How to Create a Water Pollution Prevention Plan for Your Business
Water pollution is a massive problem that has plagued human society for decades now. However, it was only when rapid industrialization began that this form of pollution saw a drastic increase.
EcoWatch reports that 50 percent of US lakes and rivers are too polluted for swimming and drinking. Much of these water bodies became polluted due to a large number of businesses dumping waste into or near them. This is caused by businesses that don’t treat waste or wastewater before releasing them into the environment.
For the sake of all living beings, if you’re running a business, make sure you don’t end up polluting the water bodies around you. To do that, you can set up a water pollution prevention action plan by taking the following steps.
Table of Contents
Understand Your Water Use and Discharge
Before you can effectively prevent water pollution, you need to understand how your business uses water and what it discharges into the environment. Start by conducting a thorough water audit to identify all water sources and uses within your operations. This includes water consumption for processes, cooling, sanitation, and more. Additionally, assess the types of pollutants that could be present in your wastewater, such as chemicals, oils, heavy metals, and sediment.
Once you have a clear understanding of your water use and potential pollutants, you can prioritize areas that need immediate attention. This initial assessment forms the foundation for your pollution prevention plan.
Comply with Regulations
Regulatory compliance is a fundamental aspect of any water pollution prevention plan. All businesses must stick to these regulations as they help these businesses avoid actions that lead to more water pollution.
To ensure compliance, stay informed about relevant laws and regulations, and monitor any updates or changes. Develop a compliance calendar that outlines key deadlines, reporting obligations, and required actions.
A lack of compliance often leads to serious consequences, especially for the general public. This was exactly the case in the Camp Lejeune water contamination incident as reported by TorHoerman Law.
As per the Camp Lejeune lawsuits, leaks from businesses and underground tanks in Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 led to local water contamination. These leaks contained toxic chemicals and substances from nearby businesses. It was later revealed many of those living in that area at the time ended up developing cancer.
All this eventually led to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. Right now, the Camp Lejeune lawyers are doing their best to seek compensation on behalf of the Camp Lejeune victims. Unless you want your business to face similar consequences, make sure you’re strictly following compliance regulations.
Implement Best Management Practices (BMPs)
Best management practices (BMPs) are industry-specific guidelines and techniques designed to minimize water pollution. These practices are tailored to the unique needs and challenges of different businesses and sectors. Implementing BMPs can help reduce the environmental impact of your operations while improving efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Identify the BMPs that are most relevant to your industry and operations. These practices may involve source reduction, pollution prevention, treatment systems, and recycling or reuse of wastewater. Regularly train employees on these practices and incorporate them into your standard operating procedures.
Establish a Contingency Plan
Even with the best prevention efforts in place, accidents can happen. It’s essential to be prepared for unexpected events, such as spills or equipment failures, that could lead to water pollution. Establishing a contingency plan is a crucial component of your pollution prevention strategy.
Your contingency plan should outline how to respond to emergencies quickly and effectively. It should include procedures for containing and mitigating spills, notifying regulatory agencies and the public, and documenting the incident for reporting and legal purposes. Regularly review and update this plan. Conduct drills and training exercises, and ensure all employees are familiar with their roles in case of an emergency.
Monitor and Test Water Quality
Regular monitoring and testing of water quality are essential for detecting and addressing potential pollution issues early. Implement a comprehensive water quality monitoring program that includes sampling and analysis of your wastewater, stormwater runoff, and any other discharges.
Set up a schedule for routine monitoring and testing, and be prepared to adjust your pollution prevention plan based on the findings. Timely identification of issues allows for prompt corrective actions, reducing the risk of pollution incidents.
Basic industrial water testing kits cost around $32. You can also do monthly tests through any water testing lab around you. Simply have them over at your business location or send them a water sample. They’ll then do the testing and send the water quality report back to you.
Engage and Educate Employees
Your employees are a valuable resource in the effort to prevent water pollution. Engage and educate your workforce about the importance of water conservation and pollution prevention. Provide training on best practices, proper handling of chemicals and hazardous materials, and the significance of compliance with environmental regulations.
Always encourage your employees to share their concerns related to your business and water pollution. Let them know that you’re open to discussions on these matters at any time. If necessary, you can also hire an environmental compliance manager who can handle these matters on your behalf.
According to Glassdoor, an environmental compliance manager makes $104,509 annually on average. It’s a lot of money spent on salary but this money won’t go to waste. Having such a manager will help you develop an even better water and environment pollution prevention plan.
By following the above steps, you can easily prepare a water pollution prevention plan for your business. After that, it’s all about implementation, something that will not only benefit your business but also your community and society as a whole.