Universal Site Services | Commercial Site Services
Parking Lot Pollutants

Parking Lot Pollutants And How Can They Be Minimized?

Parking lot sweeping in Reno is a necessary service and should be used in all city and suburban area, with cars the primary means of transportation for most people most of the time. Parking lots create pollution problems and require building, landscaping, and maintenance needs along with parking lot sweeping services, which contribute to further pollution issues. The recent trend has been to provide regulations for drainage and pollution abatement in an effort to minimize the amount of pollutants that are collected in,and dispersed from, parking lots.

The purpose of a parking lot is to hold cars, either for a short time or for long-term storage. However, regardless of the timeframe, it is inevitable that parking lots will collect various pollutants and disperse them into the air and water. As well, they contribute to heat increases in urban areas, reduce green space, and negatively affect the environment in many different ways.

As property managers in Reno, it is important that you educate your maintenance and service crews on what types of pollutants are found in residential and commercial parking lots as well as how they can minimize such issues.It is also useful to post notices suggesting ways in which users of parking lots can cooperate in reducing parking lot pollution problems.

There are Several Types of  Pollutants Reno Parking Lot Sweeping Can Remove

Because parking lots have impervious surfaces that do not allow absorption of water and become dumping grounds for careless disposal of trash, the following are examples of parking lot pollutants that can be found in almost any residential or commercial parking lot:

  1. Motor Oil – Many cars have minimal or significant oil leaks that occur when the vehicle is turned off and is stationary.
  2. Grease– Car grease is used to lubricate and protect gears and other mechanical parts of vehicles and cannot be absorbed by parking lot surfaces.
  3. Gasoline – Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are found in combustion byproduct of gasoline and also in the tar-based sealants used to pave or protect parking lots.
  4. Heavy Metals– These metals accumulate from car batteries and airborne fumes.
  5. Sediment– Sediment is a natural material found on parking lot surfaces that become broken down by weathering and erosion.
  6. Fertilizers and Pesticides – These are toxic materials used in landscaping and gardening services,in and around businesses and residential properties and carried in by vehicle tires and rainwater.
  7. Trash – Parking lots are often full of trash, carried in from both inconsiderate parking lot users andfrom natural weather occurrences, such as high winds and heavy rains.

Lots of Problems Are Created by Parking Lots

  1. Because parking lots – especially in urban areas – have a higher capacity than soil to absorb radiation from the sun, they create “urban heat island effects.”  This effect is responsible for the dramatic increase in daily temperatures in many urban areas where there is a lot of paving.
  2. Because most parking lot surfaces are impermeable and do not absorb water, the water that naturally accumulates must be channeled into systems that filter the water, or these large amounts of contaminated water eventually flow into our water systems.
  3. Poorly designed sweepers that clean parking lots can blow out dust and pollutants that contaminate our air.

How To Minimize Parking Lot Pollutants

Parking lot pollutants come from many different sources, but there are steps that can be taken to lessen their impact on the environment overall:

  1. Your parking lot sweeping and maintenance service should use regenerative sweepers to minimize the amount of dust released into the air from parking lot cleaning.
  2. Post notices as to where oil, antifreeze, and other toxic fluids can be recycled.
  3. Make sure all trash containers are emptied regularly and have them visible and well placed to encourage their use by visitors to your parking lot.
  4. Support your local storm or surface water program by having parking lot water collected and filtered before it is released into the community – for example, consider installing water gardens where feasible.
  5. When building, repairing, or repaving your parking lot, consider using permeable paving materials.
  6. Keep the paved surface clean and well maintained.
  7. Integrate green areas in parking lots to reduce the effects of urban heat islands.
  8. Use environmental-friendly cleaning products for paved areas and organic fertilizer and pesticides for landscapes areas.

Since parking lots will be with us as long as cars continue to be the preferred method of transportation, it is important to reduce the negative effects on our air and water as much as possible in as many ways as possible.

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