While amalgam separators are already required in all dental offices in WA that use mercury-containing amalgams, dental offices must submit a new one-time compliance report by Oct. 12, 2020.
Under a federal rule adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2017, many dental practices will need an installed amalgam separator by July 14, 2020. The new standards under the Clean Water Act are consistent with the state level Amalgam Rule and aim to prevent the mercury contained in dental amalgam from entering the air, water, and land.
While amalgam separators are already required in all dental offices in Washington state that use mercury-containing amalgams, to comply with the rule, dental offices must submit a new one-time compliance report by October 12, 2020.
If your office is served by a municipality with a pretreatment sewer program, you must submit your compliance form to the respective pretreatment control authority. A list of municipal forms are provided below:
If your office is NOT served by a municipal pretreatment program, you must submit your Department of Ecology compliance report by mail to your regional Department of Ecology office. You can find your regional office here.
Newly purchased or built dental offices must complete and submit the report within 90 days of accepting patients.
All dental offices that use mercury amalgam separators and discharge wastewater to a publicly owned sewer must fill out the compliance report. However, offices that do not place dental amalgam, and do not remove dental amalgam except in limited emergency or unplanned, unanticipated circumstances are exempt from further requirements as long as they submit a one-time compliance report attesting their exempt status. The following dental specialties are exempt from the rule: oral pathology, oral and maxillofacial radiology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, periodontics, and prosthodontics.
For more information about the rule and additional resources you can read "Additional Amalgam Separator Requirements" on the WSDA Blog.