Fresh Concrete & Mortor Application

Concrete & Mortar Application Problems

Fresh concrete and mortar activities are frequent sources of urban runoff pollution. Materials and wastes blown or washed into a street, gutter or storm drain have a direct impact on the ocean.

Sediment is the most common pollutant washed from worksites, creating multiple problems once it enters the ocean. Sediment clogs the gills of fish, blocks light transmission and increases ocean water temperature, all of which harm sea life, disrupting the food chain upon which both fish and people depend.

Sediment also carries with it other worksite pollutants such as cement wash, gravel, asphalt, pesticides, cleaning solvents, motor oil, grease and fuel. Thus, poorly maintained equipment and vehicles leaking fuel and oil at the worksite also contribute to ocean pollution.


General Business Practices

  • Schedule projects for dry weather periods.

  • Keep materials out of the rain. Store both dry and wet materials under cover, protected from rainfall and runoff. Also, protect dry materials from the wind.

  • Secure open bags of cement to keep wind-blown cement powder away from streets, gutters, storm drains, rainfall and runoff.

Cleaning Up

  • When cleaning up after driveway or sidewalk construction, wash concrete dust onto dirt areas, not down the driveway or into the street or storm drain.

  • Wash out concrete mixers and equipment only in designated wash-out areas, where the water flows into containment ponds or onto dirt.

  • Recycle cement wash water by pumping it back into cement mixers for reuse.

  • Never dispose of cement washout into driveways, streets, gutters, storm drains or drainage ditches.

During Construction

  • Place erosion controls (i.e., berms or temporary vegetation) down-slope to capture runoff carrying mortar or cement before it reaches the storm drain.

  • Do not order or mix up more fresh concrete or cement than you will use.

  • Set up and operate small mixers on tarps or heavy drop cloths.

  • When breaking up paving (cement or asphalt), be sure to pick up all the pieces. Recycle them at a crushing company.

  • Dispose of small amounts of excess dry concrete, grout and mortar in the trash

  • Never bury waste material. Recycle or dispose of it as hazardous waste material. Contact Hazardous Waste Hotline at (800) 552-5218.

Handling Materials & Wastes

  • Practice Source Reduction - minimize waste when ordering materials. Order only the amounts needed to complete the job.

  • Use recycled and recyclable materials whenever possible.

  • Recycle broken asphalt, concrete, wood, and cleared vegetation. Unrecyclable materials must be taken to an appropriate landfill or disposed of as hazardous waste.

Disposal Options

  • Use a crushing company like those listed below to recycle cement, asphalt and porcelain rather than taking them to a landfill.

Blue Diamond
(800) 300-6120

Copp Crushing
Anaheim, Temecula, Chino & Santa Fe Springs
(310) 802-2141

RJ Noble
Santa Ana
(714) 637-1550