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  1. #1
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    Does fixer and hypoclear hurt soil/plants?

    The reason why I ask is because I am building a print washer this weekend and was thinking of having the outflow into parts of my garden. Water is tight--as always--here in the high desert and I hate to be wasteful.
    K.S. Klain

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    Andrew Moxom's Avatar
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    As i understand it, the fixer is relatively harmless... In fact the preserver you can buy from florists to keep your bouquet of flowers longer is a similar compound to fixer(not sure of exact make up).The likely biggest problem, is the silver and whether it would contaminate your yard....
    Please check out my website www.amoxomphotography.com and APUG Portfolio .....

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    Only their feelings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klainmeister View Post
    The reason why I ask is because I am building a print washer this weekend and was thinking of having the outflow into parts of my garden. Water is tight--as always--here in the high desert and I hate to be wasteful.

    klainmeister

    you are going to hear all sorts of opinions in this seemingly benign thread
    as andy m said, your fixer and wash water have silver in them, and depending on where you live
    it might or might not be allowed to dump your effluence / black+white processing tailings in your garden.

    some will say its harmless ( as they always do ) some will even say your spent toners are harmless ( they always do )
    and others will suggest none of it is ... the best thing to do is check with your local town / city hall to find out what is and isn't allowed, cause it will seep into your groundwater and could pose a potential problem down the road ..

    IF you are permitted to pour de-silvered fixer and wash water ( if your municipality allows it )
    there are ways to remove most if not all of the silver from your tailings.
    you will have to determine what is or isn't permitted in your area, do a water test and figure it out from there ...

    good luck !
    john
    Last edited by jnanian; 11-09-2012 at 01:48 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #5
    ROL
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    some will say its harmless ( as they always do ) some will even say your spent toners are harmless ( they always do )...

    ...and some are selling silver recovery devices. No disagreement, just sayin'.

  6. #6
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    Sodium Thiosulfate is relatively harmless as are Sodium Sulfite and Ammonium Thiosulfate. These are used in swimming pools to adjust chlorine level. Ammonium salts are fertilizers. Alum is quite harmless. It is used to pickle vegetables. The pH of the solution is sometimes a problem as it will either raise or lower your soil pH.

    The real problem is related to the Silver salts in the water. Silver is often banned from effluents, or at least controlled.

    Any photographic solution, dumped as-is is harmful to plants. It must be diluted by quite a bit to be harmless. Concentrated solutions are always bad for plants.

    PE

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    If I were doing such a setup, I'd say yes, put the outflow from the print washer into the garden. But before placing a print into the washer, do a quick dunk into a pre-rinse tray filled with water. It will take most of the chemicals from the surface of the print and the washer will deal with just trace amount. At that point all the chemicals - beneficial or harmful - will be diluted sufficiently to not affect the plants one way or the other. However, it's just my barely educated opinion, please take it as such.

  8. #8

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    hi ROL

    i have been here since 2003 and there have been countless people
    who have said that spent, silver-rich fixer and washwater are harmless,
    and selenium and other toners are harmless and they should all be poured in one's gardens
    or shrubs or down the drain or ...


    i mainly suggested that he / she should find out what is allowed and not allowed where he or she lives
    before taking the opinion of someone on a website ( who may or may not have a clue ) as the solution to his problem.

  9. #9
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    The silver in the fix is an anti-microbial and a heavy metal.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  10. #10
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    Sorry if I made some confusion, I was strictly talking about the wash water. All other chemistry gets recycled at my local lab. There is so much water used with 20x24 fiber that it seems wasteful.

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