Food Establishments

Stormwater Related Information for Food Establishments

Preventing runoff from the food and beverage industry activities from entering our streets and storm drains helps protect our waterways from pollution!  All sources of pollution, including runoff from food and beverage facilities, are prohibited from leaving your property and entering streets or storm drains. Only rainwater is allowed in the streets and storm drains. 

Did you know… 

  • The by-products of the food industry, including organic material, oil and grease, can harm water quality if they make their way into storm drains.  

  • The chemicals found in the heavy-duty cleaning chemicals used in commercial kitchens can be toxic to aquatic life. 

  • Releasing pollutants directly or indirectly into the storm drain system is a violation of the County’s Watershed Protection Ordinance (WPO).  


What can I do? 

  • Dispose of waste thoughtfully: It is essential for the health of our waterways that oil and grease are not flushed into storm drains. Wash greasy equipment such as vents, bins and stovetops only in designated wash areas that drain to the sewer.  

  • Use Best Management Practices (BMPs) for your business: BMPs are techniques or controls used to prevent or reduce the discharge of pollutants, such as cooking oil and food waste, into the storm drain system. BMPs for the food industry include washing floor mats in a sink that drains to the sewer system, keeping spent oil areas clean and when possible away from storm drains or using dry materials (such as rags) to absorb oily or greasy spills. 


Want to learn more? 

The resources below provide suggested BMPs and further information on how to protect our waterways: 

Food Establishments
Fats, Oils, and Grease
General Pollution
Inspect Your Business
Materials Management Spill Response
Train Your Employees
Loading and Dumpster Areas
Fire Sprinkler Maintenance
Green Business Program

Know before you go… 

Rinse kitchen equipment and bins only in sinks that drain to the sanitary sewer system. 


Contact Us

If you would like to report a food and beverage industry discharge concern, have questions about our program, or would like additional information call the County Storm Drain Pollution hotline at: 1(888) 846-0800 or e-mail us at 


Thank you for doing your part to protect our waterways!