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Dental Facilities Information                                                             

 

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed the final version of the “Dental Rule” on June 9, 2017. The rule, published in the Federal Register on June 14, 2017, became effective on July 14, 2017. The rule enacts technology-based standards which rely on cost-effective treatment technologies to achieve mercury reduction. The purpose of this rule is to significantly reduce the discharge of mercury from dental facilities into municipal sewer systems and, ultimately, the environment. Dental facilities that place or remove dental amalgam in fillings will be required to install amalgam separators to capture the amalgam before it is released to the sewer.

The Dental Rule is part of the EPA’s General Pretreatment Regulations, which fall under the Clean Water Act. The City of Bloomington Utilities (CBU) operates an approved Pretreatment Program and ensures compliance with the Dental Rule and other pretreatment requirements. CBU is working to help local dental facilities understand the rule and has previously sent a letter of explanation and survey to all types of dental practices that discharge to the city’s sewers. After exploring practices and equipment in each facility, CBU determines if the facility is subject to the new rule. CBU then works with each facility to assure their compliance with the rule. All new or remodeling dental facilities, or transfer of ownerships should notify CBU immediately.

New dental facilities which begin discharging to the sewer after July 14, 2017 must comply immediately with the standards in the rule and complete CBU’s One Time Compliance Report within 90 days of discharge.

Existing dental facilities that began discharging to the sewer on or before July 14, 2017 must submit plumbing plans for the amalgam separator by July 1, 2019, install, operate, and maintain an amalgam separator by July 14, 2020, and complete CBU’s One Time Compliance Report by October 12, 2020.

Resources:

 

For more information visit the EPA Dental Guidelines at epa.gov/eg/dental-effluent-guidelines, or contact CBU’s Pretreatment Coordinator at 812-349-3946.