Waste Tank Discharge from Carpet Cleaning Equipment

Dumping Dirty Carpet Cleaning Water into Storm Sewer Is Illegal

Where to Dump Carpet Cleaning Water? What is the proper way to dump my dirty water from truckmount carpet cleaning equipment?

In our Bane-Clene® training school, we emphasize the proper disposal of the dirty waste water from carpet cleaning jobs. We strongly encourage our customers to follow these guidelines for proper disposal of the wastewater.

Under the Clean Water Act of 1972, federal, state and local government agencies have created a number of regulations dealing with how to properly dispose of wastewater—including water from carpet cleaning and other industries. These regulations generally forbid releasing wastewater into ponds, retention ponds, lakes,local waterways, creeks, rivers, or storm sewers. Many also forbid a practice known as “indirect” discharge. This refers to disposing of wastewater on land where it can eventually damage vegetation and soak into groundwater and wetlands.

It is ILLEGAL to dump your clean or dirty solution down a storm sewer, into a stream or onto a street or driveway - PERIOD!

Even if your customer permits you to dump on her yard, it’s unwise. If the groundwater runs off into wetlands or streams or if the property is as close as 75 feet to a well, storm sewer, dam or any other source that leads to a stream, you have violated the law. Additionally, if the soil is waterlogged, rocky or often flooded, it is usually not legal.

In many areas, you cannot dump into a septic tank system unless it is large enough to handle the load. Even then, the water needs to be filtered and the debris can be then put in trash containers unless it contains hazardous materials.

Moreover, special permission, license and even fees are required in some communities. In a few communities, you may dump ONLY in a designated hazardous waste disposal plant.

Recovered wastewater may only be dumped into a sanitary sewer line which discharges into a publicly owned waste-water treatment plant. In most communities and in most carpet cleaning situations, wastewater can be discharged by pouring it into a sink, toilet, bathtub or most other drainage systems as long as it is connected to the municipal sewer infrastructure. But, the water needs to be filtered and the debris of carpet fibers, etc. can be then put in trash containers unless it contains hazardous materials.

Bear in mind that usually this water is no more harmful than the dirty water coming from a consumer’s automatic dishwasher or laundry machine, which also cannot, obviously, be dumped into a storm sewer or into the street!

If you do not have a sanitary sewer where you can dump at home or at your place of business, we suggest you make arrangements with a car wash or an RV dumpsite. Just be certain to get WRITTEN permission and always strain out solid matter using a wire mesh screen when dumping. Keep this written permission in your truck in case someone, such as the police, question whether you have permission. If you don’t have the written permission with you, you might be arrested! A carpet cleaner was arrested in Ocala Florida in 2011 for dumping waste water into a car wash without permission!

Many cleaners get in trouble with the law every year. They are fined severely and sometimes even jailed for dumping wastewater into streams, ponds or onto the street. Not only can the company be fined, but the individual technician doing the illegal dumping can also be fined! Wastewater cannot be emptied into storm drains because most drains empty into surface waters. This is true not just of professional carpet cleaners but is also true of professionals doing such things as pressure washing vehicles and buildings!

Bane-Clene has available a “Sewer Letter” available only to Bane-Clene customers which you can send to your municipality or waste treatment plant to help obtain approval for dumping your dirty carpet cleaning waste tank.

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Published by: Bane-Clene® Corp.
Copyright: Bane-Clene Corp.

Date Modified: December 31, 2018

Date Published: March 14, 2017