disposal
  • Use absorbents such as mats or pads, vermiculite, or sand to soak up spilled liquids.
  • Sweep, vacuum, shovel, and/or wipe up these saturated absorbents and dispose of properly.
  • Collect the industrial wastewater for discharge to the sewer system.

For additional information on discharge to the sewer system contact:

Environmental Programs office at (254) 298-5619