Clean businesses appeal to more customers and so high traffic driveways and parking lots are cleaned, utilizing pressure washers for cosmetic reasons, as well as to meet maintenance, safety and also liability concerns. But beware what happens to polluted waste-water run-off generated by pressure washing if it makes its way into our municipal storm drains. The impact is devastating to water quality and aquatic wildlife and habitat.
Improperly contained and disposed waste water run-off merges in our open storm water drainage systems to create a polluted concoction that typically ends up discharged by rivers and streams into bays and estuaries. This continual runoff carries traces of a host of toxic chemicals.
Aggressive cleaning agents such as muriatic acid and degreasers are also very toxic. The waste-water from cleaning our driveways and parking lots contain all the grime, oil (which contains lead, copper, cadmium and chromium), antifreeze, gasoline and every unwanted pollutant on the dirty surface together with the toxic cleaning agents.
Pressure washers generate approximately 10,000 to 20,000 gallons of waste-water for every 100,000 to 150,000 square feet of surface being cleaned. Unfortunately, too often the most common method for disposing of the pressure washing waste-water is to simply hose it to the nearest storm drain. It just makes sense to preserve our fragile ecosystem for future generations by insisting that service providers not allow waste-water to be discharged into storm drains.
Complying with Legal Rules and Restrictions
With few exceptions, it has become illegal to discharge any type of non-storm water into storm water drainage systems. Storm water drains generally flow directly into the nearby ocean, lake or river, without any pre-treatment and so anything other than rain water or snow runoff may well contain pollutants. Following Federal and State mandates, many cities and towns have enacted laws and regulations prohibiting discharge of any type of non-storm water into the storm water system. Pressure washing of oil stained concrete such as a parking lots require the operator to prevent wash-water from entering streets or gutters leading to storm drains. Ignoring these regulations can lead to substantial fines.
To make things worse, in many states the owner of the property is the legal owner of the waste-water produced at his property. So if a pressure washer service permits an illegal discharge to the storm sewer, it might be the customer who gets the citation and fine! Violations of the no-discharge rules can be classed as misdemeanors and are subject to penalties of up to $10,000 per day per violation, up to a maximum of $100,000 for any related series of violations.
How do you eliminate the risk of improperly disposed waste-water?
If you choose to hire a pressure washer, be mindful that well-managed companies are not operating out of the back of a pickup with a small pressure washer and some hose wands. An environmentally compliant pressure washer has invested in additional equipment that makes it efficient to capture wash water before it enters storm water and sewer drains. Before selecting a service provider to pressure clean your driveway or parking lot, request a demonstration that includes the equipment needed to collect waste-water.
The BEST way to both effectively remove oil stains from concrete AND to eliminate the environmental concerns and liabilities is to use a waterless concrete cleaner.
Be aware that not all waterless concrete cleaner products are the same or even contain active ingredients which consume the oil. There are plenty of “snake oil salesmen” which sell expensive “bio-organic” oil cover-up products. Some just contain calcium carbonate, Portland cement, and gypsum. These cheap ingredients simply cover over the stain and have no active ingredients to effectively consume the petroleum hydrocarbons (oil). These products may absorb the oil to varying degrees, but you have not removed the oil!
BacKrete® is unique. After more than 29 years in the chemical industry, product developer Mel Dean, along with a team of scientists, chemists and industry specialists developed BacKrete® using recent advancements in enzyme and bacteria research and technology to create a truly different and effective cleaning product. BacKrete® has undergone rigorous testing using the product in a variety of “Real Life” testing situations for optimum results. Instead of making just another “ReKrete-like” product based on fifteen year oil technology, BacKrete® set out to make a truly effective cleaner utilizing natural occurring, non-genetically altered oil-eating bacteria which breed and reproduce themselves at an exponential rate. The result is a product that has been proven to actually work! BacKrete® is so unique that it has been registered with the “United States Patent and Trademark Office” and it is proudly “Made in the USA”.
The primary advantages of using BacKrete® over other waterless concrete cleaning products are:
- BacKrete® is a safe product. Its Ph is 7.8 (water is 7.0)
- BacKrete® treats 400 to 450 square foot per pound. Other waterless products cover 200 square foot per pound.
- BacKrete® contains a blend of naturally occurring, viable bacterial cultures which will digest motor oil, diesel fuel and all the major components of diesel, gasoline, kerosene, jet fuel, fuel oil and other hydrocarbon based petroleum products.
- BacKrete® will absorb liquids of any type; water, cola, juice, anti-freeze and any petroleum based liquid. It will consume as a food source any petroleum based liquid.
- BacKrete® contains natural, living bacteria which are much more effective. This is because the living bacteria breed and reproduce themselves at an exponential rate.
- BacKrete® is a lightweight inert clay while competitive products utilize a very dense, heavy calcium carbonate.
For a complete comparison of BacKrete® vs. ReKrete, read this post.
For more information regarding BacKrete® Eco-Friendly Waterless Concrete Cleaner, click here.
To request a price quote, click here.