Dental effluent guidelines & mercury source control

 Dental effluent guidelines & mercury source control

We implement a Mercury Source Control Program to help achieve measurable reductions in influent levels of mercury.

On June 14, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated pretreatment standards to reduce discharges of mercury from dental offices into publicly owned treatment works (POTWs). In 2019, we revised the Mercury Source Control Policies and Procedures Manual to reflect the requirements of the EPA’s dental effluent guidelines. The manual also lists best management practices as guidance for medical facilities, hospitals and laboratories.

EPA states that amalgam fillings placed or removed by dental offices are the primary source of mercury discharges to POTWs. An amalgam separator is a practical, affordable and readily-available means of capturing mercury and other metals before they are discharged into sewers. Dental offices that place or remove amalgam must operate and maintain an amalgam separator. Additionally, they must not discharge scrap amalgam to the POTW, and must use specific kinds of line cleaners.

Existing and new sources must submit a one-time compliance report. Existing sources, operating prior to July 14, 2017, are required to comply by July 14, 2020 and must submit a one-time compliance report by October 12, 2020. New sources, operating after July 14, 2017, must comply upon opening their business, and must submit a one-time compliance report within 90 days of the commencement of wastewater discharge.

More information is available in the Mercury Source Control Policies and Procedures Manual (see link). The one-time certification report may be submitted to our Industrial Pretreatment Program:

Mail: Dental Amalgam Control Program, 701 E. Las Vegas St., Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Fax: (719) 668-4748

Please email any questions regarding the Dental Amalgam Control Program.