1. If I neutralize the pickle (Sparex solution), with baking soda,
is it sufficiently neutralized for disposal in my septic system?
Neutralized meaning, the combined Sparex solution and baking soda
no longer fizzes/bubbles when additional b.s. is added?
G'day Linda; Sparex is sodium bisulphate, and is sold commercially
as a toilet bowl cleaner; so the answer is yes you can put small
amounts in a septic system, although it is normal to add bicarbonate
till it stops fizzing; but note that used pickle will also contain
small amounts of copper, which is a bactericide, and so may spoil the
action in a septic tank. But the bicarb will precipitate the copper
anyway as copper carbonate.
2. If my liver of sulfur solution has deteriorated and is
clear, no longer yellow, no aroma, etc., is it safe to discard it
into the septic system? If not, is there a way to make it safe to
dispose of in the septic system?
Your LOS will have deteriorated by the action of light in the
presence of air, probably to potassium sulphate which is neutral and
some colloidal sulphur; There are many varieties of bacteria which
convert sulphur into sulphates - (and other types convert them back
again!) So you can dispose of used LOS in your septic tank.
3. If I rinse my recently pickled pieces in the studio sink,
which will empty into the septic system, will that damage the
processes that make the septic system work properly? Must I use
baking soda to neutralize the pickle on individual pieces before
rinsing them at the sink?
There is no MUST about it but it is usual and a good idea. I always
keep a jar of washing soda solution for the job, then rinsing the
4. Is there a catch system that I can install beneath my studio
sink if I can't send the chemicals into the septic system? I
understand that this might combine l.o.s and NEUTRALIZED pickle I
also know that mixing l.o.s and non-neuturalized pickle is
extremely dangerous. I am assuming that neuturalized pickle is
definitely not acidic, if neutralized completely, and therefore I
should be able to dispose of them in the same container/plumbing.
At Victoria University Chemistry Dept where I spent 27 years, every
laboratory sink was connected to a 10 litre hard polythene
container, which in turn was connected to the sewer system and which
acted as the kind of trap you are talking about. We never had
problems with the huge number of such traps installed, which of
course, meant that everything was well diluted before going into the
waste lines. though the traps were disconnected and emptied every
summer vacation. (full of broken glass, filter papers, matches,
I have lived in country districts without reticulated water or
sewage systems for over 30 years, and never had trouble at all.
The reason why it isn't a good thing to add 'liver of sulphur'
(Potassium polysulphide) to acids is that the poisonous gas hydrogen
sulphide will be given off, but very small quantities won't hurt
anything - except tarnish silver.! Lets face it; people living in
the NZ North Island town of Rotorua live with the perpetual stink
of hydrogen sulphide and seem OK! Believe it or not, the place is a
great tourist must!
Thanks for any help you can offer,