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     United States
     Environmental Protection
     Agency
Source Water Protection Practices  Bulletin

      Managing Small Quantity Chemical Use  to Prevent
                  Contamination  of Drinking Water
    Inside this issue:

    Why is it Important
    to Manage Small
    Quantity Chemical
    Use?

    Available Prevention
    Measures
    Additional
    Information
           FACTS:

 •  Small Quantity Chemical Use
   occurs all around us on a daily
   basis.

 •  Improper disposal of these
   chemicals into sewers can
   endanger POTWs abilities to
   properly treat wastewater.

 •  Hazardous waste is defined
   under RCRA.

 •  Chemical manufacturers can
   supply Material Safety Data
   Sheets (MSDS), which can help
   categorize chemicals and their
   wastes.

 •  Some of these chemicals can
   harm human health even in small
   doses by contaminating large
   amounts of drinking water.

 •  Some of the easiest and least
   expensive practices canproduce
   the most effective pollution
   prevention results.
 Many small businesses, government
 agencies, and academic institutions
 use chemicals to carry out their busi-
 ness functions. Although varying
 greatly in purpose, these small quan-
 tity chemical users share in their
 ability to potentially contribute to
 the pollution of drinking water.
 Many small businesses understand
 their day-to-day business operations
 but may lack familiarity with
 procedures for proper use and
 management of chemicals. This fact
 sheet provides an overview of
 prevention measures and demon-
 strates how precaution must be
 taken in all areas regarding chemical
 use. Businesses that generate hazard-
 ous waste, as it is defined under the
 Resource Conservation and Recovery
 Act, should consult with their State
 hazardous waste agency regarding
 proper handling and disposal.
                                    Examples of places
                                    where small quantity
                                    chemical use occurs.
                                  1 - Photo finishing.
                                                                    2 - Household cleaning.
                                                                                     3 - Paint processing.
                                    4 - Academic institutions.
 Places Where Small  Quantity Chemical Use Occurs
 Small quantity chemical
 users include dry cleaners,
 beauty shops, photo finish-
 ers, vehicle repair shops,
 printers, laboratories, water
 supply facilities, academic
 institutions, nursing homes,
 medical facilities, and many
 others. It is the daily prac-
 tices of these businesses that
 use chemicals and produce
 chemical waste. Degreasing,
 cleaning, polishing, paint
 preparation, rust removal,
 and photo processing are
just a fraction of the activi-
ties in which small busi-
nesses are engaged.
Improper disposal of chemi-
cals from these users can
reach ground or  surface wa-
ter through a number of
pathways. If substances
from these businesses are
accidentally or intentionally
discharged into sewers, con-
tamination of ground and
surface waters can occur.
Improper disposal into sew-
ers can also endanger the
ability of publicly-owned
treatment works (POTWs)
to properly treat wastewa-
ter. Chemicals poured into
septic systems or dry wells
can leach into ground water
or contribute to treatment
system failure. Chemical
users should always ensure
that haulers they hire to
carry their waste off-site are
properly licensed and that
they deliver the waste to
appropriate disposal sites.

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Page 2
                                                                              Source Water Protection Practices Bulletin
                       *,
Perchloroethylene, a
cleaning residue, causes
kidney and liver damage
  in both humans and
animals. It is among the
     most common
contaminants in ground
water and a very small
amount can contaminate
   many thousands of
    gallons of water.
Why is it Important to Manage  Small Quantity Chemical
             Use Near Sources of  Drinking Water?
                              Many ordinary businesses
                              use chemicals and produce
                              chemical waste that can be
                              harmful to humans if in-
                              gested. Types of chemicals
                              used by these businesses in-
                              clude solvents, corrosives,
                              dry cleaning agents, heavy
                              metals and inorganics, inks
                              and paint, lead-acid batter-
                              ies, plating chemicals, cya-
                              nide, and wood preserving
                           agents. Each set of contami-
                           nants has its own environ-
                           mental and health hazards.
                           For example, a dry cleaning
                           filtration residue, perchloro-
                           ethylene, causes kidney and
                           liver damage in both hu-
                           mans and animals.  It is
                           among the most common
                           contaminants in ground wa-
                           ter and a very small amount
                           can contaminate many thou-
sands of gallons of water.
Used cyanide, a common
waste product of metal fin-
ishing, is considered an
acutely hazardous waste and
can be toxic in very small
doses. Chemical manufactur-
ers can supply Material
Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
which list these kinds of dan-
gers and help to categorize
products and their waste.
      Available Prevention Measures to Address Small Quantity Chemical Use
Due to the large number and variety of businesses that use
chemicals, there are a vast number of prevention measures,
many of which are specific to the facility of interest. This fact
sheet discusses some prevention measures that are common to
most chemical using facilities. Before a facility can implement
any pollution prevention practice, it must first assess what
kinds of chemicals are used and how they are used. Monitoring
chemical use can help  operators decide which option will be
the most beneficial. Businesses should start with easy and in-
expensive practices before considering more costly measures
such as equipment and process modifications. Some of the
                                                         easiest and least expensive practices can produce the most
                                                         effective pollution prevention results.

