Another is to use a replenished developer scheme.
Two homes, 40 years later, no problem with septic system. Still, better to not do it.
..this is just plain NOT responsible! ..even to give any amateur the idea.
While photo waste is not the worst, you are putting it into the ground water by septic. If there was a reason to stop doing it, it would be now.. or sell your house and move where there is a hook-up to sewer. Sewer systems can handle the photo waste with ease.
Originally Posted by fotch
I'm doing this for prints, but not for film. It drastically reduces the waste output volume that I have to store, and has a side benefit of reducing fumes in my closet "darkroom".
Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht
This is a point I was thinking of while reading this thread.
Originally Posted by RPC
Most (note, "most") developers are more innocuous than many of the household things people put down drains. Stop bath? Was someone really serious in including stop bath? Would you put salad dressing down the drain? If you would, then stop bath is even safer - the fats in the oil in the dressing are more likely to clog your pipes, and the vinegar is about the same concentration as stop bath.
Fixer, yeah, I'd recover or at least remove the silver ion too before pour it into a septic system, but there are ways to do that like the silver magnet to recover it, and it's even easier if you don't want it in recoverable form (steel wool or aluminum foil.)
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Sewer systems do not magically remove waste and many of them just reduce the biologic oxygen demand and let the solids settle out. These solids often contain substantial amounts of chemical toxins that are then just dumped in a land fill. I (like 10s of millions of Americans) live in a large city with a combined sewer system so all of the waste I put down the sink on Thursday just flowed right into the Ohio river with NO treatment at all. A septic system would have been better on that day.
So what you can to limit the waste but do not think it is OK to put whatever you feel like down the sink and the sewage treatment plant will clean it up.
the thing is in many areas it is not legal to pour a lot of things down the drain.
it is best to find out from the local authorities what is and is not allowed down the pipes.
i agree 100% with dr5chrome ..
whether it screwed up your septic system or not, it is not the best idea to pour photochemicals down the drain.
where i live there is a stream and the bay behind me, and it was 50years worth of septic systems
before they hooked as many people up on sewer as they could ( it will be mandated soon )
because even though the leech fields work OK, they still mess with the environment ...
if there is a school nearby that has a darkroom class, if there is a mini lab nearby, if your town or city has a haz waste recycling day
if you dehydrate everything and evap the water out of it and then haz waste it, they are all good choices,
pouring things down the drain is not a good good choice, and if toners are used, even a worse idea ..
i'm more than happy to help someone purchase silver recovery stuff from me, but im just as happy to hear that someone
has done something else to reduce their toxic footprint when they use photochemicals.
have a nice 2013
Whatever you feel like? No, of course not.
Originally Posted by brianmquinn
Stop bath? Let's not be silly.
Gotta' jump in here on Roger's side. For crying out loud, standard b&w chemistry is about as benign as you can get.
Originally Posted by Roger Cole
The primary constituent of standard developers is—what?—sodium sulfite? That stuff used in massive quantities to preserve the food that you eat? And the developing agents themselves are so notorious for self-oxidizing and loosing strength that there are gazillions of APUG threads about how to slow that process down long enough that we can reasonably use them before they quickly go bad.
Standard stop bath? That stuff that's really just half-strength white vinegar? Vinegar itself being a well-known emergency substitute in the darkroom? And also being a well-known one-half of a tasty salad dressing? Except that at half-strength it wouldn't even make such a good dressing, would it? It wouldn't even be strong enough to want to eat it.
Fixer? Standard sodium thiosulfate? That stuff used by caretakers of municipal public swimming pools to dechlorinate the water when required? That same water the public swims in, pees in, and yes, sometimes even swallows? The same stuff used to pre-treat water for aquariums that arguably contain the most delicate life forms (tropical fish) in the universe? Some have even reported using sodium thiosulfate to fertilize their vegetable gardens.
And the silver ions in spent fixer? As has been pointed out, the reduction environment in which they find themselves in a septic system almost instantly results in formation of insoluable silver sulfide. Insoluable. As in not a danger to the environment. Or the septic tank.* Or even a well-toned sepia print.
Contrary to popular opinion driven by fear, a standard b&w photographic darkroom is not Bhopal, India...
* Now approaching a quarter-century using the same tank without any problem whatsoever.
Last edited by Ken Nadvornick; 12-22-2012 at 02:46 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: Added another thought...
"When making a portrait, my approach is quite the same as when I am portraying a rock. I do not wish to impose my personality upon the sitter, but, keeping myself open to receive reactions from his own special ego, record this with nothing added: except of course when I am working professionally, when money enters in,—then for a price, I become a liar..."
— Edward Weston, Daybooks, Vol. II, February 2, 1932
Just to be clear - I really don't think used fixer, in home darkroom quantities, would pose any risk but I probably personally wouldn't discard it into a septic tank anyway out of an abundance of caution. Many toners certainly shouldn't be poured down any drain, septic or sewer system. Developers - well, it depends, but if you aren't comfortable looking up the ingredients and deciding certainly one can err on the side of caution. I was just raising an eyebrow at the ludicrousness of including stop bath in the list.