PDF for printing tri-fold brochure

City of Davis Concrete and Mortar Program
Best Management Practices (BMPs) and Procedures for

  • Masons and Bricklayers
  • Sidewalk Construction Crews
  • Patio Construction Workers
  • Construction Inspectors
  • Home Builders & Developers
  • Do-It-Yourselfers
Pollution prevention starts with your help.

Concrete and Mortar Problems

Activities using fresh concrete and mortar can easily contribute to urban runoff pollution. Materials and wastes blown or washed into a street, gutter or storm drain represent a sediment load which can have a direct impact on our wetlands and creeks.

Sediment is the most common pollutant from worksites. Sediment can clog the gills of fish, block light transmission and increase river and slough water temperature, all of which can harm aquatic life and disrupt the food chain upon which both wildlife and people depend. Sediment also may carry with it other worksite pollutants such as paints, pesticides, cleaning solvents, motor oil, grease, and fuel.


Best Management Practices such as handling, storing, and disposing of materials properly can prevent pollutants from entering our rivers and oceans.

General Business Practices

  • Train employees and contractors in proper pollution prevention practices.
  • Keep materials out of the rain.
  • Store both dry and wet materials under cover, protected from rainfall, runoff, and wind.
  • Do not store bags or other materials directly on the ground, instead place them in containers or up on pallets.

During Construction

  • Practice Source Reduction—minimize waste when ordering materials. Order and mix only the amounts needed to complete the job.
  • Use recycled and recyclable materials whenever possible.
  • Place erosion controls (e.g. berms) down-slope to capture runoff carrying mortar, cement or other waste before it reaches the storm drain.
  • Set up and operate small mixers on tarps.

Cleaning Up

  • Prevent wash water and other waste from entering driveways, streets, gutters, storm drains or drainage ditches.
  • Wash out concrete mixers and equipment only in designated wash-out areas. Use a wet/dry vacuum to pick up water from concrete cutting operations.
  • Recycle cement wash water by pumping it back into cement mixers for reuse.
  • When breaking up paving (cement or asphalt), be sure to pick up all the pieces. Recycle them at a crushing company, along with any excess porcelain from the site.
  • Recycle broken wood and cleared vegetation. Unrecyclable materials must be taken to the appropriate landfill or disposed of as hazardous waste.
  • Dispose of small amounts of excess dry concrete, grout and mortar in a covered container.
  • Never bury waste material.

Concrete recyclers:

  • Yolo County Central Landfill
    44090 County Road 28H
    Woodland, CA 95776
    (530) 666-8856
  • Golden State Crushing
    5980 Outfall Circle
    Sacramento, CA 95828

Where Does the Water Go?

What happens to water from rain, lawn watering, or car washing? This water, called stormwater or urban runoff, flows in to the City’s storm drainage system through over 2500 curbside catch basins – the openings located along street gutters. The water moves through the storm drain piping below our streets to our rivers, creeks, wetlands, sloughs, the delta, the bay, and eventually the Pacific Ocean.

Initially, much of this water fills the City’s detention and wildlife ponds which support an array of wildlife species. Other water flows through drainage ditches towards the northern and eastern edges of the City.

A portion of the stormwater that is collected in the City is conveyed to the Davis Wetlands where it is used to support this constructed wetlands system and all its wild inhabitants. Tours of the Davis Wetlands are offered the first Saturday of the month. For more information contact the Yolo Basin Foundation: (530) 757-4828.

Protect Our Wetlands

The Putah Creek bioregion and Yolo Bypass Wetlands near Davis comprise a delicately balanced ecosystem, home to numerous species of aquatic plants and animals crucial to the food web. These organisms can be harmed by discharges of material and wastes from concrete and mortar activities.

To remind everyone about the importance of preventing pollution of our stormwater, be it from concrete and mortar activities, or other sources, the City of Davis has installed these storm drain inlet markers near each drain:

storm-drain-markerThese markers are easy to install. So if you, your group, or organization would like to participate in this pollution awareness program, please contact City of Davis Public Works at (530) 757-5686.

Stormwater pollution can be extremely harmful to the health of the plants and animals with which we share this planet.


Help us to protect your water resources for current and future generations.

If you see anyone dumping questionable materials, please call City of Davis Public Works at (530) 757-5686. If it is an emergency, call 911.

Please keep our watershed clean!

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