                                                         Please keep in mind that individual prevention measures
                                                         may or may not be adequate to prevent contamination of
                                                         source waters. Most likely, individual measures should be
                                                         combined in an overall prevention approach that considers
                                                         the nature of the potential source of contamination, the pur-
                                                         pose, cost, operational, and maintenance requirements of the
                                                         measures, the vulnerability of the source waters, the public's
                                                         acceptance of the measures, and the community's desired
                                                         degree of risk reduction.
                                    Ways to Avoid Excess Chemical Use:
                 5 - Measure carefully
                 to avoid producing
                 large quantities of
                 useless material.
Waste Reduction and Management -
                                          Waste exchanges reduce disposal costs and
                                           quantities, reduce the demand for natural
                                           resources and increase the value of waste.
Good waste reduction and
management strategies can
significantly reduce the threat
of hazardous materials to
drinking water sources. Make
sure employees carefully fol-
low the manufacturer's direc-
tions when mixing or using
chemicals to prevent produc-
ing large quantities of useless
material that must be disposed
of as waste. The toxicity of
waste can be reduced by using
the least hazardous or least
concentrated products avail-
                           able to accomplish their proc-
                           esses. Such substitutions in-
                           clude the use of water based
                           paints, or high solids solvent
                           based paints when water based
                           paints are not available.
                           Cleaning products and sol-
                           vents, which can contain
                           highly toxic or harsh chemi-
                           cals, can be replaced with less
                           hazardous counterparts. Print-
                           ing businesses can use non-
                           toxic inks that are free of
                           heavy metal pigments.
                                                               Responsible Purchasing -
                                                                                              6 - Order materials on
                                                                                              an as-needed basis.
                              Responsible purchasing
                              can also drastically
                              decrease the amount of
                              waste for disposal. This
                              includes ordering mat-
                              erials on an as-needed
                              basis and returning un-
                              used portions back to
                              vendors. A facility may
                              unwittingly create excess
                              harmful materials by
                              mixing hazardous with
                              nonhazardous waste.
                              Avoiding this practice
 can significantly reduce
 the toxicity of waste
 disposed and increase the
 possibility of recycling ma-
 terials. Another method of
 waste reduction is trading
 waste with other busi-
 nesses. Waste exchanges
 reduce disposal costs and
 quantities, reduce the
 demand for natural
 resources, and increase the
 value of waste.

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                                                                                                                Page 3
                                 Proper Use and Handling of Chemicals:
Reading the Labels -
Reading the label on chemical
containers is one of the simplest
and most important prevention
measures. The label provides
information on proper use, storage,
and disposal and may provide
emergency information in the
event the product is accidentally
spilled or ingested. In cases where
the chemical is highly dangerous,
the label will contain special
warnings or use restrictions.
7 - Labels provide information on
proper use, storage and disposal.
            8 - All staff should be trained on proper
            storage and spill protocols.
          Employee Training -

          Employee training is critical in prevent-
          ing source water pollution by chemical
          using facilities. While many preventive
          measures seem simple and straightfor-
          ward, if they are not followed or em-
          ployees are unaware of them, significant
          consequences can result. All staff should
          be trained to store materials properly
          and be aware of spill control and re-
          sponse protocols. Employees can be en-
          couraged to learn and retain proper pro-
          cedures through periodic drills, pollution
          prevention training workshops, and
          company incentive or reward programs.
                                Proper Storage and Disposal of  Chemicals:
Proper On-Site Storage -
Proper on-site storage of hazard-
ous substances helps to prevent
accidental leaks and applies to
both storage areas and containers.
Designated storage areas should
have paved or impervious
surfaces, a protective cover, and
secondary containment around all
containers to catch spills.
Containers should have clear and
visible labels which  include
purchase date and all information
presented on the distributer's
original label.  Dating materials
allows facilities to use older
materials first. When not in use,
storage containers must be
sealed to prevent spills and
evaporation. Storage areas and
containers should be thoroughly
inspected on a weekly basis and
secured against unauthorized
entry. Care should be taken that
chemical storage and handling
areas do not allow for contami-
nation of storm water flows.
EPA has developed extensive
guidance providing  BMPs for
storm water management in
industrial settings.
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                                                                      9 - Compare the chemical needs of a facility to the supply
                                                                      on-hand. Excess chemicals should be removed.
10 - Storage areas should have impervious surfaces, a protective cover, and
secondary containment around all containers to catch spills.
                           Chemical Audits -

                           Chemical audits are a good
                           starting point. It is impor-
                           tant to understand chemical
                           needs for the facility and
                           compare these to the chemi-
                           cal supply on hand. Where
                           appropriate, excess chemi-
                           cals should be removed (and
                           properly disposed), or future
                           purchasing adjusted to
                    reduce stored inventories. A
                    chemical management plan
                    that includes a list of chemi-
                    cals used, the method of dis-
                    posal such as reclamation or
                    contract hauling, and proce-
                    dures for  assuring that toxic
                    chemicals are not dis-
                    charged into source water
                    should be implemented.

