Painting and Coatings

Stormwater Related Information for the Painting and Coatings Industry

Preventing runoff from painting and coating activities from entering our streets and storm drains helps protect our waterways from pollution! All sources of pollution, including runoff from painting and coating, 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…

  • Residues from using paints, thinners, solvents and varnishes contain pollutants that are toxic and can harm wildlife and humans. 

  • Other activities associated with painting such as dry stripping and sand blasting can also create stormwater pollution.  Any debris or dust must be swept up and disposed of in the trash.

  • You must clean brushes away from any area where paint or waste water could flow into the street, gutter or storm drain. 

  • 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: There are different ways to dispose of waste water from washing paint brushes depending on what kind of paint was used. Natural, latex and oil-based paints all have different disposal requirements, contact your sewer provider to see what can go into the sewer system before you pour your waste down the drain.

  • Use Best Management Practices (BMPs): BMPs are techniques or controls used to prevent or reduce the discharge of pollutants such as paint and sanding debris into the storm drain system. Some BMPs for painting could include keeping all liquids, paint products and wastes away from gutters and storm drains.  Additionally, all unused materials must be disposed at your local hazardous waste disposal center.  To locate a disposal center near you, visit


Want to learn more?

The resources below provide suggested BMPs and further information on how to protect our waterways. Click the buttons to view available languages:  

Paintings and Coatings
General Pollution
Inspect Your Business
Materials Management Spill Response
Train Your Employees
Loading and Dumpster Areas


Know before you go…

Before washing your brushes scrape off as much paint as possible with a stir stick or similar tool, this not only makes them easier to clean, but also reduces the amount of paint being washed into the sanitary sewer system.


Contact Us

If you would like to report a painting 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!