Quote Originally Posted by bowzart View Post
Vaughn, David, and any others with insight into this -- How do you use standing water baths? Several sequential? How long? And how much running water after? Any pointers?

Water is one problem, but what the water carries is important, too. Wherever we live and work, effluent is an issue. Here, there is a likelihood that fixer's silver content will end up in the bodies of those yummy oysters that they farm around here. Since I eat them, I have a certain vested interest. In another place, like Utah, there may be no oysters (there used to be, how many millions of years ago?) but something else will end up with it. So, everywhere, it is very important to drain the fix off the prints thoroughly before washing, and dispose of the used fixer responsibly. I've thought of plating it out; I'm sure Hallmark Precious Metals would happily accept small gifts of flake.

The metal isn't the problem; ions are the problem. At one of my past schools, they redesigned the facility, leaving out the recovery system. The state came in and forced them to add one. At another school, we had to add steel wool cartridges. The refinery sold us the unit, then we paid off the balance in small amounts of silver over time whenever they picked up a cartridge.

In the Salt Lake Valley, everything winds up in The Great Salt Lake, which has an unprecedented amount of mercury in it as well as almost any mineral salt you can name. If you evaporate a cup of water from the GSL you will have up to 30% mineral content, depending on the part of the lake you pull from.

The lake itself only supports brine shrimp, algae, things like that, however the brackish marshes around it are important habitat for migratory birds, and other creatures.