Commercial & Industrial Stormwater Tips

The City of Brighton does not have a Stormwater Industrial Program. All applicable industries must comply with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) permit requirements.

CDPHE permit conditions require certain business owners to:

  1. Create a Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP)
  2. Implement the SWMP.
  3. Identify the Best Management Practices (BMPs) that work best for the facility.
  4. Provide secondary containment.
  5. Cover or contain potential pollutants.
  6. Employee training.
  7. Regular inspections.

Some industries might be able to qualify for a "no exposure" exemption if you can completely remove all potential for stormwater pollution. If you do not qualify, then first look for ways to "shrink" the scope of the stormwater rule's coverage. If you operate physically separate facilities that perform different functions, not all those facilities may need permit coverage.

Additional Tips

Move as many stormwater pollutants indoors as possible. If a particular material is mostly used indoors, then store it indoors. That eliminates its potential to pollute runoff.

Re-organize the flow of materials around your facility. If you store materials in one building but use them in another, can you store them where they are used? This will avoid exposing the materials to the weather during transfer and reduce the possibility of spills or releases outdoors. And it might save time and money by storing those supplies closer to where they are used.

Replace fossil-fueled equipment such as forklifts with electric equipment. Electric-powered equipment does not use fuels or lubricants that can contaminate stormwater. Eliminating these pollutants minimizes possible problems with spills and leaks. And with the price of fuel these days, it may save operating costs.

If your facility uses lots of oils or oil products, you might consider installing an oil/water separator (OWS) in your storm drainage system. An OWS removes oils from runoff.

If all or most of your runoff discharges from your site at one specific point, install a catch basin or retention pond just up from the outfall. That way, if you do get a large spill or release, some or all of it will be held in the pond or basin. This will give you more time or organize a clean-up effort which, in turn, reduces your risk of an unlawful discharge.

When paved outdoor areas need re-surfacing, consider installing "porous pavement or pervious pavers" in employee parking lots, driveways and yard work areas. Porous pavement or pervious pavers (essentially pavement/pavers with gaps or holes in it) allows more stormwater and snow melt to soak into the ground. This reduces the volume of runoff. Less runoff, less risk.

Look around your facility. You might find there are other simple, inexpensive things that can make stormwater compliance easier.

For more ideas visit the EPA stormwater website or the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment website.