Mobile Surface Cleaners
Mobile surface cleaners travel to sites to clean a variety of surfaces including:
- Exterior walls
- Pavement, including sidewalks and plazas
- Parking lots and garages, drive-thrus, driveways
- Gas stations
- Shop floors
- Dumpster enclosures at food service facilities
- Shopping carts
Often this work is done outside of business hours, using a variety of washing equipment such as pressure washers. Wash water from mobile surface cleaning operations must never be allowed to enter the storm drain system, because it may contain a variety of pollutants, such as:
- Soaps and surfactants
- Dirt and grime from general pavement cleaning
- Paint residue from graffiti removal
- Petroleum products from automobiles
- Grease and residue from restaurants
By its nature, this industry generates potentially polluting wash water that must be pre-treated and permitted prior to disposal to the sanitary sewer system. In Contra Costa County, several agencies offer certification programs for mobile cleaners that train operators in how to clean different surfaces in environmentally friendly ways.
- California Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA)'s Best Management Practices (BMP) Handbook for Industrial and Commercials operations has developed business guide sheets for source control from Mobile Cleaning - Surface Cleaning (PDF)and Mobile Cleaning - Food Service Related (PDF).
- Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association (BASMAA) Certified Mobile Cleaner Program for Mobile Surface Cleaners (PDF) and Carpet Cleaners (PDF) offers an online certification program and has prepared a guidance document Pollution from Surface Cleaning (PDF). They also maintain a list of Recognized Surface Cleaners.
- Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (CCCSD) Permitted Mobile Washers Program requires pretreatment systems adequate for the scope of work they are performing. CCCSD also maintains a list of Permitted Mobile Washers.
Under the Municipal Regional Stormwater Permit, Contra Costa County is required to promote pollution prevention best management practices (BMPs) in order to protect receiving water quality. Municipalities, businesses, and residents that hire mobile surface cleaners are ultimately responsible for any discharges from their contractor.
We encourage patronizing businesses whose mobile cleaning employees are professionally trained in pollution prevention BMPs and are certified by one of the above or similar permitting programs to ensure our storm drain system is protected from illicit discharges.
When done correctly, mobile surface cleaning can actually help the environment!