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Sanitary Sewer Disposal

The Sanitary Sewer:
What can go down the drain?

During the waste determination process, the CHO will determine whether or not you may put the remains of your chemical process down the sink to the sanitary sewer.

In general, non-water soluble items (such as powders, solvents, paints, paint thinners, etc.) should never be put down any drain. Some of these items may not necessarily be regulated as hazardous waste, but should still be managed in a proper manner.

Examples of acceptable discharges to the sanitary sewer:

  • Non-hazardous, safe, water-soluble solutions
    • Examples include solutions of sodium chloride, sucrose, glucose, urea
  • Small amounts of dilute acids or bases
    • Can neutralize to appropriate pH with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
  • Very small amounts of water soluble solvent resulting from glassware cleaning
    • Acetone/Ethanol in amounts less than 5mL
    • Collection is recommended if possible

Additionally, the Richmond Sanitary District has approved Earlham's discharge of currently used fabric dye solutions (Art Dept. - Weaving) and certain currently used biological dye solutions in the Biology and Chemistry departments (in negligible quantities only).

Examples of unacceptable discharges to the sanitary sewer:

  • Non water-soluble solvent (any quantity)
    • Including hexanes, paint thinner, turpentine, mineral spirits
  • Oils, greases and paints
  • Pickling solution (any quantity)
  • Strong acids or bases without neutralization
  • Anything substance that meets hazardous waste criteria (from earlier pages)

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