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Amalgam Separators for the Dental Industry

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) regulations (6 NYCRR 374-4) require that all dental facility wastewaters likely to come into contact with amalgam waste must be treated prior to discharge by an amalgam separator meeting certain specifications (NYCDEC implemented this regulation in the Spring of 2003).

Written notification for the separator installation must be provided to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection using the Notice of Dental Amalgam Separator Installation form. The form can be completed online (click the above link, complete the form and hit “Submit”); or, to mail or fax the form click on the link, complete and print the form and mail or fax to:

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

Note: Only use one method to send the form. You must also keep a copy of the completed form at your dental facility.

Submission of this form will satisfy this one time reporting requirement. Follow-up reporting by dentists is only required when new separators are placed in service.

If the discharge is not to the city sewer system, 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.  However, as per NYSDEC requirements those facilities are to fill out the form and keep it with their regular office files. All facilities are subject to inspection. 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. Please also note:

For dental facilities operating on or before May 12, 2006 - The amalgam separator(s) must have been placed in service no later than May 12, 2008 and notification had to 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 operations 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.

Device Installation and Form Submission: 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.

Please note that there are also other regulatory requirements applicable to dentists including, but not limited to: installation, operation, and maintenance requirements for the amalgam separator; 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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