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Helen
06-07-2002, 01:27 AM
I don't use acrylics much because we have a septic system and I don't want to put the water I clean my brushes with down the drain so it is difficult to dispose of. However, we're moving and my new studio space will be in a city with a sewer system. Is it safe to dump the water down the drain with a sewer system? What do you all do with the water if it isn't safe?

ThinkSeeDraw
06-07-2002, 01:46 AM
We have a septic tank at my home and I dump acrylics down the sink all the time. It's really no harm to the system.. All though I do dump my old paint water into an ozarka bottle i keep in my room.. then when it's full I dump that outside. I do clean the brushes in the sink though. THe acrylic breaks down with the soap. Just as long as your not squeezing tubes of paint straight down the drain.. then there's truly no problem.. Just don't smell that ozarka bottle once it's been empty... :p :evil:

terrygar
06-07-2002, 01:13 PM
I have a septic also and there is no problem, think of the real toxic stuff that we put into septics. I don't think you can drink acrylic paint but its very bio-degradable.

cuttlefish
06-07-2002, 03:03 PM
The acrylic polymer will safely disperse while it remains wet. Dried portions will remain in clumps but may break up depending on how big they are. The thing to be concerned about are the pigments, particularly those with heavy metals like cobalt and cadmium (and even worse, lead and mercury, which are not available in acrylics but are in oil). These can contribute to groundwater or soil contamination with a septic system, but are usually collected in the sludge during sewage treatment. The amount of heavy metal waste from a single art painter over a lifetime is probably not significant, especially compared with industrial applications. Of greater concern are waste solvents, but that's more of a problem for oil painters.