Mobile cleaning and trade businesses

Run-off from roads, drains and gutters lead to poor waterway quality, which can be harmful to fish and wildlife. Mobile cleaning and trade businesses can help stop pollutants like detergents, oils and pesticides entering our stormwater system.

This information will help you if you operate:

  • pet hydro bath or mobile dog washing units
  • car washing
  • carpet cleaning
  • steam and high-pressure cleaning
  • trades
  • brick and paver cutting
  • aggregate driveway laying
  • concrete laying
  • roof cleaning or recoating.

Ways your business can help.

  • Where wastewater contains only soil and organic matter (no oil or chemicals) it is ok to  direct it into a garden or grassed area.
  • Wastewater with any oil or chemicals in it must be collected by a waste company. For fixed businesses (not mobile), you must get a Trade Waste permit to dispose of water containing oil or chemicals down the sewer.
  • Use sandbags or a portable bund to stop wastewater from entering drains.
  • Sweep up all waste instead of hosing it down.
  • Don’t use detergents, oils, pesticides or chemicals near drains, gutters and waterways.
  • Work on a grassed or gravelled area away from drains, roadside gutters and waterways.
  • Use a bucket to collect wastewater so you can easily re-use it or throw it away.
  • Store all detergents, solvents, oils or any other chemicals in a secure area.
  • Collect all waste and use a licensed disposal facility.
  • Clean up spills or leaks using dry absorbent materials such as kitty litter, rags or a bund.
  • Use as little water as possible or use trigger hoses.
  • Make sure all staff know not to pollute the environment.

The law

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1994, allowing polluted wastewater to enter stormwater drains and roadside gutters and waterways is an offence and may attract a fine to the value of 15 penalty units (individual) or 75 penalty units (corporation). See Fines for more information about penalty units.


Stormwater is not treated before entering our local creeks, rivers and waterways. Everyone has a responsibility to keep our waterways clean and healthy.