Housekeeping tips

Introducing a few good housekeeping practices can improve the quality of your trade wastewater. 

Removing solids, oils and grease from your wastewater stream at the source helps prevent your pre-treatment system being overloaded.

It may also help reduce the number of blockages and overflows within your property.

Trade wastewater from retail food activities contains solids, oils and grease. This can cause blockages and overflows in your pipes and overload your pre-treatment system and our wastewater system.

Introducing a few good housekeeping practices will improve the quality of your trade wastewater discharge.

Housekeeping tips for the retail food industry
Activities Tips

Food preparation

  • Use sink strainers to catch solid food waste
  • Wipe or sweep spills - don't hose

Dishwashing

  • Scrape leftover food from plates into a bin
  • Dry wipe plates to remove leftover oils, meat juices and sauces
  • Pre-rinse plates and cutlery in cool water 
  • Use sink strainers 
  • Use less detergent
  • Avoid using bleach or caustic soda
  • Wait for a full load before using the dishwasher
  • Avoid extremely high temperatures

Pot wash

  • Scrape leftover food from pots and large utensils and dispose in solid waste
  • Use sink strainers 
  • Use less detergent
  • Avoid using bleach or caustic soda
  • Wait for a full load before using the dishwasher

Managing waste oil 

 
  • Collect used cooking oil and recycle off site
  • Never pour oil into the sink or directly into a grease trap
Bowl of noodles

Good housekeeping is good business.

Collecting waste cooking oil

Collect used cooking oil in a container.

Scraping plates before washing

Remove leftovers from plates before washing.

Trade wastewater from motor trades contains petroleum hydrocarbons, solids, metals and chlorinated solvents and phenols. These substances can affect the health and safety of our workers, damage our wastewater system, affect our treatment processes and our ability to produce good quality recycled water and biosolids. Some of these chemicals have the potential to cause explosions.

Introducing a few simple housekeeping practices can improve the quality of your trade wastewater.
Housekeeping tips for mechanical workshops
Activities Tips

Damaged vehicle enters the workshop

Motor oil, radiator fluid, brake fluid, battery acid and fuel can leak from damaged vehicles before repair work.
  • Wipe up spills immediately, place trays under leaking parts.
  • Don't drain neat fuel or neat oil to a pit that is pumped to your pre-treatment system.
  • Collect and store brake fluid, motor oil and fuel in drums for off-site removal.
  • Collect and store used radiator fluid for off-site removal.
  • Store batteries in a bunded area where waste and spills drain to a blind pit.

Parts and engine washing

Washing and cleaning

 

  • Wash small parts in a solvent based recycling parts washer. 
  • Use a pressure cleaner and quick break detergent to wash large parts and engines. 
  • Ensure used chemical bath is collected and disposed off-site.

Floor wash-down


 
  • Use bunds to prevent wash water leaving the wash area.
  • Wash the floor with a quick break detergent and pressure cleaner. Hose in the direction of the collection well in the wash area.

Use a dry process
 

A dry process means the work area is not connected to sewer or stormwater systems and the workshop operates without a floor drain or wash bay.

 
  • Wipe up spills straight away using sawdust, cotton waste or other oil absorbent material.
  • Seal the floor so that it can be mopped or swept - don't use a hose.
  • Wash engine parts in a parts wash recycler.
  • Install bunds to repel rain and stop liquid waste escaping to the sewer or stormwater system.
  • Make sure the car is completely inside the bunded area before starting work.
  • Use trays to collect drips from the car.
  • Install a bund around oil storage areas to prevent oil spills and other liquids entering the  sewer or stormwater system.
  • Install a blind pit within the bunded area to collect drainage from the lowest point within the bund. 
  • Collect and recycle radiator waste.
  • Collect and store waste oils, fuels, solvents, paints and degreasers in separate containers for off-site removal and disposal.
  •  Store batteries in a bunded area on top of a plastic pallet. Waste and spills in this area  should drain to a blind pit.
  • Remove batteries off-site for recycling as soon as possible.  

Housekeeping tips for panel beaters and smash repairers
Activities Tips

Damaged vehicle enters the workshop

Motor oil, radiator fluid, brake fluid, battery acid and fuel can leak from damaged vehicles before repair work.
  • Drain all leaking parts that are to be worked on as soon as possible.
  • Wipe up spills immediately, place trays under leaking parts.
  • Don't drain neat fuel or neat oil to a pit that is pumped to your pre-treatment system.
  • Collect and store brake fluid, motor oil and fuel in drums for off-site removal.
  • Collect and store used radiator fluid for off-site removal.
  • Store batteries in a bunded area where waste and spills drain to a blind pit.

Vehicle is prepared for re-spraying

There are two options for managing this trade wastewater.

 
Option 1 - no discharge to sewer
  • Minimise wastewater by using a bucket of water to hand run panels and vehicle bodies.
  • Use a dry powder guide coating system or vacuum dry rubbing system.
Option 2- Discharge to sewer
  • Install a mesh screen in the collection pit  to prevent  tape, plastic clips, abrasive paper and other objects entering the pit. This will also protect  the pump used with the oil separator.

Vehicle is re-sprayed


 
  • Contaminated water from spray booth water curtain must be  pumped out and  taken off-site. This wastewater must not be discharged to sewer.
  • Store all paints and thinners in a suitable flammable liquids storage container within a bunded area.

Detailing and presentation

Tyre black, upholstery cleaners and shiners contain chlorinated hydrocarbons and flammable solvents. Buffing polishes may contain ammonia and petroleum hydrocarbons.
 
  • Minimise the use of chemicals to clean and detail vehicles.
Man spot cleaning vehicle with watering can

Spot clean first.

Motor trade worker sweeping spill

Use a broom.

Motor trade worker hosing work area

Hose sparingly.

Person pouring waste cooking oil into a container

Always collect and store waste cooking oil  before removing it off-site for recycling.

Man collecting used engine oil

Always collect and store used engine oil before removing it off-site for recycling.