Lets start with the obvious: street sweeping beautifies your property. It picks up dirt, debris, sand, etc… One issue that is often overlooked is stormwater runoff and the role that street sweeping plays. Stormwater runoff is a threat to our environment.
Street Sweeping: What It Has to do With Stormwater Runoff
Stormwater runoff is when harmful pollutants are discharged into our waterways. These pollutants and debris affect our aquatic life. In turn, these contaminated water ways harm our environment. Sweeping removes dirt, debris, and other harmful chemicals, thereby helping to keep that stuff from entering our waterways. Below is a short video that illustrates stormwater runoff and the role that street sweeping plays:
Street Sweeping and the EPA
The EPA takes stormwater runoff very seriously. The Clean Water Act was amended in 1972 to prohibit harmful pollutants from entering our waterways. In
fact, street sweeping has been defined as a Best Management Practice (BMP) by the EPA. According to Elgin Sweepers,
The EPA created the BMP’s for the Stormwater Phase II rule in 2000….Sweeping is a stormwater BMP….a classic pollution prevention technique – There is a science and proper procedures in sweeping for stormwater pollution control….it’s different than just making the street pretty.
Larged paved suffices with heavy vehicle traffic are more susceptible to stormwater runoff. Street sweeping on a regular basis can help prevent this from happening, and from you being fined.
Street Sweeping Prevents Stormwater Fines
Business and contractors face heavy fines if harmful pollutants are found to have come from their property. According to Bob O’Connor of OKPI,
The Clean Water Act also mandated control and treatment of stormwater discharge….Organizations and their employees are liable for civil and criminal penalties if stormwater runoff from their business pollutes the water of the US.
These penalties add up to thousand of dollars. Dollars that you business can not afford to tie up in a litigation suite. Any reputable street sweeping contractor should be certified and have a plan in place to guard against stormwater runoff.