Who Washes the Washman

Managing wastewater and runoff is critical when cleaning

Washing away dirt and grime is the main goal of any cleaning job. Whether you’re removing grease and oil from machinery, rinsing off dirt and mud from a surface, or hosing out delivery trailers or animal stalls, your Hotsy pressure washer from Hotsy Minnesota does a great job at removing all the gunk you want gone. But this dirt doesn’t just disappear into thin air – it ends up in your wash water.

Wastewater from washing is loaded with grime, particulates and other granular materials, and often detergent, which means that it needs to be properly handled to prevent contamination with local water systems or ground water. Let’s look at a few ways to make sure your wastewater ends up where it should.

Storm Drain Covers

For washing done near a municipal storm drain, employing a cover or mat can be an integral part of a wastewater solution. These devices simply lay overtop of a drain and are often held in place with blocks or other weights to ensure a stable seal. As wastewater pools, it pools around and over the drain and can be collected with a sump pump or vacuum pump.

Oil-Absorbent Mats

Another option is to use a specialized mat material that is designed to soak up harmful waste products while you work. Oil-absorbent materials are made to collect oils from water, reducing the spread of oils on a wash site. If you’ll be washing machinery or other grease- and oil-stained equipment, use these mats to help make cleaning up from cleaning up easier.


It’s also possible to surround a washing area with berms that can prevent water from flowing outside of a controlled area. This helps to collect all runoff in a single location where it can be vacuumed up and pumped into storage containers for later treatment or disposal, as appropriate. Berms can be made of a variety of materials – sand bags, 2x4’s, PVC pipes and more – and paired with tarps or other material to create a fully enclosed area for retaining wastewater.

Vacuum Boom

A vacuum boom is a great option that works on solid, flat surfaces with an incline. With a boom, you can just lay out the boom around your wash area in the direction water flows, and the boom directs and contains water, vacuuming it up through small holes at the bottom of the hose. This is a great portable solution for mobile wash units.

Small Wash Area

If you’ll be washing smaller items – parts, tools, components and other gear – you can create a small wash area with a portable containment pool or even a large drum. By localizing your washing activities to a small and confined area, you can ensure that all runoff is easily contained and not drained into sewers or other bodies of water.

Be Aware of Local Requirements

While these options are all great ways to control the collection and management of your wastewater and runoff, local requirements may be more stringent and have additional standards that must be met. At WET, we’ve worked with customers throughout the region for more than 60 years, and can help deliver a solution that works for your cleaning projects.

Manage Wastewater Effectively with Hotsy Minnesota

From runoff collection systems to wastewater treatment and recovery, Hotsy Minnesota offers solutions to help make your cleaning projects more efficient, effective and – of course – clean. Dealing with wastewater doesn’t stop at water management, and our experts can help you with wastewater treatment and recovery solutions to work smarter, not harder. To learn more, stop in and speak with a technician today or give us a call at 763-786-5525.