water conservation

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by rmolson, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. rmolson

    rmolson Member

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    Water conservation


    Lately I have become very aware of water conservation. I already use a 12 gt (3gallon) Plastic container filled and used for tempering the fix, mixing the developer for one shot ,rinse and final wash of Ilford’s 5,10,15,20 inversions in my 16 ounce film tank. The remaining water is used for clean up of the tank and reels. .
    But when it comes to prints that is a different matter. Using RC paper the final 5 minute wash uses about 4 gallons (ball park figure) But fiber paper using a washing aid and a 30 minute minimum wash uses 24 gallons. I ‘d like to reduce that even further. I don’t see anything in online literature about any method similar to Ilford’s film washing techniques….any one?
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    There's no real solution because unlike film and RC papers you've got to remove the chemicals from the paper itself as well as the emulsion.

    Maybe you could find another use for the wash water afterwards, like for flushing the toilet.

    Ian
     
  3. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    18 litres for an RC print. I myself wash Ilford RC paper for 2 minutes at approximately 7C in the winter, through to 24C in summer.

    I don't think you really need fast running water, just running water.

    I have RC prints which have had this wash technique that are about 35 years old. In quite a few times over the years I have been forced to use 5 litre buckets with which I immersed the prints for about 5 minutes in the first then in the second bucket I attached a lid and sloshed the prints around. They also appear to be quite alright after many, many years.

    Water conservation is an issue the whole world is having to deal with, just like vehicle engines are running leaner and leaner to conserve fuel, I assume we will be doing a like thing with processing in the future.

    Mick.

    I use a 14x18" tray with a modicum of water in and have a slow flow rate of 1 litre a minute. When I used to have a vertical print washer for fibre prints I used a 500ml a minute flow rate .
     
  4. Gary Holliday

    Gary Holliday Member

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    I read someone's technique on APUG, it would maybe take a while to find it.

    It invloved 3-4 holding baths changing the water each time. The fix would leach out of the prints. The last wash was left overnight. The person in question might stumble upon this thread.
     
  5. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    The overnight technique was I believe David Vestal, not to my knowledge, a member of this forum.

    David Vestal is a writer and photographer who has a long history of doing things his way, and/or finding a technique that works.

    I once read in the sixties, a magazine article on B&W paper where David tested a ridiculous amount of different papers in a seemingly exhausting set of conditions. It was very well written, not exactly scientific, but not unscientific, if you know what I mean.

    I chanced upon it when I moved house over 20 years ago, my wife and I were newly married, as a result I still have that magazine with the article, somewhere, today would be a different story :D

    Mick.
     
  6. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    Here's an idea! First... how do you wash your dishes? I have FisherPaykel dishdrawers which use about 3 gallons of water to wash a full load of dishes... I can guarantee you that you use much more either washing by hand, or using a conventional dishwasher. I also use an extremely water efficient clothes washer.

    Now these things might not be a solution to using a lot of water to wash prints & film, but if the environment is your concern, these will save you much more water on a daily basis. :wink:

    Here's what I do for rinsing prints... 1 tray with rinse water; 1 tray with wash aid; The print goes into the water for ~ 5 minutes, then into the wash aid. As more prints accumulate in the wash aid, I put them into my portable tray (this will go upstairs to my bathtub aka final rinse area). When I'm done (I rarely print more than 20 prints at a time), I fill the portable tray (which is actually a small tub... maybe 16"L x 14"W x 7"D) with water, moving each of the prints through the water (so they are not in a massive lump). I let them sit there for an hour, then dump the water and rinse the prints and do it all again. That's it.

    I know this works, because I took the prints I'd made & rinsed this way to a toning class this year, where we were told that toning was one sure way of showing all the faults in your rinse methods. Mine had no problems.
     
  7. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Washes in many trays with little water and a thorough drain between washes is more efficient than fewer washes with more water. Reusing the water from later washes for the early washes helps a lot.
     
