Commercial Overview

Commercial and Industrial businesses have been identified as potential contributors to storm water pollution if proper pollution prevention practices are not performed regularly. Metals, detergents, trash, pesticides, fertilizers, landscape trimmings, hazardous chemicals, sediments, oil and other equipment fluids are a few of the many contaminants commercial and industrial businesses can contribute to storm water and urban runoff pollution. Due to this high potential for storm water pollution, high priority commercial and industrial businesses are required to perform pollution prevention Best Management Practices (BMPs).

What are Best Management Practices or BMPs?

Definition: Best Management Practices (BMPs) are defined as schedules of activities, pollution treatment practices or devices, prohibitions of practices, general good housekeeping practices, maintenance procedures, and other management practices or devices to prevent or reduce the discharge of pollutants directly or indirectly to Storm Water, Receiving Waters, or the Storm Water Conveyance System. BMPs include, but are not limited to, treatment procedures, and practices to control site runoff, spillage or leaks, sludge or water disposal, or drainage from raw materials storage. Best Management Practices may include any type of pollution prevention and pollution control measures that can help to achieve compliance with the City’s Code.

What is Urban Runoff/Storm Water?

  • The following definitions are provided for your convenience:
  • Urban runoff is considered water originating from urban areas, including, but not limited to, rain, irrigation, wash water, and air conditioning condensate.
  • Storm Water refers solely to water resulting from a storm event. However, many agencies still use the term “storm water” to refer to urban runoff.

To assist your business in complying with local, state and federal regulations the Oceanside Clean Water Program has a brochure that gives a general overview of the urban runoff regulations, how urban runoff affects our local waterbodies and tips for preventing storm water pollution. Also there are two Urban runoff requirements manuals specific to commercial and industrial businesses. To comply with BMP requirements owners and/or managers should read the manual specific to their type of business. Click on the link above to download the manual that is appropriate for your type of business.

Urban Runoff Guidelines for Commercial Businesses brochure   (317 KB)
Commercial Urban Runoff Requirements Manual  (380 KB)
Industrial Urban Runoff Requirements Manual  (316 KB)

Report any water running in the street when it is not raining or someone dumping something in the storm drain or curb and gutter by calling the Urban Runoff Hotline at 760-435-4500.

For BMP information specific to certain types of businesses click on the image below that best represents your business type (link images and description to pages)

   Restaurant Business

    Carpet cleaning
   Mobile Business

Best Management Practices

The County of San Diego Project Clean Water website is an excellent resource with BMP information for commercial and industrial businesses: On this page you can click on the Business Search button that will take you to a list of specific businesses. Select from the list of businesses that best matches your type of facility to obtain specific information about pollution prevention best management practices that can be implemented at your place of business.

Below is a bullet list of BMPs general to commercial and industrial businesses.

Materials and Waste Management

  • Make sure all hazardous materials, or other potential polluting materials, are stored in a contained, roofed area to prevent contact with rain water.
  • These storage areas must be inspected periodically and at least once before the rainy season (October 1-April 30)
  • Trash storage and disposal areas must be inspected at least weekly.
  • Cleaning of trash disposal and storage areas with water is only allowed if precautions are taken to prevent the wash water from entering a storm drain.
  • Loading and unloading areas must be cleaned regularly using dry methods (sweeping, vacuuming, etc.)
  •  Wet cleaning of areas is only allowed if wash water does not enter a storm drain.
  • Storm drains within or downgradient of loading and unloading areas must be covered or otherwise protected during loading and unloading operations.

Vehicles and Equipment

  • Make sure all vehicular equipment is maintained regularly to prevent fluid leaks.
  • Storm drains within or downgradient from fuel areas must be covered or otherwise protected to prevent the entry of spilled fuel or other materials.
  • Vehicles and equipment can only be fueled in areas where precautions have been taken to prevent storm water pollution. Designated areas are preferred.
  • Use of low-flow sumps or oil/water separators is encouraged, but not required for facility storm drains.
  • Storm drains within or downgradient from maintenance or repair areas must be covered or otherwise protected to prevent storm water pollution.
  • Maintenance and repair equipment must be kept clean to avoid the buildup of grease and oil.
  • All fluids must be drained out of retired equipment or vehicles that are stored on-site.
  • Drip pans, containers or other methods of drip or spill containment must be used during repair or maintenance of vehicles or equipment.
  •  Equipment and vehicles may only be washed in areas where precautions have been taken to prevent wash water from entering a storm drain. Designated areas are required if practicable.
  •  Wash water or rinse water is allowed to infiltrate pervious areas; however if the wash water is the result of cleaning engines, mechanical parts or other heavy equipment, the water may not be infiltrated.
  •  Wash waters or rinse waters that are not allowed into the sewer system or infiltrated into a pervious surface, must be contained for treatment, re-use or proper disposal.

Outdoor Areas

  • Equipment on rooftops (emergency generators, HVAC systems, etc.) must be inspected periodically and regular maintenance must be done to prevent leaks.
  • Materials and other substances which accumulate on rooftops (bird droppings, leaves, grease, etc) must be periodically cleaned to reduce or prevent storm water pollution. If using wet methods for cleaning, the wash water cannot enter a storm drain.
  • If practicable, rooftop downpouts must be routed away from the street and work areas, to pervious areas such as grass or shrubs.
  • Trash containers must be provided in convenient locations to discourage littering.
  •  Vehicles stored in parking areas for an extended amount of time must be inspected and spills cleaned as necessary.
  • Parking areas must be inspected periodically and cleaned of materials that significantly pollute (leaves, oil, grease, fuel, etc.).
  • Materials and equipment which may pollute storm water cannot be stored in parking areas unless precautions are taken to prevent storm water pollution.
  • Spills of any hazardous liquid substance must be cleaned immediately with an absorbent. If water is needed, use a mop and make sure wash water does not enter a storm drain.
  • Using pesticides and fertilizers prior to a scheduled rain event is discouraged.
  • Integrated Pest Management practices and other non-chemical pest control are encouraged when practicable.
  • Exposed slopes must be vegetated or stabilized.
  •  Paved surfaces must be cleaned regularly using dry-methods (sweeping, vacuuming). Hosing is permissible if the wash water is recovered and not discharged to a storm drain.
  • Stockpiles must be covered during windy or rainy weather.