This water pollution prevention program is focused on reducing or eliminating pollution from outdoor cleaning activities. Mobile cleaners that specialize in cleaning surfaces (e.g., sidewalks, plazas, building exteriors) or “flat work” are educated about the water pollution potential of their cleaning activities and trained to use best management practices (BMPs) to avoid it. Those that agree to use BMPs are designated as a “Recognized Surface Cleaner” and receive a Recognition Certificate, listing on the BASMAA website, and promotional materials including cards for advertising their status to potential customers and pollution prevention vouchers that provide a record of how each job was conducted in ways that prevented water pollution.

New Emergency Regulation of Wasteful and Unreasonable Water Uses

On January 4, 2022, the State Water Board adopted new emergency regulations designed to reduce “wasteful and unreasonable water uses.” The following uses of water are prohibited:

  • Overwatering outdoor landscapes with potable water causing more than incidental runoff
  • Washing a motor vehicle with a hose without a shut-off nozzle
  • Using potable water to wash sidewalks, driveways, buildings, structures, patios, parking lots, or other hard surfaces, except where health and safety are at risk
  • Using potable water for street cleaning or construction site preparation, except as needed to protect public health sand safety
  • Using potable water for decorative fountains or the filling or topping-off of decorative lakes or ponds, except for those that use a circulating pump
  • Using water to irrigate turf and ornamental landscapes during and within 48 hours after measurable rainfall of at least one quarter of an inch (1/4 inch)
  • Using potable water to irrigate ornamental turf on public street medians

For details and a copy of the resolution and regulations, click here.

Pollution Prevention Training Program For Surface Cleaners

Employees and owners of surface cleaning businesses and other surface cleaners can receive a ‘Certificate of Training’ in pollution prevention practices. Certificates are issued to individuals, not entire organizations. Certificates expire after one year and must be renewed to maintain your status as a Recognized Surface Cleaner. Please follow these steps:

  1. Register your name (both first-time and renewal applicants).
  2. Watch both parts of the 16-minute video (below) titled ‘We Do the Job Right – Preventing Pollution from Surface Cleaning – BASMAA (2000)’ – available in both an English and a Spanish version. The video comprises these 5 short sections:
    • We Do the Job Right
    • Three Simple Rules
    • Parking Lots and Garages
    • Buildings, Sidewalks, and Plazas
    • Summary
  3. Review the FAQs.
  4. Review the Commonly Used Terms & Expressions.
  5. Print and take the BASMAA Surface Cleaner Self-Quiz and compare your answers to the provided Answer Sheet.
  6. After completing steps #1 through #5, send an email to stating that you completed the training by following steps #1 through #5.

A Certificate of Training will not be provided until the email described in step 6 above is received. In response, the Certificate of Training will be sent to the email address you provided when you registered your name in step 1 above. Please allow 7-10 days for a response.

Video: We Do the Job Right – Preventing Pollution from Surface Cleaning (2000)

Part 1

Part 2

Video: Hacemos Bien el Trabajo – Cómo Prevenir la Contaminación que Causa la Limpieza de Superficies (2000)

Part 1

Part 2

BASMAA-Recognized Pollution Prevention Surface Cleaners

San Francisco Bay Area government agencies and businesses can look up cleaners who BASMAA recognizes as being trained in pollution prevention.

Download the list of Recognized Surface Cleaners (05-22-2023)

Documents for Download