Environmental Enlightenment #93
By Ami Adini - Reissued January 5, 2017

This is a SHORT, LIGHT and SIMPLE newsletter. Its purpose is to rekindle in the initiated terminology they have once learned, and enlighten the uninitiated on terms they may have heard but never known the meaning of.

 Waste Management Practices in Drycleaning Operations

(The information in this newsletter has been gleaned from an EPA sponsored site http://www.drycleancoalition.org and enhanced with images.)

This info-letter is one of a series on drycleaning operations, their impact on the environment and hurdles they pose in real estate transactions. Search here for more.

Contact water is any water that has come into contact with drycleaning solvents or drycleaning solvent vapors. Contact water contains some level of dissolved solvent.

In 1988, the International Fabricare Institute conducted a study of drycleaning equipment and plant operations, including waste disposal practices.

Over 70.7% of the 909 drycleaning operations that responded to the survey indicated that separator water was being discharged to either a sanitary sewer or a septic tank.

Septic Tank

It is reasonable to conclude that historically, sanitary sewers and septic tanks have been the most common disposal points for contact water (separator water, vacuum water and mop water).

Old Sewer Line

Damaged Sewer Line

Old Sewer Connection


A study of drycleaning solvent contamination in California concluded, “The main discharge point for dry cleaners is the sewer line.”. Studies conducted in California have found evidence of the presence of free-phase PCE in sewer lines serving dry cleaning plants.

Other disposal practices for contact water have included discharge to the ground, discharge to storm sewers and soakage pits, and discharge to blind drains. Contact water has reportedly been discharged to cooling towers and boilers at drycleaning facilities.

Blind Drain

You can find past issues of our "Environmental Enlightenment" at amiadini.com Wealth of information about environmental site assessments in the real estate transactions and issues concerning assessment and cleanup of contamination in the subsurface soil and groundwater.

Call me if you have any questions. There are no obligations.

Ami Adini Environmental Services, Inc.
Environmental Consultants & General Engineering Contractors
California Lic. #1009513 A B HAZ ASB
818-824-8102; mail@amiadini.com

Ami Adini is a veteran environmental practitioner with over 40 years of experience. He carries a Bachelor of Science degree (B.Sc.) in Mechanical Engineering including academic credits in Nuclear and Chemical Engineering and postgraduate education in these fields. His career includes design and construction of nuclear plant facilities, chemical processing plants and hazardous wastewater treatment systems. He is a former California Registered Environmental Assessor Levels I & II in the 1988-2012 registry that certified environmental professionals in the assessment and remediation of environmentally impacted land, and a Registered Environmental Professional (REP) since 1989 with the National Registry of Environmental Professionals (NREP). He is a California Business & Professions Code Qualifying Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) in the General Engineering Contractor classification with Hazardous Substance Removal and Asbestos certifications, and president of AMI ADINI ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES, INC. (AAES), a general engineering contractor and consulting firm specializing in environmental site assessments, rehabilitation of contaminated sites and removal of environmental risks from real-estate transactions. (Contact Ami for a complete resume.) AAES provides practical solutions to environmental concerns using the highest standards of ethics and integrity while providing its clients with maximum return on their investments.