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As part of a comprehensive program to reduce the amount of pollutants that reach the sanitary sewer system and the South San Francisco Bay, in partnership with the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP) the University has an extensive program for handling wastewater in laboratories and industrial facilities.

Laboratory sink with glassware drying rack

Personnel, including workers and supervisors whose duties pertain in any manner to the production or removal of waste discharges, shall be informed of the provisions of all rules and regulations pertaining to wastewater.

Initial rinses from chemical bottles and containers that have been in contact with hazardous or prohibited materials cannot be discharged to the sanitary sewer unless authorized in advance by Stanford. This includes initial rinses from hand washed glassware using acids, bases, solvents, or alcohols, as well as chemical reagents or additives containing metals like thimerasol or copper, or copper containing algaecides. Initial rinses should be contained and disposed by Stanford's Department of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S). The use of water aspirators is prohibited in laboratories. For additional details, review the wastewater best management practices

Laboratory bench with glass containers of water

The water group works closely with EH&S to monitor and ensure the proper use of chemicals in Stanford laboratories, and EH&S has a number of resources available to aid in this process. Make sure to track your chemicals in the online Chemical Inventory Database, which helps to aid in proper maintenance of supplies, and disposal when necessary. You can also find safety data sheets for guidelines on dealing with specific chemicals. If you have hazardous waste that you need to dispose of, create a waste tag to get it picked up by Environmental Health and Safety