Discharging Dental Wastewater into Meridian’s Sewer System
The Industrial Wastewater Pretreatment Program conducts compliance inspections of dental practices that discharge Mercury into the City of Meridian sewerage system. In 2004, the Idaho State Dental Association (ISDA) began working with dentists to achieve voluntary, proper disposal practices for wastes often generated in dental offices. The ISDA developed a great document Best Management Practices(BMP’s) for Dental Offices to assist Idaho dental offices to minimize the discharge of mercury containing wastes and imaging process dischargers to the sewer system. Click the link to access the ISDA Best Management Practices for Dental Offices. Following these “best management practices” will ensure Meridian dentists to meet compliance with applicable environmental, biomedical, occupational health, and transportation regulations.
Meridian’s Industrial Wastewater Pretreatment Program has adopted the ISDA’s Best Management Practices program to assist our community’s dentists on how to best manage the disposal of dental wastes. These BMPs now serve as our inspection criteria checklist by our pretreatment inspector during a dental office inspection. A typical inspection would include the Inspector evaluating the dental office for compliance and writing an inspection report. If the office is in compliance there will be no action required; and a compliance letter will be mailed to your office. If minor problems are noted during the inspection, the inspection report will indicate the corrective action required and the Inspector will schedule a action follow-up visit.
A Dental Office inspection will normally last 30 minutes or less. Our Inspector will:
- Look to see if an amalgam separator unit has been installed and what type. Presently, amalgam separators are recommended, but not required, as the City is anticipating the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to require installation of specific amalgam separators in the near future.
- Check to see that x-ray fixer is properly managed.
- Check records, such as receipts for equipment and waste removal or recycling are on file. Keep records for 3 years.
- Ensure waste material is properly stored and labeled.
Amalgam Waste: Requires special attention because it contains mercury and other heavy metals. Dental offices must deal with 5 types of amalgam waste.
- Used amalgam capsules
- Scrap amalgam (non-contact amalgam)
- Amalgam collected in chair side traps
- Amalgam waste from central vacuum pump filters
- Amalgam sludge from office wastewater treatment units
To use as a quick visual reference guide, click on the Dental Best Management Practices Hazardous Waste Disposal Do and Don’t Poster. Display a poster in your office to remind staff of proper disposal methods! Recycle or use a Hazardous Waste broker to ensure the proper disposal. Please DO NOT put amalgam waste into an infectious (biomedical) waste container, or dry trash that are incinerated or buried in our local landfill facility.
Legal authority and enforcement action of the Industrial Wastewater Pretreatment Program is established by Title 9, Chapter 2 Sewer Pretreatment of Meridian City Code, Sections 9-2-2-1-C and 9-2-2-4.
Local Dental Disposal Waste Stream Contact Information:
- Patterson Dental (208) 375-7341
- S & S Dental Service (208) 866-5360
- Sullivan Schein (631) 843-5500
Additional Information links: