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General Construction


Can hard hats prevent pollution?

Construction sites are common sources of runoff pollution. Sediment, materials and waste can easily be washed into the storm drain system and carried directly into our streams, Bay and ocean. It pollutes the water we swim in and harms aquatic life.

As a contractor, site supervisor, owner or operator of a site, you may be responsible for the environmental damage caused by your subcontractors or employees.

  • Keep pollutants off exposed surfaces.
  • Place trash cans and recycling receptacles around the site, and recycle or dispose of all waste properly.
  • Cover and maintain dumpsters—check frequently for leaks.
  • Cover exposed construction materials with plastic tarps or temporary shelter.
  • Stabilize piles of soil with temporary stabilization and wrap in silt fence to control runoff.
  • Designate one area for vehicle parking and routine equipment maintenance—well away from gutters and storm drains.
  • Make sure portable toilets are in good working order—check frequently for leaks.
  • Use as little water as possible for dust control—this can contribute to increased runoff volumes.
  • Clean up leaks, drips and spills immediately to prevent contaminated soil or residue from entering waterways. Use dry cleanup methods whenever possible.
  • Control surface runoff to reduce erosion, especially during excavation. Use grass swales, drainage ditches and other BMPs to divert water flow.
  • Use gravel approaches to reduce soil compaction and limit the tracking of sediment onto streets where truck traffic is heaviest. Use wash racks to keep sediment from leaving the site.
  • Do not remove trees, shrubs or plants unnecessarily—these all help prevent erosion.
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