The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Storm Water Runoff and Storm Drains

on October 27, 2015 the Bad and the Ugly, waste management and Tags: with 0 comments

Storm drains are a huge source of water pollution in the United States.  Storm water runoff occurs when precipitation from rain or snowmelt flows over the ground; parking lots and other paved areas prevent storm water runoff from soaking into the ground.

Storm water can pick up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants and flow into a storm sewer system or directly to a lake, stream, river, wetland, or coastal water.

Make sure your storm drains don't look like this!!!

Make sure your storm drains don’t look like this!

Grocery Stewardship Certification takes a look at what supermarkets and grocers can do to mitigate the effects of storm water runoff, including proper cleaning of storm drains.  Check out our most recent edition of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Storm Water for a quick tutorial on what to look for.

To avoid pollution in storm water runoff, the EPA recommends that all commercial businesses:

    • Sweep up litter and debris from sidewalks, driveways and parking lots, especially around storm drains.
    • Cover grease storage and dumpsters and keep them clean to avoid leaks.
    • Report any chemical spill to the local hazardous waste cleanup team. They’ll know the best way to keep spills from harming the environment.


Proper maintenance of storm drains is one of the hundreds of items reviewed and inspected while completing Grocery Stewardship Certification.  Keep watching this space for more examples of how to best maintain the operational efficiency of your grocery store, reduce costs and make more sustainable decisions!

Want more information about why sustainability is important for the grocery industry?  Email us at to start the conversation.