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Amalgam Separators

New York State regulations at 6 NYCRR 374-4 require that all dental facility waters likely to come into contact with amalgam waste must be treated prior to discharge by an amalgam separator meeting certain specifications. If the discharge is to a sewage treatment works, written notification must be provided to the appropriate sewage treatment works or sewer authority.

For dental offices located within the five boroughs of New York City, the applicable sewage treatment works/sewer authority is the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. Such dental offices must send written notification to the following address:

New York City Department of Environmental Protection
Attn: Pollution Prevention Section
Bureau of Wastewater Treatment
96-05 Horace Harding Expressway, 1st Floor
Corona, NY 11368-5107 
Fax: (718) 595-4771

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has made the Notice of Dental Amalgam Separator Installation (PDF) form available for download.

Dentists may complete and submit a copy of this form to satisfy this one time reporting requirement. Alternatively, dentists may use another format which is consistent with the requirements specified in 6 NYCRR 374-4.  Follow-up reporting by dentists is only required when new separators are placed in service.

If the discharge is not to a sewage treatment works, e.g. if the wastewater is discharged to an on-site septic tank/leachfield, then notification of separator installation is not required by this regulation.  Please note that this form is not a permit and that the dental facility owner/operator is responsible for compliance with all other federal, state, and local regulations.

Due Dates: For dental facilities operating on May 12, 2006 - The amalgam separator(s) must be placed in service no later than May 12, 2008 and notification must be submitted no later than June 11, 2008. For dental facilities that begin operations after May 12, 2006 - The amalgam separator(s) must be placed in service prior to beginning operation and notification must be submitted no later than 30 days following first operation. Replacement of separators - If an amalgam separator fails or is otherwise taken out of service then there may be no discharge from the affected portion of the facility until the separator is replaced. Notification for replacement separators must be submitted no later than 30 days following their installation.

Form Submission: All sections must be completed and submitted as specified above.  Failure to install acceptable separators or to provide the required notification by the applicable due dates will result in noncompliance with the regulation and possible enforcement action.  A completed copy of this form must be maintained at the dental facility.

Please note that there are also other regulatory requirements applicable to dentists including, but not limited to: dental amalgam waste storage; recycling of dental amalgam waste and elemental mercury; record keeping and inspection; and, prohibitions on certain activities.  A copy of the dental amalgam regulations and general information on mercury are available on the NYSDEC Managing Dental Mercury page.

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