Environmental Remediation Program

fact sheet

Division of Environmental Quality

Director: Kyra Moore

This is guidance for managing water from containment sumps and spill basins. Also included are options for safely and legally managing absorbents from cleaning up spills of petroleum (gasoline, diesel or kerosene). This guidance does not pertain to managing petroleum impacted debris and media generated from a tank closure or cleanup or to used oil cleanups. For information on managing wastes from the inside of petroleum storage tanks, see Management of Petroleum Storage Tank Wastes - PUB2040. For information on fuel filter management and additional details, see Managing Gasoline Dispenser Fuel Filters and Waste Associated With the Operation of Fuel Dispensing Systems - PUB 2364.

Options for disposing of water from routine maintenance (containment sumps, spill basins)

  • Clean water (with no petroleum layer or sheen) may be disposed into the sanitary sewer drain with permission from the city’s wastewater authority.
    • Petroleum impacted water may be cleaned using an absorbent pad or boom and then disposed in the following ways:
      • May be land applied on a station’s property in a manner that prevents discharge to any waterbody, drain or culvert.
      • Into the sanitary sewer drain, if permission has been granted from the city’s wastewater authority. Do not dispose in a stormwater drain, culvert or septic tank. 
      • Process water through your facility’s oil/water separator, taking care not to exceed design limitations.
      • Store, label, transport and dispose of the fuel impacted water as hazardous waste. This would not require pre-processing or cleaning. For guidance on hazardous waste management see Hazardous Waste Generator Status Guidance - PUB 2224.

For recovered fuel management options, see section 1 in Management of Petroleum Storage Tank Wastes - PUB 2040

Disposal of used petroleum impacted absorbent pads, booms or dry spill (kitty litter)

  • Do not dispose of wet absorbents in the trash.
  • Do not store wet absorbents in the containment sump under the dispenser.
  • Do not drain absorbents to the sewer or onto the ground.
  • Do not dry used pads or booms uncovered outdoors. Precipitation can cause the container to overflow and release waste to the environment.
  • DO keep wet absorbents in a small closed container or protected when drying.
  • Dry pads, booms or kitty litter may be disposed of in the trash that will be sent to a permitted sanitary landfill. Before such disposal, you must obtain the landfill operator’s permission. The operator may choose not to accept it, or may ask for sample results before agreeing to accept it.
  • Do not dispose of absorbents by open burning.
  • Do not dispose of absorbents in other than a state permitted or authorized facility.

What contractors should know

Contractors servicing tank sites may bring petroleum impacted absorbents generated in the course of performing their duties at those sites back to the contractor’s facility for proper hazardous waste characterization, management and disposal. However, when doing so, the contractor shares responsibility with the owner/operator of the tank site for complying with laws and regulations regarding that waste. Though not required by regulation, it is a good management practice for the contractor to have a written agreement with the tank site owner/operator specifying how and where each of the materials they accepted from the site will be recycled, managed, shipped and disposed. For more information see the fact sheets referenced above. 

Contractors may also transport sump test water suitable for use from one gas station to another. When no longer suitable for use, the contractor may bring the test water back to his or her facility for proper management according to options above.

This guidance document does not detail how to store, label, transport or dispose of soil and water from tank cleanouts, closures and remediation.

For more information about underground storage tank regulations

Environmental Remediation Program’s Tanks Compliance Section
800-361-4827 or 573-522-5665
Fax 573-526-5268

For more information about hazardous waste regulations

Environmental Remediation Program’s Compliance and Enforcement Section
800-361-4827 or 573-751-3176
Fax 573-526-5268

For more information about water regulations

Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Water Protection Program
Permits Section
800-361-4827 or 573-751-1300


Contact your nearest Missouri Department of Natural Resources regional office.

Additional Information

Hazardous Waste Generator Status Guidance - PUB 2224
Management of Petroleum Storage Tank Wastes - PUB 2040
Managing Gasoline Dispenser Fuel Filters and Waste Associated With the Operation of Fuel Dispensing Systems - PUB 2364

Nothing in this document may be used to implement any enforcement action or levy any penalty unless promulgated by rule under chapter 536 or authorized by statute.