Amalgam Separators

What is the Dental Amalgam Rule? 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the Dental Effluent Guidelines in the Federal Register on June 14, 2017. The primary goal of the rule is to reduce the amount of mercury discharged to the environment from dental facilities through their wastewater discharge. The rule became effective on July 14, 2017. 


To Whom Does It Apply? 

Dental facilities, including large institutions such as dental schools and clinics, where dentistry is practiced, and that discharge to a wastewater treatment facility. If your wastewater services are provided by Colorado Springs Utilities, our Industrial Pretreatment Section is your Control Authority.

 The rule does not apply to mobile unites or offices where the practice of dentistry consists of only the following dental specialties: oral pathology, oral and maxillofacial radiology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, periodontics, or prosthodontics. Additionally, dental offices may be excluded if they do not place or remove amalgam except in limited or unplanned circumstances, or if they do not discharge any amalgam process wastewater to the sewer system by collecting and transferring their amalgam-laden wastewater to an off-site disposal facility for treatment.


What Is Required Of My Dental Facility?

 ALL facilities must submit a one-time compliance certification, even if excluded from the requirements of the rule. If the rule applies to your facility, then you must do the following:

• Install, operate, and maintain an amalgam separator that meets ISO 11143 standard or equivalent

• Discontinue the use of line cleaners that are oxidizing or acidic and that have a pH of higher than 8 or lower than 6

• Do not discharge any waste amalgam to the sewer system

• Dispose of separator cartridges and/or scrap amalgam from chair-side traps through a certified disposal provide

• Retain maintenance and service records for amalgam separators for a minimum of three years

What is a New Source?

New Source Established after July 14, 2017

 • All new sources must install an ISO 11143-compliant (or equivalent) amalgam separator prior to the discharge of any process wastewater.

 • The dental office must provide the one-time compliance report within 90 days of discharging amalgam process wastewater.

Why did dental offices receive this notice from Colorado Springs Utilities? 

As an EPA-approved program, Colorado Springs Utilities’ Industrial Pretreatment Section is required by law to implement the Dental Amalgam Rule. All dental facilities whose wastewater is treated by a Colorado Springs Utilities wastewater treatment facility are receiving this notification, and are required to submit the one-time compliance report.

Where may I find additional information about my requirements? 

Please visit us on the web( to review additional information, download the one-time compliance report, or view the Mercury Source Control Policies and Procedures Manual. Your attention and response to this notice are necessary to keep your dental facility in compliance with the Dental Amalgam Rule. Please contact the Industrial Pretreatment Section with any questions. Email: Address: 701 E. Las Vegas St., Colorado Springs, CO 80903

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