Mobile Pet Washing Operations
- Mobile pet washing businesses are required to obtain a license from the State Department of Agriculture. In this license, you are required to follow the requirements of the local authority (City of Longmont) for proper disposal of wastes.
- The City of Longmont's Municipal Code prohibits the discharge of wastes to the storm drainage system. An illegal discharge is defined as anything that leaves the property. A threatened discharge is defined as any spill or discharge on the property. (Municipal Code sections 14.26.050). Both are violations of the Code. Read more about storm drain prohibitions.
- The City of Longmont's Municipal Code prohibits the discharge of wastes to the environment. The wastes must be discharged to the City's sanitary sewer (Municial Code section14.08.205).
- Any discharge to the sanitary sewer must comply with the general and specific prohibitions of the Municipal Code. Call the Industrial Pretreatment Program at 303-651-8667 for more information.
- The City of Longmont does not allow discharge of hauled wastes to the sanitary sewer. You may discharge the wastes to the sanitary sewer at the site of the operations only.
- You cannot haul the wastes to another location for discharge the the City sewer.
- You cannot discharge to any City sewer manhole or storm drainage inlet.
- The City's wastewater treatment plant does not accept hauled wastes.
Click here for Best Management Practices.
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POLLUTANTS OF CONCERN
Washing and grooming activities can pollute waterways if not properly managed.
Wastewater containing soaps, chemicals (flea dip residues or equipment cleaning solutions), fur, sediment and other wastes can enter the river if discharged to the storm drainage system. Water quality may be affected - some wastes are toxic - others have a "nutrient load" that can upset the ecosystem by causing algal blooms.
BUT I DON'T OFFER FLEA DIPS
Most mobile pet groomers do not offer flea dips. But, did you know that flea dips are pesticides and residues can stay on coats for several days after treatment? If a pet is washed soon after treatment, these chemicals can be detected in the wastewater.
BUT MY SOAPS ARE NONTOXIC AND BIODEGRADABLE
It's great to use nontoxic and biodegradable products on pets in lieu of harmful chemicals.
"Nontoxic" means it is not harmful to the user or pet. It doesn't mean it is safe for the environment.
"Biodegradable" means that they are eventually broken down (decomposed) by bacteria in the environment. However, this does not mean it doesn't affect the environment. The end product is considered a "nutrient load" on the river and can cause an imbalance in the ecosystem. You wouldn't pour those products in the river, don't pour them down the storm drains.
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STORM SEWERS VS SANITARY SEWERS - WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE
STORM DRAINAGE SYSTEM
The storm inlets (the grates located in streets) discharge to ditches, ponds, creeks and the river. These are designed to carry rain and snow melt away from our homes and streets. They are not connected to the wastewater treatment plant and there is no treatment of pollutants.
A discharge to the storm drainage system would be the same as discharging to our river.
Never discharge wastes
to the street or any storm drain inlet.
Sanitary sewers carry wastewater from homes and businesses (toilets, tubs, sinks, etc.) to the wastewater treatment plant where the pollutants are removed. Harmful wastes that can cause sewer blockages or disrupt the treatment plant are prohibited (Municipal Code §14.08.310 –312).
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BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES (BMPS)
- Check with your customers about access to the sanitary sewer on site for disposal of wastewater. Contact the City of Longmont at 303-651-8667 for permission to discharge.
- Remove any fur or sediment from the wastes to avoid clogged drains. Use a strainer in the drain and empty to the trash.
- Educate yourself and your staff about local, state and federal regulations on waste disposal.
- Never discharge to a street or storm drain inlet.
- Avoid spills and leaks:
- maintain equipment/use equipment that is adequately sized for the job;
- keep soaps and chemicals in closed containers and in secondary containment.
- Control powders and air born sprays to ensure they don't land on a surface where rain will wash them into the storm drainage system.
- If a spill does occur, do not allow any wastewater to enter any street, storm drain inlet, ditch, pond, creek, river or the environment. Have a spill kit available to contain the wastes. Dispose of spent materials properly. If the spill is too big to handle and enters the street or storm drain, contact Utility Operations at 303-651-8468 for help.
- Use products that are biodegradable or pyrethrum-based.
- Discharge wastes from equipment cleaning to a sink.
- Conserve water. Unused water may be directed to landscape as long as it doesn't contain any pollutants or soaps.
- Recycle containers. Buy products in bulk.
BENEFITS OF DISCHARGING TO THE SANITARY SEWER
- It is the environmentally friendly option.
- There are no fees. Surcharges apply only if the wastes has a higher pollutant strenth than domestic wastes.
- There are no permits required. The only requirement is that the discharge meets the general and specific prohibitions of the Municipal Code. Letters of permission are available, but not required.
- With no discharges to the environment, you won't have to deal with citizen inquiries or concerns about illegal or threatened discharges.
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Colorado Department of Agriculture- Pet Animal Care Facilities Program
Colorado Department of
Public Health & Environment-
Water Quality Control Division
Keep It Clean Partnership (for a listing of other Boulder County municipality contacts)
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This page was updated
January 4, 2012
City of Longmont Public Works & Natural Resources
Stormwater Quality Program
Pollution Prevention Program