If the chemical goes in to the ground/septic system, should one worry about contaminating the drinking water. I have a well too.
Helping to save analog photography one exposure at a time
The real issue as far as the federal law is concerned isn't what is harmful vs harmless, the truth is that the EPA threshold for what is hazardous is ridiculously low - a one-size-fits-all 5mg/L silver. Most silver recovery systems will not recover to such a low amount. Also, by law, dilution (eg with water) is not permissible to bring the content down. "Dilution is not the solution to pollution" is the saying in the enviro regulation industry. If I only use very small amounts of chemical at a higher concentration, I do no more harm than a large user at a low concentration. The net effect is to affect small businesses disproportionately. While I am classified as a "conditionally exempt small quantity generator", the thresholds still apply in determining what I can throw away and what I cannot. There are factories with massive effluent streams that can dump millions of gallons of silver tainted effluent into the water system as long as they are below 5mg/L, while I cannot dump say 5 gallons with 1g/L.
I'm all for reasonable environmental safeguards but that is not what we have. Rules like these that burden physical industries are one reason why we have all been driven to so-called high tech "virtual" solutions -- because they eliminate many governmentally imposed costs. They say the movie industry is the second largest polluter in the US after oil and gas - but it won't be so when the industry totally abandons Kodak and goes digital.
By the way, I have not read the Kodak link above dealing with septic systems, but I do know that if you are engaged in business, it is illegal to dump commercial wastes into a septic system whether they are classified as hazardous or not.
"just mix it all together and dump it down the drain, it's harmless". Wow.
Well, why don't you drink it then?
Well, why don't you drink your urine, and eat your feces, then?
Originally Posted by wildbill
Drain is not a human body nor comparable to it in any way.
All the chemicals we use in our darkrooms come from nature in some way and all end up back to the nature in some way. They undergo so-called "chemical reactions" in both cases.
There are no magical rules to it, it is just plain science to evaluate which methods, which concentrations etc. are harmless and which are harmful. For a small-scale home user, even dumping everything down the drain, while not recommendable, is in reality still pretty much harmless, like it or not. This is because film photography just does not happen to need anything especially toxic. At the very same time, detergents and medication (that you DO eat!) ARE causing environmental effect, not only because some of them are more problematic to the nature than film processing chemicals, but mostly because they are used in volumes 1000-1000000x more.
I like to take the example of paracetamol. It is the same as the active ingredient in Rodinal, and it is exactly the reason why Rodinal is labeled environmentally dangerous. At the same time, millions of people using paracetamol emit some of it through their urine to sewer. For some reason, this seems to be perfectly OK to everyone and no one comes to preach about it.
Last edited by hrst; 06-17-2012 at 05:34 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Well said, Doremus Scudder. Thanks.
Canon EOS-1V | Canon 5D2 | 17-40/4L | 24-105/4L | 14/2.8L | 24/1.4L | 35/1.4L | 50/1.2L | 85/1.2L | 200-400/4L | 580EX
“For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.”
― Henri Cartier-Bresson
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I am on a city sewer. I consider my sole HHW effluents are fixer and heavy metal toners. I concentrate both by separate tray evaporation, because I don't travel in the direction of the HHW depot in the winter.
I evaporate exhausted bath 1 fixer and film fixer in a food service stainless steel tray set out in the sun under an eave behind my garage to keep it out of the rain. Two-three months of evaporation reduces 3-4l to about 500ml of 'crust', along with a leaf or two and dead bee, wasp or so. I label them clearly, and provide my name and a phone number, so the guy actually disposing of it can call if the yoho at the front counter of the HHW depot packs it in the wrong disposal stream. No one has called me up about the stuff yet.
my real name, imagine that.