Environmental Enlightenment #95
By Ami Adini -
Reissued January 12, 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.

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.

Discharges of solvent and solvent-contaminated wastes are associated with solvent transfer, solvent storage, and machine operation and maintenance.

Historically, 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.

If 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.

Sometimes 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.

As a general rule, in strip shopping centers, the drycleaning machine was most often, though not always, located in the rear portion of the drycleaning facility.

If feasible, sampling should be conducted beneath the facility floor slab at both the front and back of the drycleaning machine.

Look 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 these areas.

In transfer and vented dry-to-dry operations, collect samples at locations of the vents for the tumblers (dryers).

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.