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Septic systems and jewelry waste


#1

What other liquid wastes do you have?

I occasionally use some of those moderately abrasive plastic 5-sided
"triangles" I got from Rio, to smoothe the edges of pin and other
"blanks" I have sawed out of sheet metal. It’s much, much faster and
easier than smoothing all those edges by filing, etc. However, when I
open my vibratory tumbler, to rinse everything off in the sink (I
don’t have a flow-through system), there is a heavy plastic smell
which I can’t believe is a good thing. We have a public drainage
system (not a septic system), but I still wonder what any of you
think about this plastic residue as it goes into the drainage world
beyond?

Judy Bjorkman


#2

Hello,

I know this subject has been touched upon recently, but I’m about to
broach it once again because my questions were not specifically
answered.

We are moving to the home that my husband and I have dreamed of for
many years…a wonderful farmhouse in the country, which, of
course, is not on a municipal waste disposal system, i.e., sewer
system. I really need definitive solutions (no pun intended) to the
disposal of chemical wastes from the processes used when making
jewelry. For example:

  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?

  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?

  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?

  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.

Hopefully, somebody out there is a current or former chemist who can
help. Charles, where are you?

Thanks for any help you can offer,
Linda Kaye-Moses


#3

Hello Judy,

I occasionally use some of those moderately abrasive plastic
5-sided "triangles" I got from Rio, to smoothe the edges of pin and
other "blanks" I have sawed out of sheet metal. It's much, much
faster and easier than smoothing all those edges by filing, etc.
However, when I open my vibratory tumbler, to rinse everything off
in the sink (I don't have a flow-through system), there is a heavy
plastic smell which I can't believe is a good thing. We have a
public drainage system (not a septic system), but I still wonder
what any of you think about this plastic residue as it goes into
the drainage world beyond?

One thing I recommend people mass finishing do is to let the water
and rinse water settle in a bucket or container. The abrasive sludge
will settle and then the water can be siphoned off leaving just the
sludge, let that dry and dispose of as a solid or save and sent to a
refiner if you’re finishing lots of gold. There are many ways to
approach this.

I do recommend flow through systems though. For a little money
they’re well worth it, less hassle rinsing and cleaning the media
and bowl and better performance.

Feel free to call me or e-mail me off list if you wish.

Thackeray Taylor
Rio Grande Technical Support
800-545-6566 ex 13903


#4
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
work afterwards.

   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,
fag-ends etc)

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,
Linda Kaye-Moses