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  1. #11
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    There are ion exchange bead bed filters that are used by 'washless' commercial photo processors machines to deal with their taank overflow fliuds disposal.

    They filter out low volume low thoisulphate/sliver bearing waters so they are acceptable to send them down the drain and be regulatory compliant.

    I had one given to me and discarded it but the thing looked a bit like a toilet tank on a stand.

    There was an electronic sensor that measured the ionic conductivity of the discharge water to tell you when you had loaded up the bead bed and were no longer sending out clean water.

    There was a service company that renewed the bead cartridge to recover the silver, and you mailed them back and forth to keep a clean one ready to go.
    my real name, imagine that.

  2. #12

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    I am not sure about printing paper, but I have gone to a modified Ilford rinse for film. I fill and dump three times, the modification is that I do a 5 minute soak, a 10 minute soak, and a 20 miniute soaks, based on the idea that the earlier soaks reach saturation quicker. Film now 3 years old shows no sign of fading or yellowing.

    I would guess you could do about the same with RC paper, fiber would need many more soaks, 7 to 10 at a guess, but they could be shorter. I would try 1 minute, 2 minutes, 4 minutes... for a first test series. So if you rinse tank was, say, one gallon, you would need a maximum of 10 gallons of water. Hypo eliminator would allow you to reduce that.

    The strange thing is that as I get older I find myself looking for cheaper easier ways of doing things instead of quicker ways.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by djkloss View Post
    first of all, thank you all for your quick responses. alot of good information here. because we are using a spring for our water supply, I don't want to dump any chemicals in the ground. there is no 'gray water' tank here, it all goes to the same place in the septic system.........
    You would obviously dispose of processing solutions (developer and fixer) so that they would not contaminate your (or your neighbour's) groundwater. But you don't have to worry about a little thiosulphate from your wash water getting into the environment. It is used in many municipal water treatment plants.

    You can get better archival results using two-bath fixing which enables silver-laden fixer to be washed out more effectively, especially if hypo clearing agent (wash aid) is used. Plain sodium sulphite is quite effective, rather than buy a commercial product (which is a little better but not by a huge amount). Using two-bath fixing would help lower to an absolute minimum any silver compounds in the wash water. Although it's a bit inconvenient having an extra tray, it is actually more economical in use of fixer.

    Is the water supply from the spring in short supply? The instructions for my Summitek cascade washer say that very low flow rates are sufficient to wash fibre prints. They suggest 250mL (1 cup) per minute for the 11"x14" size washer.

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