  8. John Curran

    John Curran Member

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    Here's an option to consider. My DR is in a converted garage, no running water. I went to the hardware store and purchased a plastic sink/basin and hooked up a pool filter (from one of those cheap pools that's sold at Wal-Mart) to circulate and filter the water. Every couple of weeks I trade out the 5 gallons of water to keep it fresh. This has worked out well for me.

    john
     
  9. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I stumbled. Two or three soaks would be more like it.
    I just did a forum search for, separators . The top nine
    entries listed include posts by myself describing washing
    and drying techniques. I'll add a post to this thread
    tomorrow. Gotta run. Dan
     
  10. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    I think the use of the word “wash” is a misleading misnomer in this context. What we actually do is diffuse, or dilute the fixer that remains inthe paper by a series of water changes. These can be actual changes, as in the multi-tray method, or more commonly a slow flow of water over the print for an extended period.
     
  11. fhovie

    fhovie Subscriber

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    My darkroom is also not hooked up to house plumbing. I have 50 gallons of storage and a large sink. RC papers don't need much, they go in a first 5 gal bucket with a little sulfite and a second 5 gal bucket for 10 minutes. 10 gal of water to wash up to 20 8x10 or equivalent. For fiber, I fill the sink. It is about 20 Gallons, I can set 11x14 on their edges completely submerged. After the first 5 gal bucket with sulfite for 6 to 10 minutes they go in the sink for 30 or more minutes. There is a lot of water in there and the dilution of Thiosulfate that remains in that wash water would have to be very low. I do up to 15 11x14 or equivalent that way in a printing session.
     
  12. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    [QUOTES=rmolson;532939]
    "Water conservation. Lately I have become very aware
    of water conservation. I already use a 12 gt (3gallon)
    Plastic container filled and used for tempering the fix,
    mixing the developer for one shot ,rinse and final
    wash of Ilford’s 5,10,15,20 inversions in my 16
    ounce film tank. The remaining water is used
    for clean up of the tank and reels."

    I read it: Start to finish and all associated activities,
    processing one roll of film requires 3 gallons of water.
    I count 7 pints for the processing itself. You could
    save 1 pint by using Ilford's 5-10-20 sequence. A
    follow up Photo Flo should count as a wash.

    "But when it comes to prints that is a different matter.
    Using RC paper the final 5 minute wash uses about 4
    gallons (ball park figure)."

    After fix I gave RC prints a 1-2-3 minute wash sequence.
    For 8x10s figure about 1/3 quart per wash. That 4 gallons
    at that rate will do 16 8x10s. If you hold after fix then
    batch wash, keep water volume sufficient for easy
    handling and no more. Two post hold washes
    may do.

    "But fiber paper using a washing aid and a 30 minute
    minimum wash uses 24 gallons. I ‘d like to reduce that
    even further. I don’t see anything in online literature
    about any method similar to Ilford’s film washing
    techniques….any one?"

    If I were to wash 5 8x10s using my wash method it
    would require 1, ONE, gallon. Actually 4 liters as I've
    gone all metric in the lab. A post-fix routine of rinse,
    hca, and hold with separators would precede
    the washing. Dan
     
  13. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Have you tested for risdual hypo? I use Perma Wash and my single wt is good after 7 mints and double wt after 10 mints.
     
  14. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Conserve in other areas, and you will have heaps of darkroom water 'free'

    We put in 3 low flow (6l or under) toilets, a low flow shower head, and run the dishwasher only when it is full (had to buy another set of 8 flatware to make that one work). Water the garden by hand with a watering can, so that the water only hits the plants. Put the sprinkler on the lawn when it goes brown and crunchy. Wash with a full load in the washing machine, about 2 loads a week for a family of four most weeks. We change the bedsheets and launder them infrequnetly, since we usually shower before going to bed.
     
  15. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I use the HT-2 test for residual hypo and the
    ST-1 test for residual silver.

    What is that "good after 7 mints ... after 10 mints"?
    That much time in the hca? Dan
     
  16. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    I'm not so sure toning is "one sure way of showing all the
    faults in your rinse methods". Selenium and sulfide toners
    will show a stain if residual silver is left in the emulsion.
    They will not show stain if residual fixer is left in the
    emulsion.

    A standard test for residual fixer is the HT-2 test. Residual
    fixer above a very minute amount will produce a stain when
    a drop or two of the silver nitrate solution is applied.

    To test for silver left in the emulsion drops of sulfide or
    selenium are used; the sulfur for silver test, ST-1.

    To test for sulfur, fix, drops of a silver solution are used;
    the silver for sulfur test, HT-2.

    Two simple tests all should have at hand. Dan