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#629271 - 09/12/04 10:24 AM Re: what to do with old antifreeze
MNgopher Offline


Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 3038
Loc: Lakeville, MN
quote:
Originally posted by sewerman:
I can sympathize with all of you that have limited disposal sites but the down the toilet method is really harmful to the wastewater treatment process,having little or no regard for the consequences for your actions is dispicible to say the least...The job at the other end of your toilet is not easy and the ultimate outcome of failed treatment processes is dirty rivers,oceans and lakes....Give a hoot don't pollute..

Just a bit dramatic here aren't we?

Ultimately, CHECK WITH YOU LOCAL AUTHORITIES. In my area, recycling is encouraged, but not required. If you can't or won't recycle, running it down the sanitary drain is recommended and encouraged, including by the operators of the sewage treatment facilties. Large volume genrators (ie: auto shops) are required to recycle.

Do not drain it on land, into a septic system, into storm drains, or into systems that don't allow you to do so. The vast majority of sanitary systems however, are OK with the practice.

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#629272 - 09/12/04 07:27 PM Re: what to do with old antifreeze
sewerman Offline


Registered: 01/28/04
Posts: 174
Loc: ct
No not really..I have to deal with the "normal" stuff that comes down the pipe which causes enough problems in itself..Now when half the town is dumping their used anti-freeze down the drain it throws another monkey wrench in the works...Hey if your town/city says okay then go right ahead,but in my neck of the woods it's not...Sorry for taking my job of cleaning up water seriously....It was also stated don't dump it on the ground or storm drain as it may contaminate the ground or local stream or river..Well what makes it any different when you flush it??? Think it magically disappears???It needs to be removed and disposed of or recycled properly,just cause it gets dilluted doesn't make it go away....

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#629273 - 09/12/04 08:42 PM Re: what to do with old antifreeze
TallPaul Offline


Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 12953
Loc: By Detroit
If you are allowed to dump it down the drain and your community is on a combined sewer system (that's where the storm water drains go into the sanitary sewer--typically an older community), you should NOT dump it during or for some time after storms as many combined systems get overloaded during storm events and a relief valve opens up releasing raw diluted (diluted by the storm water) sewage to the water way (because if the relief valve does not open up, it goes back up the line into your basement [Mad] ). If this happens we don't want the antifreeze also going out the relief valve.

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#629274 - 09/13/04 08:29 AM Re: what to do with old antifreeze
MNgopher Offline


Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 3038
Loc: Lakeville, MN
quote:
Originally posted by sewerman:
No not really..I have to deal with the "normal" stuff that comes down the pipe which causes enough problems in itself..Now when half the town is dumping their used anti-freeze down the drain it throws another monkey wrench in the works...Hey if your town/city says okay then go right ahead,but in my neck of the woods it's not...Sorry for taking my job of cleaning up water seriously....It was also stated don't dump it on the ground or storm drain as it may contaminate the ground or local stream or river..Well what makes it any different when you flush it??? Think it magically disappears???It needs to be removed and disposed of or recycled properly,just cause it gets dilluted doesn't make it go away....

I'm glad you take your job seriously. I take mine seriously too as a water resources engineer.

One comment though - sewage treatement does not merely "dilute" antifreeze, at least not in any facilty I've seen. Antifreeze is instead digested using biochemical processes that physically breaks it down. It is the same process that nearly all other sewage is treated with. To say antifreeze only gets "diluted" at a sewage treatement plant is incorrect.

Of course, the danger is that too much antifreeze can exert too strong of an oxygen demand that can throw the sewage treatment process out of kilter.

As an interesting item, ethelyne glycol and propylene glycol (the two main ingredients in car antifreeze) are the two most common materials used for aircraft deicing operations. The way our airport deals with the material is dilution - it is discharged at a rate the river can safely digest it.

My only point is while your system may not allow you to drain antifreeze into it, the vast majority of systems do allow it. I'd much rather that people dispose of it in the proper manner, which to many is to drain it down the sanitary system, than just randomly dump it out on the ground or into the storm drain. While dilution can and does also work in many cases, a controlled digestion process that ensures it gets broken down is much more desirable.

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#629275 - 09/13/04 09:01 AM Re: what to do with old antifreeze
TallPaul Offline


Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 12953
Loc: By Detroit
quote:
Originally posted by MNgopher:
As an interesting item, ethelyne glycol and propylene glycol (the two main ingredients in car antifreeze) are the two most common materials used for aircraft deicing operations. The way our airport deals with the material is dilution - it is discharged at a rate the river can safely digest it.

So they have a runoff collection/holding system that can then decant at the appropriate rate? Interesting. So then maybe my advice is not necessary, that is, maybe a little bit going out with the combined sewer overflow is not an issue?

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#629276 - 09/15/04 09:06 AM Re: what to do with old antifreeze
MNgopher Offline


Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 3038
Loc: Lakeville, MN
TallPaul, your advice if you are connected to a Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) system is right on!

While a river can assimilate and digest antifreeze over time, as noted in the case of our local airport, it is always preferable to make sure it gets properly treated and not shunted off untreated somewhere. In all likelyhood, in an event like that, it will be fine, but why take a chance?

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