GUIDELINE FOR THE DRAIN DISPOSAL OF CHEMICALS
· Management of Hazardous Waste
· Safety Hazards
· Reducing Volume of Hazardous Chemical Wastes
· Safe Disposal by the Sanitary Sewer
· .... Corrosives
· ........ Not Included
· .... Solvents
· ........ Not Included
· .... Photographic Chemicals
· Do Not Dispose via Sanitary Sewer...
· Procedure for Non-Drain Disposal
MANAGEMENT OF HAZARDOUS WASTE:
The management of hazardous waste is regulated at the federal level by the
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the authority of the
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The following sections of the
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) contain regulations that are pertinent to
generators of hazardous waste:
- 40 CFR 260 - Hazardous Waste
Management System: General
- 40 CFR 261 - Identification
and Listing of Hazardous Waste
- 40 CFR 262 - Standards
Applicable to Generators of Hazardous Waste
- 40 CFR 263 - Standards
Applicable to Transporters of Hazardous Waste
- 49 CFR 171 - General
Information, Regulation, and Definitions
- 49 CFR 172 - Hazardous
Materials Tables and Hazardous Materials Communications Regulations
At the state level, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
also regulates the disposal of hazardous waste. These regulations are contained
within the following:
In accordance with these regulations, District Policy prohibits "the indiscriminate
drain-disposal of chemicals/materials." This policy was adopted because
the inappropriate disposal of certain chemicals into our sanitary sewer system
may create a variety of hazards including the following:
- Fire and/or explosion hazards
within the drain system.
- Inadvertent mixing, within
the drain system, of incompatible chemicals from different laboratories.
- Corrosion of drainpipes.
- Chemical exposure hazards to
- Escape of volatile, toxic
and/or malodorous substances.
- Addition of unacceptable
amounts of toxic substances (e.g., certain heavy metals) to our sewage
sludge and effluent.
REDUCING VOLUME OF HAZARDOUS CHEMICAL WASTES:
In an effort to reduce the volume of hazardous chemical waste that must be
disposed of by costly third party waste disposal vendors, guidelines for drain
disposal of certain commonly available chemicals have been developed.
In determining a chemical's suitability for drain disposal, its solubility
in water, boiling point, odor, corrosiveness, and toxicity must all be
considered. Individuals should never assume that their waste chemicals are safe
for drain disposal.
SAFE DISPOSAL BY THE SANITARY SEWER:
The following chemicals have been determined to be safe for disposal via the
sanitary sewer system.
- Mineral acids and alkalies
that are within the pH range of 3-11 before they are poured into
the drain. Dilution or neutralization to achieve this range must never be
attempted or assumed to be accomplished within the drain itself. This must
be accomplished with a water flush during and after disposal to flush the
material from the traps and piping. Most labs have glass or dura-iron
piping that will accommodate the disposal of corrosives within this pH
range. If you are unsure of the piping material in your drain system,
check before disposing of any chemicals.
Corrosives - The corrosives approved for disposal
include the following:
- sulfuric acid
- hydrochloric acid
- phosphoric acid
- sodium hydroxide
- potassium hydroxide
NOT Included - This does not include
the following acids:
- Small amounts of certain solvents that are used for rinsing glassware,
provided that enough water is added to ensure that the solvent comprises
less than 2% of the final mixture.
- hydrofluoric acid
- nitric acid
This includes the following:
- short chain alcohols
(e.g., methanol, ethanol, and propanol)
NOT Included - This does not
Chemicals - Used photographic chemicals can be disposed via the drain
in the same manner as corrosives EXCEPT for bleach fix in
color processing, and used fixer.
hydrocarbons (e.g., dichloromethane, chloroform, carbon tetrachloride,
- highly volatile ethers
(e.g., diisopropyl or diethyl ether)
DO NOT DISPOSE VIA SANITARY SEWER:
- Other than those listed above, no chemical wastes shall be disposed of in
drains without prior written approval. With respect to drain disposal, those
wastes that contain the following chemicals are of particular concern:
- Heavy metals (e.g., mercury,
lead, nickel, silver, copper, zinc, cadmium).
- Flammable organic solvents
- Malodorous chemicals (e.g.,
- Highly toxic chemicals (e.g.,
- Explosive chemicals (e.g.,
- All pesticides.
- Chlorinated hydrocarbons
(e.g., trichloroethylene, methylene chloride).
PROCEDURE FOR NON-DRAIN DISPOSAL:
- In order to ensure the proper disposal of chemical wastes, individual
generators must use the following procedure:
- Collect all chemical wastes
in appropriate containers that are properly labeled.
- Notify Facilities for arrangement and disposal of