Processing chemistry and septic tanks???

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by stradibarrius, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    Will the chemistry used to process and print my B&W work cause problems with my septic tank? I live out from the city and am not connected to the city sewage system.
     
  2. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    This question gets asked every few weeks. Search "septic". This thread seems to be the last thread, started about 2 weeks ago......
     
  3. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    But the long and the short of it is, some say yes and some say no. Which side of the door are you on?
     
  4. wogster

    wogster Member

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    Silver is a natural antibiotic, septic tanks depend on certain bacteria to do the work of breaking down the contents. Used Fixer and wash water will contain silver, developer and stop bath may also contain small amounts of silver. There are a few solutions:

    1) Buy a silver recovery system, this contains a special filter that traps the silver, replacement filters can be purchased and the used filters can be sent off for silver recovery. These can be expensive though.

    2) Store your used chemistries and take them to either a hazardous waste facility or find a commercial lab that has a silver recovery unit, and see if they will let you dump your chemicals into their unit.
     
  5. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    As mentioned above, this has been covered a lot here. Do search.

    My opinion and practice (yes, I work in a darkroom that is connected to a septic tank and have experienced no problems in years) is to save used fixer in 5-gal. jugs. These I periodically take to one of the few remaining photo labs in the area for disposal. They recover the silver and sell it, so are glad to have it.

    Developer and stop (when exhausted) go down the drain. Selenium toner is saved, filtered, replenished and reused.

    You can work well this way and only have to dump a bit of developer and stop, the two easiest chemicals for your septic tank system to break down.

    Hope this helps,

    Doremus Scudder
    www.DoremusScudder.com