|Acceptable Drain Disposal Procedures|
GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR
What Send down the drain only those materials found on the safe list. Compounds not listed are not suitable for drain disposal.
Where Drain disposal must only be used when the drain flows to a sanitary sewer system * which eventually goes to the waste water treatment plant. Storm drain systems flow directly into surface water. (Fall or Cascadilla Creeks, for example) and should NEVER be used for chemical disposal. Floor
drains may flow to storm sewers and should never be used for disposal. Laboratory sinks should be used for disposal of chemicals on the safe list as discussed below.
How Much Quantities of chemical waste for drain disposal should be limited generally to a few hundred grams or milliliters or less per day. Larger amounts should have prior approval from Life Safety Services. Only materials listed as safe for drain disposal in this document are approved for drain disposal in quantities up to 100 g or 100 ml per discharge. Disposal should be followed by flushing with at least 100-fold excess of water at the sink. (That means that for 100 ml
of chemical, run the water for about two minutes at maximum flow.)
Safety Understand the hazards and toxicity of the materials you work with by consulting material safety data sheets (available in the BTI library in green file folders underneath the checkout desk). Work slowly to avoid splashes and wear the proper protective equipment (lab coat, goggles, face shield, gloves) during drain disposal.
* Sanitary sewer is the system of sinks, toilets, drains and associated pipes that send waste water to a treatment plant where it is biologically and chemically treated before discharge into the environment..
Safe List for Drain Disposal
Dilute solutions of inorganic salts where both cation and anion are listed below are suitable for drain disposal. Materials listed are considered to be relatively low in toxicity. Compounds of any of these ions that are strongly acidic or basic should be neutralized before drain disposal.
Cations Anions Organic Acid Anions
Al3+ B033- acetate
Ca2+ Br- formate
Fe2+3+ C032- propionate
K+ HS03- Buffers (except
Li+ 0CN- cacodylate or
Mg2+ 0H- arsenic buffers)
Na+ I- pH3
NH4+ N03- pH4
Sn2+ P043- pH7
Sr2+ S042 pH10
Ti3+4+ SCN- Tris buffer
Mineral acids and bases should be neutralized to pH5.5 to 9 range before disposal, following approved procedures.
Copper and Zinc have specific discharge limits required by the Sewage Treatment Plant. Contact the Office of Environmental Health at 255-4862 or the Office of Life Safety Services at 255-8200 prior to discharging any copper or zinc.
Materials listed below in quantities up to about 100 g or 100 ml at a time are suitable for disposal down the drain while flushing with excess water. These materials are soluble to at least 3 percent, present low toxicity hazards and are readily biodegradable.
Alkanois with 4 or fewer carbon atoms
propanol and isomers
butanol and isomers
Alkanediols with 7 or fewer carbon atoms
butanediol and its isomers
pentanediol and its isomers
hexanediol and its isomers
heptanediol and its isomers
Alkoxyalkanols with 6 or fewer carbon atoms
Aliphatic aldehydes with 4 or fewer carbon atoms
RCONH2 and RCONHR with 4 or fewer carbon atoms
RCONR2 with 10 or fewer carbon atoms
Aliphatic amines with 6 or fewer carbon atoms
aThose with a disagreeable odor, such as dimethylamine and 1,4 butanediamine should be neutralized, and the resulting salt solutions flushed down the drain, diluted with at least 100 volumes of water. Disposal limit is 100 ml of material.
Aliphatic diamines with 6 or fewer carbon atoms
1,2-or 1,3-propanediamine (1,2- or 1,3-diaminopropane)
Alkanoic acids with 5 or fewer carbon atomsb
Alkanedioic acids with 5 or fewer carbon atoms
oxalic acid (1,2-ethanedioic acid)
malonic acid (1,3-propanedioic acid)
succinic acid (1,4-butanedioic acid)
glutaric acid (1,5-pentanedioic acid)
Hydroxyalkanoic acids with 5 or fewer carbon atoms
lactic acid (2-hydroxypropanoic acid)
2-hydrocy isobutyric acid
Aminoalkanoic acids with 6 or fewer carbon atoms and the ammonium, sodium and potassium salts of these acids.
Amino acids and the ammonium, sodium and potassium salts of these acids.
bThose with a disagreeable odor, such as butyric acids and valeric acids should be neutralized and the resulting salt solutions flushed down the drain, diluted with at least 100 volumes of water. Disposal limit is 100 ml of material.
Esters with 4 or fewer carbon atoms
Ketones with 4 or fewer carbon atoms
methyl ethyl ketone (butanone)
methyl isopropyl ketone (3-methyl butanone)
Sulfonic Acids and the Ammonium, Sodium, and Potassium Salts of theses acids
methane sulfonic acid, sodium or potassium salt
ethane sulfonic acid, sodium or potassium salt
1-propane sulfonic acid, sodium or potassium salt
1-butane sulfonic acid, sodium or potassium salt
1-pentane sulfonic acid, sodium or potassium salt
1-hexane sulfonic acid, sodium or potassium salt
1- heptane sulfonic acid, sodium or potassium salt
1- octane sulfonic acid, sodium or potassium salt
1-decane sulfonic acid, sodium or potassium salt
1-dodecane sulfonic acid, sodium or potassium salt
1-tetradecane sulfonic acid, sodium or potassium salt
1-hexadecane sulfonic acid, sodium or potassium salt
Chemicals that are not appropriate for drain disposal are collected by local safety office coordinator, or in some cases may be disposed at the dumpster. Procedures for disposal are detailed in local chemical hygiene plans.
Not safe for drain disposal.
The following materials are prohibited from drain disposal by the City of Ithaca:
Ashes, cinders, sand, mud, straw, shavings, metal, glass, rags, feather, tar, plastics, wood, manure, hair and fleshings, entrails, paint residues, solid or viscous substances capable of causing obstruction to the flow of sewers.
Some chemicals that are not appropriate for drain disposal include:
Ether (both ethyl and methyl ethers)
Flammables (immiscible in water)
Explosives such as azides and peroxides
Water soluble polymers that could form gels in the sewer system
Water reactive materials
Toxic chemicals such as carcinogens, mutagens, teratogens
Substances that boil below 50o C.
Mixtures that have a component not found on the safe list.
Any material not found on the safe list.
Check with the Office of Environmental Health at 255-4862 or the Office of Life Safety Services 255-8200 if you are not certain about drain disposal for a particular material. We may also be able to provide you with instructions for laboratory destruction for some materials.