Industrial Waste Water

Written October 16, 2019

Discharges of waste water down the drain occur during both the screen imaging and reclamation processes.  Determining what can go down the drain depends on several key factors.  Discharges of industrial waste water, from activities such as screen imaging and reclamation processes, cannot go into domestic septic systems.

These systems are only equipped to handle domestic sewage, such as kitchen and bathroom waste. Industrial waste water discharges into these systems can lead to groundwater and soil contamination issues. It does not matter if the products are marketed as “drain safe;” it's still industrial discharge.

However, if your discharge is going to an industrial septic system — i.e., a holding tank that is then emptied by a regulated septage hauler on a regular basis — you are encouraged to check with your hauler regarding disposal options.

The majority of screen operations discharge directly to a municipal sewer system. Generally, screen operations are not considered to be significant water users, nor does the industry have a specific effluent guideline that sets limits regarding what can go down the drain. There are several key rules regarding water discharges:

  • You should not put anything down the drain that could cause a fire in the treatment facility or in the sewer system. 
  • You should not put anything down the drain that would cause the treatment facility to exceed its permit levels. 
  • You should not discharge products containing heavy metals down the drain. 
Discharge limits are very locale specific, and you are encouraged to directly contact your treatment facility for information relating to waste water limits for your operation. For more information, contact SGIA's Government & Business Information Department.