(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.
Contaminant Source Areas – Where to Sample
Based on data collected from contamination assessments performed at 150 drycleaning sites in Florida, the drycleaning machine was the most common contaminant source area at drycleaning sites.
of solvent and solvent-contaminated wastes are associated with solvent
transfer, solvent storage, and machine operation and maintenance.
solvent has been added to drycleaning machines through the door of the
machine (front of the machine) or through the button trap door, located
at the back of the machine. Solvent discharges were related to
overfilling the machine, leaking door gaskets, cleaning out the button
trap, replacing seals on the solvent pump, changing filters,
distillation cleanout, and equipment failures.
A bucket used to collect separator water was normally located behind the drycleaning machine.
In cases where the bucket was not emptied on a regular basis, the separator water would overflow
to the facility floor. This has been a common occurrence at
drycleaning facilities. There have been cases where the separator water
bucket has fallen or been knocked over, releasing separator water to
the facility floor.
drycleaning is no longer performed at the facility and the former
locations of the drycleaning equipment in the building are unknown,
look for cut off lag bolts protruding from the concrete floor slab. The
machines were anchored to the floor with these bolts.
the bolts have been removed and their former locations are marked by
concrete or mortar patches. Sometimes the floor in a former drycleaning
facility is covered with carpet or floor tile and the former location
of the drycleaning machine is unknown.
a general rule, in strip shopping centers, the drycleaning machine was
most often, though not always, located in the rear portion of the
If feasible, sampling should be conducted beneath the facility floor slab at both the front and back of the drycleaning machine.
for discolored and/or peeling floor tiles near the solvent use, solvent
storage and waste storage areas.
If expansion joints or cracks
(pathways for solvent and solvent waste migration) in the floor slab
are located near the drycleaning machine, sampling should be focused in
In transfer and vented dry-to-dry operations, collect samples at locations of the vents for the tumblers (dryers).