|From:||ANATECH LTD <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
The U. S. Clean Water Act as revised in 1990 [Federal Register
55(42), July 24; also 40 CFR 122 and 403] bans chemicals from drain
disposal if their flashpoint (closed cup) is less than 140 degrees F.
Any solution containing 10% or more ethyl alcohol has a flashpoint
below 140 degrees F and is therefore disallowed; 70% alcohol has a
flashpoint of 69 degrees F.
The U. S. EPA specifically prohibits dilution as a means of making
hazardous waste non-hazardous [40 CFR 268.3 and 403.6(d)].
The ultimate authority is always your local wastewater treatment
plant. Call them for advise. Check also with your local fire
marshal and insurance carrier, as they may heve an interest in you
pouring flammable liquid down the drain. This is not to say that you
cannot dispose of alcohol via drain disposal. There are ways to do
it safely, without dilution. Trickle it from a spigotted carboy at a
rate that dilution occurs naturally from the facility's normal flow
of wastewater. We usually recommend a rate of one gallon an hour.
BUT, get permission first!
Details on these matters, including explantions for the regulations
and how to deal productively with treatment authorities, may be found
in our book, Hazardous Materials in the Histopathology Laboratory,
3rd edition; see especially Chapters 15, 19 and 20.
Richard W. Dapson, Ph.D.
Battle Creek, MI
Web address: anatechltdusa.com
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