Dental Offices

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Sources of Mercury in Wastewater.  Pie chart showing portions (in order of descending share) Dental Offices, Human Waste, Laundry, Household Products, Hospitals, Medical Clinics, Vehicle Services, Universities.To reduce the amount of mercury entering the wastewater system, dental practices that place or remove mercury amalgam fillings are required to obtain a wastewater discharge permit from DSRSD and implement mercury reduction best management practices (BMPs), including installing approved amalgam separators.

In the absence of dental BMPs and amalgam separators, mercury amalgam waste from dental offices is estimated to be the single largest source of mercury to wastewater treatment plants. Some of this mercury will pass through treatment and be discharged into San Francisco Bay. To protect the Bay, its fish, and the citizens of the Bay Area, the Regional Water Quality Control Board requires DSRSD and other Bay Area wastewater agencies to work with dentists to divert amalgam waste and other sources of mercury from dental wastewater.

dentalofficesfeatureRequirements

DSRSD designed its dental mercury source control program based on the current Dental Association guidelines and with input from the local dental associations. All dental practices that receive wastewater service from DSRSD and City of Pleasanton are required to participate in the program. Users are required to:
  • Obtain a Dental Practice Wastewater Discharge Permit
  • Implement best management practices (BMPs)
  • Install ISO Certified amalgam separators
  • Annually submit a report that documents the amount of amalgam waste generated and removed by licensed waste hauler

District staff conducts inspections to ensure compliance with these requirements. Dental practices pay fees for a four-year permit and inspections. The inspection fee will vary, based on staff time needed to inspect the facility and complete administrative duties following the inspection(s).

To apply for a permit or for more information, contact Environmental Compliance Inspector Ann Cigliuti at (925) 875-2334.

Forms and Resources

The California Dental Association provides more information on recommended practices for managing amalgam waste and contact information for suppliers and vendors.

 

 

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