printech, January, 2004
Stormwater P2 Tips Outdoor Loading and Unloading

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From: Gary Jones ( )
Date: Sun, 18 Jan 2004 21:34:42

FYI - From Water & WasteWater Products eNews at

Stormwater pollution prevention tips: Outdoor loading and unloading

When materials are loaded or unloaded outside on docks or terminals, spilled or leaked materials can collect in the soil or on other surfaces and have the potential to be carried away by stormwater runoff or when the area is cleaned.

Additionally, rainfall may wash pollutants from machinery used to unload or move materials.

The California Stormwater Quality Association's Industrial and Commercial Handbook offers the following tips for keeping outdoor materials loading and unloading from contributing to stormwater pollution. For more information, visit

Note: These suggestions reflect California stormwater regulations. Be sure to adhere to the regulations that are applicable in your area.

Pollution prevention
• Keep accurate maintenance logs to evaluate materials removed and improvements made.
• Park tank trucks or delivery vehicles in designated areas so that spills or leaks can be contained.
• Limit exposure of material to rainfall whenever possible.
• Prevent stormwater run-on.
• Check equipment regularly for leaks.

Suggested protocols

Loading and unloading -- General guidelines

• Develop an operations plan that describes procedures for loading and/or unloading.
• Conduct loading and unloading in dry weather if possible.
• Cover designated loading/unloading areas to reduce exposure of materials to rain.
• Consider placing a seal or door skirt between delivery vehicles and building to prevent exposure to rain.
• Design loading/unloading area to prevent stormwater run-on, which would include grading or berming the area, and position roof downspouts so they direct stormwater away from the loading/unloading areas.
• Have employees load and unload all materials and equipment in covered areas such as building overhangs at loading docks, if feasible.
• Load/unload only at designated loading areas.
• Use drip pans underneath hose and pipe connections and other leak-prone spots during liquid transfer operations, and when making and breaking connections. Several drip pans should be stored in a covered location near the liquid transfer area so that they are always available, yet protected from precipitation when not in use. Drip pans can be made specifically for railroad tracks. Drip pans must be cleaned periodically, and drip-collected materials must be disposed of properly.
• Pave loading areas with concrete instead of asphalt.
• Avoid placing storm drains in the area.
• Grade and/or berm the loading/unloading area to a drain that is connected to a dead end.


• Check loading and unloading equipment regularly for leaks, including valves, pumps, flanges and connections.
• Look for dust or fumes during loading or unloading operations.


• Train employees (e.g. forklift operators) and contractors on proper spill containment and cleanup.
• Have employees trained in spill containment and cleanup present during loading/unloading.
• Train employees in proper handling techniques during liquid transfers to avoid spills.
• Make sure forklift operators are properly trained on loading and unloading procedures.

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