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Page 4
                                                Source Water Protection Practices Bulletin
Spill Prevention and Control -
When hazardous substances are
unintentionally released, the event
is considered a spill and must be
treated appropriately. Spill preven-
tion and control includes spill re-
sponse plans which serve as guid-
ance for employees in the event of a
large spill. A good plan minimizes
environmental impact and reduces
liability for clean-up costs and pos-
sible bodily injuries.  It should be
kept where it can be  easily viewed
by employees near mixing and stor-
age areas. Besides detailed instruc-
tions for staff, a spill response plan
includes a diagram showing the lo-
cation of all chemicals, floor drains,
exits, fire extinguishers, and spill
response supplies. Spill response
supplies (e.g., mop, pail, sponges,
absorbent materials) should also be
listed. Someone trained in these
procedures must be on site or easily
reachable during hours of operation.

Other practices to control spills in-
clude the use of funnels when trans-
ferring harmful substances and drip
pans placed under spigots, valves,
and pumps to catch accidental leak-
age. Sloped floors allow leaks to run
into collection areas. Catch basins in
loading dock areas,  where nearly
one third of all accidental spills oc-
cur, can help recapture harmful
chemicals. All practices should be
performed in a way that allows the
reuse or recycling of the spilled sub-
stance.
* CMU«H.
                                                        11 - Hazardous waste warnings.
                                                    A good plan should be kept
                                                   where it can be easily viewed
                                                  by employees near mixing and
                                                  storage areas. Besides detailed
                                                    instructions for staff, a spill
                                                      response plan includes a
                                                   diagram showing  the location
                                                   of all chemicals, floor drains,
                                                    exits, fire extinguishers, and
                                                      spill response supplies.
                                        12- Sample response plan.
                   13 - Chemical waste should be disposed of according to the
                   manufacturer's directions and State and local requirements.
                                                  Proper Disposal  Decisions
                                                  and the MSDS -
                                                  Hazardous waste should never be
                                                  discharged into floor drains,
                                                  storm drains, toilets, sinks, other
                                                  improper disposal areas, or other
                                                  routes leading to public sewers,
                                                  septic systems, or dry wells.
                                                  Chemical waste should be dis-
                                                  posed of according to the manu-
                                                  facturer's directions and State
                                                  and local requirements. Many
                                                  local communities sponsor house-
                                                  hold hazardous waste events to
                                                  collect and properly dispose of
                                                  small quantities of chemicals.

                                                  A useful tool for making disposal
                                                  decisions is the Material Safety
                                                  Data Sheet (MSDS). These sheets
                                                  provide important information
                                                  regarding contents of commercial
                                                  products and enable a facility to
                                                  determine whether materials will
                                                  produce hazardous waste. MSDS
                                                  data (i.e.,  chemical name, ingredi-
                                                  ents, possible carcinogens, and
                                                  other known hazards) are also
                                                  important for chemical use, stor-
                                                  age and spill control. MSDS docu-
                                                  ments can be obtained from
                                                  manufacturers and should be kept
                                                  readily accessible.

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                                                                                                                PageS


                                          Additional Information

These sources contain information on small quantity chemical use pollution prevention practices. All of the documents listed
are available free of charge on the Internet.

Assistance is available to communities wishing to enact ordinances to protect water supplies from contamination due to small
quantity chemical use or to small businesses seeking to improve their operations with management measures. Local fire depart-
ments or departments of health have the authority to pass ordinances or regulations covering chemical use and safety. Contact
local government authorities in your area to see if there are ordinances in place to manage small quantity chemical use. Numer-
ous examples of local  source water protection-related ordinances for various potential contaminant sources can be found at:
http://www.epa.gov/r5water/ordcom/

http://www.epa.gov/owow/nps/ordinance/

http://www.epa.gov/owow/nps/ordinance/links.htm.

The Small Business Environmental Home Page (http://www.smallbiz-enviroweb.org/fundstat.html) provides links to financial
assistance programs and other available assistance in all 50 States.

       The following resources provide information on selection and design of specific management measures:

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Resource Protection, Drinking Water Program. (1996,

June). Tips for Protecting Your Drinking Water Supply. Retrieved February 26, 2001, from the World Wide Web: http://

www.state.ma.us/dep/brp/dws/files/donts.htm

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. (1999, July). Disposal of Industrial Wastewater and Alternatives. UICP/8-02/July 1999.

