If you are not already using best practices for wastewater management, I highly recommend that you get started implementing a plan to be prepared when regulations will be required or enforced. In many parts of the country, Storm water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP), for Construction Activities are already in place and installers are having to comply with these regulations and having to go through a learning curve. Photo 6 shows a washout containment set up by tile setters and being used on a construction site in Arizona. The containment area has posted signage to designate it as a “washout pit” (Photo 7). Installers pour their wastewater into the containment area, let the water evaporate, and then dispose the container and debris into a trash receptacle. This eliminates any contaminants entering the soil and this is where the construction trades are making a positive impact on protecting the environment. The down side is that it does require time for any water to evaporate and that means that the containment must be in place until all the water has evaporated.
For small jobs or where a wash out containment cannot be utilized, 30-gallon barrels with open tops/lids and handles are ideal (Photo 8). Make sure that you get the barrels that have the metal ring to hold the lid on tight for transporting.