Peter, Not to beat a dead horse, but after the pickle absorbs as
much copper salts as the poster said - wherein it has turned
green, it is a solution of vitriol, and indeed toxic to fish and
other aquatic life.,
Yes, absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. The thing is, adding baking
soda doesn’t change this. It’s not the fact that it’s copper sulphate
in particular, any copper salt will be equally toxic, including
copper carbonate, or whatever else you might get by adding baking
soda. So that issue remains, as I DID mention in my prior post. You
are correct that if your waste water stream is sensative to copper or
other metals contaminations, then used pickle should not go in there.
Most municipal water treatment plants do not fit this description, as
treatment generally will remove the worst of metals, IF IN SMALL
CONCENTRATIONS, such as a small amount of pickle. This is not true
if you’ve got more than a little, when it needs to be treated as
toxic waste according to local requirements.
If one has gravity fed spring water and that is also the source for
disposal it will in fact kill every salamander, spring lizard, and
fish in the area of disposal at the source (the pipe end).
Obviously, if you’re not dealing with municipal sewer systems, but
instead have a septic tank or similar waste water stream, you’ll need
to carefully consider how to dispose of ANYTHING. And again, I’d
stress that adding baking soda does not change this, either for your
type of water / sewer system, or typical larger municipal systems.
For the latter, and probably the first too, in most situations,
dilution with lots of water is sufficient for the acid content. But
as I mentioned, and you again bring up, the copper content can be a
considerably different issue, more difficult to deal with.
It is far better diluted into a couple of gallons of water, and
sprayed on roses or other plants to kill black spot if you do have
spring water as your source.
Now that’s a brilliant idea, one that hadn’t occured to me. Copper
sulphate is sold in the hardware or garden stores for exactly this
sort of use, so why not make use of the spent pickle to do the same.
You do then need to neutralize excess acid, either by dilution or
adding something, including baking soda, or (I think…) urea powder,
or other such. My guess is that sufficent dilution would suffice. Mix
perhaps with a properly prepared compost tea, and fertilize at the
In a city water system it is less a concern- nonetheless, it should
be neutralised as it can react with chlorine (much like adding pool
chlorine to a cleaner/degreaser like '' pine-sol" which after a few
minutes you get a violent and propelling explosion-
Yes, with concentrated chlorine and concentrated chemical. However,
again I say that well diluted, the low levels of sodium bisulphate
added to the very low levels of potential chlorine remaining in
municipal waste water, is completely harmless. Saying that the
concentrated chemicals will react violently, as they may, has
absolutely no bearing on what a highly diluted mix of one, added to
waste water with an even more extremely diluted level of the other,
would do. Which, by the way, is that nothing happens.
But by all means. If it makes you feel better, go ahead and dump a
bunch of baking soda into your used pickle before disposing of it
down the drain in a municipal waste water sewer system. Try not to
let it make too much of a mess…
I do like your idea of using it to spray the roses, though. Thanks.
I might try that…