Retrieved February 21, 2001, from the World Wide Web: http://www.pca.state.mn.us/water/pubs/8-02.pdf

New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. (1999, February). Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Groundwa-

ter Protection. WD-WSEB-22-4. Retrieved February 26, 2001, from the World Wide Web: http://www.des.state.nh.us/

factsheets/ws/ws-22-4.htm

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Pollution Prevention Unit. (1998, March). Environmental Com-

pliance and Pollution  Prevention Guide for Small Quantity Generators.  Retrieved January 2001, from the World Wide Web:

http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/ppu/ecppsqg.pdf

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Division of Hazardous Waste Management. (1997, August). Your Business and Haz-

ardous Materials Management. Retrieved February 21,  2001, from the World Wide Web: http://www.epa.state.oh.us/dhwm/

dwatt/brochure.htm

U.S. EPA, Envirosense. (1993, February). Case Study: Preventing Ground Water Contamination. #1903. Retrieved February

21, 2001, from the World Wide Web: http://es.epa.gov/techinfo/case/michigan/niichcsl5.html

U.S. EPA, New England. (2000, April). What Role Does Your Business  Have in Protecting Drinking Water Sources. EPA-901-

F-00-001. Retrieved February 21, 2001, from the World Wide Web: http://www.epa.gov/region01/eco/drinkwater/

sourcewater.pdf

U.S. EPA, Office of Solid Waste. (1996, April). Understanding the Hazardous Waste Rules. EPA530-K-95-001. Retrieved May

1,  2001, from the World Wide Web: http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/sqg/handbook/sqg_pdf.pdf

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Page 6






U.S. EPA, Office of Wastewater Management. (1992, September). Storm Water Management for Industrial Activities: Develop-



ing Pollution Prevention Plans and BMPs. Retrieved May 1, 2001, from the World Wide Web: http://www.epa.gov/owm/sw/



indguide/index.htm





          The following sites provide information on preventive measures for small quantity chemical use:



downthedrain.org is a site dedicated to reducing the threat of hazardous materials to our drinking water supply, http://



www. downthedrain.org





The Miami-Bade Department of Environmental Resource Management provides several best management practices fact sheets



for various types of facilities, http://www.co.miami-dade.fl.us/derm/





The Small Business Environmental Home Page (http://www.smallbiz-enviroweb.org) helps small business access environmental



compliance and pollution prevention information. Its publication section provides documents and web sites for various small



quantity chemical users.





The U.S. EPA's  Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assistance (http://es.epa.gov/oeca/niain/conipasst/index.html) provides



documents and links related to small quantity chemical users.





Information on waste exchange can be found on U.S. EPA's Envirosense web site for Materials/Waste Exchange.



http://es.epa.gov/program/iniative/waste/waste.html.









                                                 Image Credits




1 - 5 - Previous Small Quantity Chemical Use Bulletin from 2001.





6 - Shopping bags.  Composite image of shopping bags.





7 - Previous Small Quantity Chemical Use Bulletin from 2001.





8 - Flickr Creative Commons: Attribute only search.  Serene Computer Lab at Seward Montessori School, uploaded by



"izzymunchted" on September 21, 2007.





9 - Supply and Demand Curve: http://sworlandoblog.com/2008/04/01/orlando-has-the-most-nuniber-of-vacant-homes/





10 - Image taken from the  original 2001 Above Ground Storage Tank Bulletin.





11 - Hazardous Materials Sign taken from: http://www.med.cornell.edu/ehs/chem_waste/summary_requirements/index.html





12 - Spill Response Sample Plan taken from: http://www.northshorecity.govt.nz/OurComniunity/EnvironmentalEducation/



PollutionPrevention/Pages/PollutionPreventionAtWork.aspx





13 - Previous Small Quantity Chemical Use Bulletin  from 2001.





14-http://www.labsafety.com/LAB-SAFETY-SUPPLY-Spill-Response-Drum-Kits_24549916/





Back Cover -  Flickr Creative Commons: Attribute only search. Graduated cylinders and beaker filled with chemical compounds,



uploaded by "Horia Varlan" on January 14, 2010.

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                                                                            Page 7
14 - Sample of spill response supplies.

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                         Source Water Protection Practices Bulletin

           Managing Small Quantity Chemical Use to Prevent Contamination of Drinking Water
                         The mission of EPA is to protect human health

                          and to safeguard the natural environment --

                         air, water and land -- upon which life depends.
                           USEPA East (EPA East) [Old ICC Building]

                                1201 Constitution Avenue N.W.

                                    Washington, DC 20004
                                           United States
                                           Environmental Protection
                                           Agency
Office of Water (4606)
EPA ### ### ### ###
www. epa.gov/safewater
August 2010

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