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  1. #1

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    recycling wash water as grey water?

    Those of us in the Southwest U.S. are in the midst of a mighty drought. Hence, everytime I print or process film, I feel guilty about the amount of water I am using to wash my prints and film. Does anybody have any experience using this water to say, water plants? Will the water kill the plants? I process my film with PMK, my prints are either palladium or silver gelatin in formulary 65. Thanks for any advice.
    Todd

  2. #2

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    Todd,

    From what I understand, it is really not good to dump water that has been mixed with fixer. Having a septic, I've been warned not to dump it down the drain. I treat it as a household chemical and store it in five gallon buckets until I can get it to the transfer station. I'd venture to say that you might want to do some more research before dumping toxins on plants, or even worse putting them into the ground.

  3. #3

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    Yeah, my fix gets dumped into a barrel, but after a rinse or two how toxic is the water? Your point goes right to my question. I feel guilty about using this much water, but I don't want to poison the ground. I wonder if there isn't some sort of coal filter system to clean the water before watering plants.

  4. #4
    jeroldharter's Avatar
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    I wouldn't feel too guilty about the photography. Living in a city in the desert is in itself a stretch for the resources. A few gallons of water to wash some film is just a spit in your neighbor's pool. I used to live in a house with a mound septic system and worried about putting chemicals down the drain. From everything I read, I had nothing to worry about so long as I did not use commercial volumes of chemicals.
    Jerold Harter MD

  5. #5

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    So Jerold, you're saying not to feel guilty about pouring the water on my plants or not to feel guilty about running it down the drain? I guess it's guilt about one or the other. Suddenly I'm beginning to feel Catholic!(just kidding)
    Todd

  6. #6
    jeroldharter's Avatar
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    Just joking around. But I think that if you are reasonably conservative in the darkroom you are a small problem relative to the impact of routine life in the city in arid climates. Also, a drought might be a good excuse to go someplace wet to take some photos for later processing.
    Jerold Harter MD

  7. #7
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    Where I live and in many places the waste water goes down the drain, to the street, to the pumping station and into the waste water treatment center on the edge of town. Over there they don't worry about the home darkroom waste being blended in with the condoms, Q-tips, tampax and any other s**t flowing their way. If they aren't worried then I'm not worried.

  8. #8
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    I sometimes use my rinse water to water some of the trees in my yard but this is only pertaining to the final rinses.

    david b in santa fe

  9. #9

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    My darkroom sink drain carries wash water (only) straight into the yard. How many hundreds of gallons of wash water are there for every once of already diluted working solution chemicals? A lot. Drain prints and trays well before washing them. I dont worrry about that at all, and I dont dump chemicals into my septic either.

  10. #10
    david b's Avatar
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    I have a friend who's darkroom is setup to water his garden.

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