1102 Wastewater and Stormwater
How do US Environmental Protection Agency regulations affect 5000 personal loan no credit check automotive service wastes?
Automotive service stations generate waste and wastewater during daily operations. Sometimes these wastes are disposed into shallow injection wells, such as septic system drainfields, dry wells, cesspools, or pits. If these wastewaters are disposed into shallow wells they may endanger ground water that is or could be a source of drinking water.
In other cases these wastes are improperly disposed into separate storm drains. If these wastewaters are disposed into separate storm sewers they may endanger surface water such as streams, lakes and estuaries.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has conducted nationwide tests on wastewaters from automotive service industries. Typically they contain organic and inorganic chemicals in concentrations which exceed EPA’s primary drinking water standards, established under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
EPA and state underground injection control programs are designed to protect underground sources of drinking water from contamination by injection wells. EPA prohibits the injection of fluids that will endanger ground water that is or could be an underground source of drinking water.
EPA also prohibits the discharge of wastewaters into separate storm sewers and permits certain storm water discharges under the authority of the Clean Water Act.
Your facility may also be subject to regulation under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), also known as the hazardous waste regulations.
A waste is considered hazardous if it contains toxic chemicals in excess of concentrations listed in the regulations. EPA has added 25 new chemicals to that list. One of these, benzene, is found in gasoline and oil. Solvents also contain many of these toxic chemicals.
If you discharge these wastes into a septic system drainfield, dry well, cesspool, pit, or injection well you may be operating an unauthorized hazardous waste disposal unit.
What should you do?
You must stop discharging automotive service waste to septic system drainfields, dry wells, cesspool, pits, or separate storm drains.
Stop using the well immediately for these wastes!
Facilities that utilize these types of disposal systems may currently be in violation of federal, state or local regulations.
Temporarily seal the floor drain(s) with a plug or other device unless the floor drain(s) are needed to comply with state or local laws. In that case, the wastewaters should not be allowed to enter the injection well(s) or separate storm sewers. You should then use one of the following plans for alternate disposal:
- If a municipal wastewater treatment facility is available, and will accept your waste, you should route all waste to that facility.
- If a municipal wastewater treatment facility is not available, or the discharge is prohibited, route your waste to a tank or container for proper accumulation and disposal.
Initiate a waste minimization program. This can reduce the costs, liabilities, and regulatory burdens of hazardous waste management, while enhancing community relations.
WASTE MINIMINZATION PROGRAM
The following are methods for reducing waste:
- Petroleum-based fluids from vehicles, including used oil, transmission fluid and brake fluid, should be collected and recycled.
- Absorbents should be used to clean up minor fluid leaks and spills that occur during routine vehicle maintenance.
- Coolants from radiators should be collected and recycled.
- Parts washing should be done in a self-contained, recirculating solvent sink.
- Waste petroleum based fluids, absorbents for clean ups, coolants and spent solvent should each be collected and placed in a Department of Transportation (DOT) approved waste receptacle. These wastes should be recycled wherever possible. Waste disposal should be in accordance with applicable federal, state and local waste regulations.
Implement clean-up. Pressure wash any of the lines or piping leading to the well. Clean out liquids and solids from all lines and septic tanks, dry wells, cesspools, and pits, and dispose of the contents by acceptable methods for waste disposal. Fill the dry wells, cesspools and pits with an inert material and seal with asphalt or cement.
Whom should you contact?
For additional assistance contact a representative of your trade association or your product supplier, regarding your service bay operations. You may need to contact your municipal sewerage agency regarding hook-ups to a municipal wastewater treatment facility. Also you may need to contact your state agency with responsibility for the Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program or EPA regional office covering your state.
Source: US EPA
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