Why is it important to stop soft washing run-off entering drains?

March 08, 2022

Soft washing run-off containment dam

In our environmentally aware age all professional soft wash contractors need to be aware of the regulations and best practices for dealing with soft washing run-off and rinse water.

It's important to know the differences between the varying types of drainage system, so you can be sure which are safe to discharge run-off and rinse water into and which are not.

Quick tip: Google "chemical containment dams" to find a selection of products like the one in the picture above.

Our suggestions for safely dealing with softwash run-off into drains

  1. First determine if they are foul water drains or surface water drains. If foul, there's not usually a problem. The treatment plants in foul water drain systems are usually able treat soft washing rinse water.
  2. Check with the local water authority and find out what they allow to go into their drains, as the regulations vary throughout the country.
  3. Quick tip: EU regs allow for one-off discharges of some cleaning products into foul water drains. It is their continual discharge that does long-term harm to our environment. In the UK we must abide by the local regulations.
  4. Downpipes from roof gutters can be temporarily blocked with rags, foam or tennis balls. Run-off can then be sucked up from the gutters.
  5. Skilful application techniques, using the correct nozzles and flow rates will significantly reduce run-off and therefore reduce risk.
    Quick tip: There is seldom an issue when treating roofs with Bio Cleanze as the run-off is very slight. It's the rinse water from treating roofs, render, paths and drives with Lightning Cleanze and Tornado Cleanze that is the concern.Fortunately it is rarely necessary to use these products for treating roofs.
  6. Erect dams around the area being treated (as seen in the top photo) to contain run-off. Then suck it up with an industrial suction machine and dispose of safely. In hot weather the collected run-off will also evaporate, reducing the quantity needing to be removed from site.
  7. If practical, brush rinse water into a safe on-site area – barriered off to prevent access by customers, general public, children and animals – to evaporate or be sucked up.
  8. Important: Septic tanks and reed beds should never have any soft washing chemical, run-off or rinse water fed into them

Click here to get more practical soft washing how-to tips

How to find answers to most soft washing questions: Simply enter a relevant "keyword" or short phrase – e.g. keyword for the above link = "how to" – into our in-site Search Engine (magnifying glass icon on the main menu).

We hope this information is helpful and sincerely wish you great success in your soft washing business,

Ben, Leo, Fiona, Stevie & Anthony

Order Benz softwash chemicals & equipment online or by phone:

GB (England, Scotland, Wales)

Phone: 0800 70 74 222 

Online: www.benzsoftwash.co.uk

Ireland and other countries

Phone: 00353 214 622 978

Online: www.benzsoftwash.com

Lines open Monday - Friday, 9am – 5pm

Please note: The above numbers are for orders only (click here for tech support)

Click here to explore all Benz Softwash cleaning chemicals & equipment

Benz Softwash Bio Cleanze DDAC biocide & Benz Softwash Lightning Cleanze SH sodium hypochlorite biocide

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