Dental Effluent Guidelines
Facilities that practice dentistry are the main source of mercury discharges to municipal sewer systems, and the EPA promulgated regulations to reduce discharges of mercury from dental offices. The specific requirements are described in 40 CFR Part 441, Dental Office Point Source Category, and are summarized below:
Dental Offices Affected by the Regulations:
All dental offices where the practice of dentistry is performed, including, but not limited to, institutions, permanent or temporary offices, clinics, home offices, and facilities owned and operated by Federal, state or local governments, that discharge wastewater to a municipal sewer system (referred to as a publicly owned treatment works or POTW) are affected by these regulations. These facilities are referred to as Dental Dischargers.
Existing Dental Dischargers: Dental offices that began discharging prior to July 14, 2017.
New Dental Dischargers: Dental offices that began discharging after July 14, 2017.
One-Time Compliance Report
All Dental Dischargers, even dental offices that do not discharge amalgam process wastewater, must submit a One-Time Compliance Report.
Existing Dental Dischargers: The deadline for submitting a report for an existing dental discharger is October 12, 2020.
New Dental Dischargers: A report must be submitted no later than 90 days following the discharge to the sewer.
The report must be sent to the local municipal sewer system with an approved pretreatment program.
Requirements for Dental Offices that Discharge Amalgam Process Wastewater
An amalgam separator must be installed, operated and maintained, and a One-Time Compliance Report must be submitted.
Waste amalgam including, but not limited to, dental amalgam from chair-side traps, screens, vacuum pump filters, dental tools, cuspidors, or collection devices, must not be discharged to a municipal sewer system.
Dental unit water lines, chair-side traps, and vacuum lines that discharge amalgam process wastewater to a POTW must not be cleaned with oxidizing or acidic cleaners, including, but not limited, to bleach, chlorine, iodine and peroxide that have a pH lower than 6 or greater than 8.
Specific requirements are described in 40 CFR Part 441.
The term Control Authority, used in the regulation, refers to the municipal sewer system with an approved pretreatment program. In some cases a dental office is located outside of a municipal sewer system area with an approved pretreatment program. If that is the case, the One-Time Compliance Report must be submitted to the Kentucky Division of Water.
Municipal Sewer Systems with Approved Pretreatment Programs
Click Here to see a list of municipal sewer systems with approved pretreatment programs. The contact for each one should be able to explain how to submit a One-Time Compliance Report for their area.
Submitting a One-Time Compliance Report to the Kentucky Division of Water
If your dental office is not in an area with an approved pretreatment program, a One-Time Compliance Report must be submitted to the Kentucky Division of Water. See the instructions below on how to submit the report:
- A One Stop Account is required to submit the report. If your office does not have a One Stop Account, click on the link below to navigate to the EEC eForms website to register for an account: https://dep.gateway.ky.gov/eForms/Account/Home.aspx
- If your office already has a One Stop Account, click the link below to navigate directly to the One Stop Business Portal One-Time Compliance Report: https://dep.gateway.ky.gov/eForms/Main/Forms.aspx?FormId=71
- Complete and submit the “Dental One-Time Compliance Report.” If your office has any questions, click on the Help Center icon on the right side of the webpage.