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City of Santa Rosa > Departments > Community Development > Department Brochures > Heavy Equipment and Earthmoving Activities
 
Heavy Equipment & Earth-Moving Activities

Heavy Equipment & Earth-Moving Activities  Right Image

Heavy Equipment & Earth - Moving Activities

  • Site Supervision
  • Bulldozer, Backhoe and Gardening Machine Operators
  • Dump Truck Drivers
  • General Contractors
  • Home Builders
  • Developers

Creek, River and Ocean Pollution Prevention: It's Up to Us

Santa Rosa has two drainage systems - the sanitary sewers and the storm drains. The storm drain system was designed to prevent flooding by carrying excess rainwater away from city streets out to local creeks, the Russian River and the ocean. Because the system contains no filters, it now serves the unintended function of carrying urban pollution straight to our waterways.

This pamphlet tells you how to prevent pollution from "stormwater" or "urban runoff".

Rain, industrial and household water mixed with urban pollutants creates storm water pollution. The pollutants include: oil and other automotive fluids, paint and construction debris, yard and pet wastes, pesticides and litter.

Urban runoff pollution contaminates the waterways, closes beaches, harms aquatic life and increases the risk of inland flooding by clogging gutters and catch basins. Overall, storm water pollution costs the Sonoma County economy.

These Best Management Practices (BMP's) will ensure cleaner waterways and cities.

Heavy Equipment
Operation Problems

Soil excavation and grading operations often contribute to urban runoff pollution. By loosening large amount of soil and sediment, earth-moving activities can cause sediment to flow into gutters, storm drains and local waterways.

Sediment is the most common pollutant washed from worksites, creating multiple problems once it enters the waterways. Sediment clogs the gills of fish, blocks light transmission and increases water temperature, all of which harm sea life, disturbing the food chain upon which both fish and people depend.

Sediment also carries with it other worksite pollutants such as pesticides, cleaning solvents, cement wash, asphalt and car fluids like motor oil, grease and fuel. Thus, poorly maintained vehicles and heavy equipment leaking fuel and oil at the construction site also contribute to waterway pollution.

Solutions

Best management practices, such as handling, storing and disposing of material properly can prevent excavation site pollutants from entering storm drains.

A. General Business Practices

  1. Schedule excavation and grading work for dry weather.
  2. Use only as much water as necessary for dust control.

B. Clean Up Spills 

  1. Never own "dirty" pavement or impermeable surfaces where fluids have spilled. Use dry cleanup methods (sawdust, cat litter, and/or rags).
  2. Sweep up dry spilled materials immediately. Never attempt to bury them or "wash them away" with water.
  3. Clean up spills on dirt areas by digging up and properly disposing of contaminated soil.
  4. Report significant spills to the appropriate spill response agencies immediately. Use the telephone numbers provided on the back of this pamphlet.

C. Vehicle & Equipment Maintenance

  1. 1. Maintain all vehicles and heavy equipment. Inspect frequently for leaks.
  2. Conduct al vehicle/equipment maintenance and refueling at one location - away from storm drains.
  3. Perform major maintenance, repair jobs and vehicle/equipment washings off site.
  4. Use gravel approaches where truck traffic is frequent to reduce soil compaction and limit the tracking of sediment into streets.
  5. Use drip pans or drop cloths to catch drips and spills, if you drain and replace motor oil, radiator coolant or other fluids on site. Collect all used fluids, store in separate containers and recycle whenever possible.
  6. Do not use diesel oil to lubricate equipment or parts.

D. Erosion Prevention

After clearing, grading or excavation, exposed soil poses a clear and immediate danger of storm water pollution. Revegetation (permanent or temporary) is an excellent form of erosion control for any site.

Avoid excavation and grading activities during wet weather.

Construct diversion dikes to channel runoff around the site. Line channels with grass or roughened pavement to reduce runoff velocity.

Cover stockpiles and excavated soil with secured tarps or plastic sheeting.

Remove existing vegetation only when absolutely necessary. Large projects should be conducted in phases.

Consider planting temporary vegetation for erosion control on slopes or where construction is not immediately planned.

Plant permanent vegetation as soon as possible, once excavation and grading activities are complete.

STORM WATER POLLUTION PREVENTION PROGRAM RESOURCE GUIDE

SPILLS AND DUMPING IN STORM DRAINS AND CREEKS

EMERGENCY SPILL SITUATION

TOXIC AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

GASOLINE - ANTIFREEZE - OIL - PAINT - ETC.

CITY OR COUNTY:  9-1-1

NON-EMERGENCY SPILL SITUATION

NON TOXIC OR NON HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

CITY:  543-3881 (FIELD SERVICES)

COUNTY:  525-6565 (ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH)

TO REPORT CLOGGED STORM DRAINS OR DITCHES

CITY: 543-3881 (PUBLIC WORKS)

COUNTY: 524-7280 (PUBLIC WORKS)

ECO - DESK HOTLINE

527-DESK (3375)

For more information on RECYCLING call the ECO-DESK. They have many listings and ideas.

This brochure is one of a series of pamphlets describing storm drain protection measures for construction projects. Other pamphlets include:

Rev. April 1998