Business owners can help restore and protect our watershed in a variety of ways. The following resources are adapted from the Philadelphia Water Department.

Businesses can also get involved by scheduling a workshop for employees or attending a TTF volunteer event. Contact us for more information!

Best Practices for general businesses include:

Equipment/Vehicle Cleaning

  • Maintain equipment and vehicles regularly. Check for and fix leaks.
  • Use drip pans to collect leaks or spills during maintenance activities.
  • Wash equipment/vehicles in a designated and/or covered area where the wash water is collected to be recycled or discharged to the sanitary sewer.


Litter Control/Waste Disposal

  • Provide an adequate number of trash receptacles for your customers and employees. This helps keep trash from overflowing.
  • Inspect dumpsters and other waste containers periodically. Repair or replace leaky dumpsters and containers.
  • Cover dumpsters and other waste containers.
  • Dispose of waste products responsibly. Never empty waste products into storm drains.
  • Pick up litter and other waste daily from outside areas including storm drain grates.

Materials Storage

  • Store materials such as grease, paints, detergents, metals, and raw materials in appropriate, labeled containers.
  • Make sure all outdoor storage containers have lids, and that the lids are adequately closed.
  • Store stockpiled materials inside a building, under a roof, or covered with a tarp to prevent contact with rain.

Pavement Cleaning

  • Sweep parking lots and other paved areas periodically to remove debris. Dispose of debris in the garbage.
  • If outdoor pavement cleaning with detergent is required, collect wash water and dispose of it in indoor sinks or drains.


  • Train employees regularly on good housekeeping practices.
  • Assign a person to be responsible for effective implementation of these practices.

Best Practices for restaurants and food service establishments include:

Drain Connections

  • Ensure that drains are properly connected. Plumbing from indoor sink drains should not discharge directly into storm drainage systems, gutters, creeks, and streams; instead, indoor drains should be plumbed according to local sanitary code. Indoor drains should discharge to an approved wastewater treatment facility. Illicit connections have historically been a problem in older buildings.

Kitchen Grease Storage

  • Ensure grease storage containers are not leaking and in good condition. Container lids should fit securely and be inaccessible to vandals and animals. Never dispose of grease in a storm drain.

Outdoor Food Storage and Processing Areas

  • Use temporary tarps or tents as a short-term measure and permanent structures (such as sheds) to cover activity areas to prevent rain or snow from picking up or collecting residues and waste. If an activity cannot be effectively controlled, relocate it indoors or to an alternate site.

Outdoor Washing Activities

  • Wash items outdoors only as a last resort and according to local code. Use minimum amounts of water to avoid producing excessive runoff that may contain detergent or pesticide residues, bacteria or grease. Polluted wash water, even in small amounts, can accumulate in storm drains and waterways where it can harm aquatic life and of impact water quality.

Waste Storage and Handling

  • Non-hazardous and non-liquid solid wastes should be containerized in tied bags prior to disposing in dumpsters. Lids on trash cans and dumpster from containers should fit securely to prevent dispersal of trash by animals or wind. Regularly inspect waste storage areas for litter.