The Pollution Solution

Best Management Practices for Restaurants


Best management practices, or BMPs, are procedures that should be used to prevent pollutants — such as paints, solvents, mortar and other harsh chemicals — and their contaminated wash water from entering our storm drains and polluting our waterways:

  • Don’t: Pour grease or oil into a sink, floor drain, sink drain, stormdrain or dumpster.
  • Do: All wastewater containing oil and grease must be disposed of in a grease trap or interceptor. Concentrated waste oil and grease must be collected in a grease bin and disposed of by a certified waste hauler.
  • Don’t: Pour wash water outside or into a street gutter or stormdrain. This includes all mop water from cleaning floors and wash water from cleaning equipment, floor mats, grills and garbage cans.
  • Do: If your restaurant does not have a mop-sink that is connected to a sanitary sewer or an outdoor wash area that is plumbed to a sanitary sewer, dedicate an area where there is a drain that is plumbed to a sanitary sewer to dispose of your wastewater.
  • Don’t: Use your hose to clean outdoor areas. These areas can include drive-throughs, parking lots, outdoor eating areas and dumpster areas.
  • Do: Dry sweep and use dry methods for spills. Rags or absorbent materials can be used to pick up liquids or grease. Sweep it, seal it and dispose of it in the trash!
  • Don’t: Wash down a dumpster or a grease bin with a hose.
  • Do: Always contact the leasing company when dumpster repair or cleaning is due. Additionally, check the dumpster regularly for leaks, keep lids closed and ensure that your dumpster has a drain plug that is properly functional and securely sealed.

Streets and storm drains are part of the drainage system, which protects developed areas from flooding. Everything that enters the streets and storm drains flows directly into waterways without treatment and causes pollution.

cooking eggs

Why Is This Important?

When restaurants do not control their waste products and materials, they enter our storm drains, which can lead to waterways and developed areas flooded with grease, oil and other toxins. Small steps help the big picture. Each of us can do the small things to help keep our water clean, and that adds up to the pollution solution!

Contact Information

  • To report illegal dumping or for more information, call (727) 464-4425, Monday through Thursday from, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • For questions on waste disposal, contact Pinellas County Solid Waste at (727) 464-7500.
  • For 24-hour voicemail (non-emergency spills only), call (727) 464-5060.

Pinellas County Stormwater Regulations

Pinellas County’s stormwater ordinance, Article VI, Chapter 58, is intended to protect the water quality and natural habitat of creeks, lakes and marine waters that receive discharges from our drainage system. The ordinance states that any discharge to the drainage system or to a waterway that is not composed entirely of stormwater is prohibited.

This means that pollutants of any kind, including contaminated wash water and construction materials, may not enter the street, storm drain or gutter. Violators of the stormwater ordinance may be fined up to $10,000 per day, and payment for cleanup costs may be required.

More Information

For more information on what you can do to keep our waterways clean and our watersheds healthy, or to report pollution, call the Watershed Management Hotline at (727) 464-4425 or email us at