What You Need to Know:

Amalgam Separators and Vac Lines

 

Where do I start?  Decision Tree for EPA Amalgam Separation Rule handout

 

By October 12, 2020, all dental offices must submit one-time Compliance Report to comply with EPA Clean Water Act:

  • Either identifies them as office that discharges dental effluent that may contain amalgam, OR waives requirement for their practice.

Requirements by State

Practices in Oregon

  • All offices: complete Dental Discharger Certification (Compliance Report).  Sign and keep copy for office records.

  • Determine which municipal wastewater treatment system is connected to your office. Check your utility bill to confirm the system. Check here for a spreadsheet of Oregon municipalities’ control authority and where to send the Compliance Report and annual reports.

  • For the Portland Metro area, the amalgam separation rule applies to offices: directly connected to the City’s sanitary sewer system or are connected to a surrounding city or district that sends a portion of their sewer to a Portland treatment facility. These include Clackamas, Gresham, Dunthrope-Riverdale, Lake Oswego, Milwaukie, Tualatin, Hillsboro, and West Hills Service District

 

Practices in Washington

  • Visit the State’s site to One-Time Compliance Report instructions to determine where to submit Compliance Report.

  • In municipalities where the dental office is served by municipal pre-treatment program, submit Compliance Report to that municipal office.

  • Carefully note due dates for annual certification form.  EX:  Vancouver WA requires annual submission by Feb 28.

 

For all Offices

  • Physical signature required on initial Compliance Form.  No electronic signatures.

  • Applies to ALL dental offices, even those that are excluded.  (On Compliance Form, Section F provides waiver.)

  • Stiff penalties for non-compliance including red-tagging office (closing it).

  • Requires 3-year recordkeeping of amalgam inspections, replacement and recycling of amalgam separation cartridges plus solid amalgam (waste buckets). 

  • Solmetex offers free records for cartridges and buckets sent to them.  See Solmetex site for short video https://www.solmetex.com/how-it-works/#recycling-program

 

Tips

  • Physical signature required on Compliance Form. Keep copy for your records.

  • Keep records for 3 years: amalgam inspections, replacement and recycling of amalgam separation cartridges plus solid amalgam (waste buckets)

  • Solmetex offers free records for cartridges and buckets sent to them. 

Vacuum Lines

  • By law, any vacuum lines attached to an amalgam separator must be maintained with cleaners between 6 - 8 pH. 

  • Bleach and other chemical cleaners break down amalgam and contaminate water.

 

Reach recommends BioPure™, an all-natural cleaner

  • Breaks down and digests organic matter

  • Helps reduce waste in amalgam cartridges, extending their lifespan and saving money

 

Optimizing Vacuum Line Performance

Step 1: BioPure Restore

  • Start daily treatment of the 2 operatories closest to vac pump for 10 days. 

  • Then add 2 more operatories and repeat process until all operatories treated.

 

Step 2:  BioPure Maintain

  • Twice weekly treatment for all operatories.

  • Cost-effective when compared to other products requiring daily use.