Barbara - I’ve been on a well and septic system for 6 years now.
Septic still has its happy bacteria so i know I haven’t killed them.
This is what i do - anything coming out of pickle is dipped in a
baking soda and water solution to neutralize. Then rinsed in a pan
of water. I do not discard pickle, just keep adding water or seldom,
more pH down. My neutralizer and rinse eventually turn blue but still
when it is just too grubby for words, I keep a 5 gallon bucket
outside the shop. All liquids go into this bucket to evaporate. The
liquid from tumbling, the sonic cleaner, all of them go there.
Eventually you will have a thick layer of stuff in the bottom of the
bucket. Scrape it out and put it with your sweeps and someday send it
to your refiner. Ditto for liver of sulfur solution. Simple tool
cleaning goes down the drain, unless removing rust. Bottom line is if
you don’t want it contaminating your drinking water, don’t put it in
Especially heavy metals - copper, silver, gold, etc. and they are in
all of the rinse, wash etc. solutions. Since I do a lot of abrasive
tumbling (vibratory) and use a flow-thru system, I use a
non-chelating solution that permits the fines and abrasives to settle
in the bottom of the flow-thru solution bucket. I let the tumbling
bucket sit for a week or so, pour off the to 80% of water to my
trees, and put the remainder in the evaporation bucket. If you live
where stuff doesn’t evaporate like here in the high mountains, you
might want a flat pan to encourage evaporation.
Incidentally, the biggest problem I have is that I don’t run enough
water down the drain in my shop to always keep the p-trap full.
Smells. But I’m not contaminating the ground water.