New EPA Dental Effluent Guidelines

On June 14, 2017, U.S. EPA promulgated new pretreatment standards to reduce discharges of mercury from dental offices. This rule applies to all offices that practice dentistry and discharge their wastewater to a Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW), such as the City of Woodland Water Pollution Control Facility. 

It does not apply to mobile units or certain dental specialties, such as: oral pathology, oral and maxillofacial radiology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, periodontics, or prosthodontics.

Dental Office Requirements

Dental offices that place or remove amalgam and discharge to a POTW, must do the following:

  • Operate and maintain one or more ISO 11143 compliant amalgam separators
  • Follow two Best Management Practices (BMP)
    • Must not discharge scrap amalgam waste to POTWs
    • Must not use line cleaners that have a pH level higher than 8 or lower than 6

Additional Requirements

Additionally, dental offices, whether they place or remove amalgam, must submit a One-Time Compliance Report (PDF) to their Control Authority. For Dental practices within the City of Woodland, that control authority is the City of Woodland Public Works Industrial Pretreatment Program (IPP). 

IPP staff will be reaching out to all Woodland dental practices and providing necessary compliance documents. For any questions regarding this document, please contact us at 530-661-2058.

More Information

For additional information go to U.S. EPA's Dental Effluent Guidelines web page. They have also provided a fact sheet and FAQ document.

For more information on the City's Pretreatment Program, please contact us at 530-661-2065.