Best Management Practices for Special Events
The majority of storm drains flow directly to Dry Creek, the Tuolumne River, or percolate into our groundwater through rockwells without treatment. Storm water pollution is a serious problem for wildlife dependent on our waterways and for people who live near polluted creeks and rivers.
Food handling facilities such as restaurants, institutional cafeterias, grocery stores, bakeries, and delis can contribute to stormwater pollution mainly through improper cleanup practices that allow food particles, oil and grease, and cleaning products to flow to a street, gutter, or storm drain.
In addition to drawing flies and vermin and causing odor and public health problems, decaying organic materials use up dissolved oxygen in creeks and rivers, stressing or killing aquatic animals. Also, food handling facilities sometimes discharge toxic chemicals, including cleaning products, disinfectants, and pesticides. Even biodegradable soaps contain ingredients which are initially toxic to aquatic life.
The discharge of grease, oil, cleaning products and food particles to the storm drain system is prohibited in the City by the Modesto Municipal Code (MMC 5-6.221 and MMC 5-10.201). Best Management Practices reduce the amount of these materials entering the storm drain system and will ensure compliance with ordinance requirements.
Best Practice Guidelines
- Practice good housekeeping
- Outdoor cleaning of floor mats, filters, garbage cans, and greasy kitchen equipment should always be done in a designated, bermed area that drains to the sanitary sewer. Never allow wash water to flow into the gutters and storm drains.
- Sweep your area regularly. Pick up and dispose of litter before it ends up in gutters and storm drains. Provide trash and recycling containers around your area for litter control.
- Use dry methods (sweeping, rags, kitty litter, etc.) whenever possible for outdoor spill cleaning. Don’t hose down spills. If wet cleaning is required, be sure to collect the wash water and dispose of it in a sink or other indoor drain.
- Do not hose out dumpsters/trash cans. Instead, apply absorbent material, such as kitty litter, over any spilled fluids. Absorbent will usually be knocked out when the dumpster is emptied. Any spilled absorbent can easily be swept up.
- If the trash/recycling can regularly overflows, get a larger one or arrange for more frequent trash removal.
- If using a bucket cleaning system to wash utensils or other kitchenware, do not dump the wash water into the gutter or allow it to enter the storm drain. Instead, this wash water can be dumped onto a pervious surface, such as dirt or grass. Do not allow dumped wash water to flow back into the gutter or road. This wash water can also be dumped into a drain that is connected to the sanitary sewer.
- If using a generator, place it on a pervious surface such as dirt or grass. If it must be placed on the sidewalk or road, ensure that it is at least 25 feet from any storm drain inlet. Gas cans must be placed on a pervious surface. If fuel is spilled, it must be immediately absorbed with kitty litter, dirt, or other absorbent material. This material must then be swept up and properly disposed of. If fuel enters a storm drain inlet, contact the City of Modesto Environmental Compliance Section immediately.
- Plan approval required. Submit 14 days prior to desired opening date.
- All outdoor special events shall comply with Section 5-10.201 of the Modesto Municipal Code.
- Provide adequate receptacles for use by customers/visitors and workers/vendors.
- Provide routine removal throughout the event of filled trash receptacles, especially in food service and toilet areas.
- Provide routine litter removal during the event (trash receptacles shall not be allowed to overflow).
- Remove and properly dispose of all trash and litter immediately following the event.
- In areas served by a positive storm drain system discharging to the Tuolumne River or Dry Creek, the event holder shall arrange with the municipality for either temporary screens to be placed on catch basins or for catch basins in that area to be cleaned out subsequent to the event.
- All festivals and public events must provide for recycling of any aluminum, glass, and plastic products distributed at the event. Recycling shall cover, at a minimum, the use of recycling containers in food service areas.
- Provide adequate recycling receptacles for use by customers/visitors and workers/vendors.
- Provide routine removal throughout the event of filled recycling receptacles, especially in the food service area.
- Remove and transfer all recyclables to a recycling center following the event.
- Provide adequate accessible portable toilets and hand washing facilities.
- Locate toilets a minimum of 50 feet away from storm drain or rock well inlets and catch basins.
- Instruct the portable toilet service vendor to prevent discharge to the ground or storm drainage system during cleaning and servicing.
- Arrange for streets and sidewalks to be broom-cleaned or cleaned with a street sweeper following the event. (Washing streets or sidewalks into the storm drainage system is prohibited.)
- For events where alcohol and/or food is served, sidewalks and streets shall be wet vacuumed/swept. All organic material shall be removed and properly disposed of. Contents from the wet vacuum shall be disposed of into the sanitary sewer in an approved manner.
- For events that include domesticated animals, sidewalks and streets shall be wet vacuumed/swept. All organic material shall be removed and properly disposed of. Contents from the wet vacuum shall be disposed of into the sanitary sewer in an approved manner.
Storm Drain Protection
- All storm drains in the immediate vicinity of the special event shall be protected with filter fabric and sand/gravel bags.
- During special events which include domesticated farm animals (i.e., parades, pony rides, petting zoos, etc.) all storm drains shall be sealed to prevent the entry of animal or pet wastes into the City storm drain system. The drains shall be unsealed only after the area has been cleaned by a street sweeper following the event. The sealing of storm drains shall be arranged with the municipality.
- For events where alcohol and/or food is served, all storm drains shall be sealed to prevent the entry of fluids into the City storm drain system. The drains shall be unsealed only after the area has been cleaned by a street sweeper following the event. The sealing of storm drains shall be arranged with the municipality.