Printech Archive
Blanket Wash (Offset Printing) Disposal

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From: Deb Jacobson (
Date: Mon Feb 28 2000 - 07:04:09 CST

The following inquiry was posted from the PNEAC web site. Gary Jones'
response follows. This information may be helpful to some of you.

Deb Jacobson

Original Inquiry:
Company: Utah State University
Question: I am a student at Utah State University. Our environmental
engineering pollution prevention class is studying one of the local
lithographic printers in the community. Part of their wastewater stream
from one of their presses consists of two blanket washes:
(1) BL-3 Blanket Wash, which is insoluble and contains 70-90% fatty
(by weight), and various surfactants @ 15-30% by weight
(2) "Magic Wash", which is soluble and contains various surfactants

Could you direct me to any information about what kind of treatment is
available for such a waste before discharge? Thankyou.

>Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2000 17:21:42 EST
>This is in response to our inquiry regarding wastewater treatment options
>for blanket wash. It is not apparent from your email if the blanket wash
>was diluted with water prior to cleaning or where the discharge is going
>(e.g., POTW, septic system, or direct discharge). Nevertheless, blanket
>wash is
>generally not considered an acceptable discharge for a direct discharge
>situation or to a POTW and shouldn't ever be discharged to a septic system.
> >From your description of the washes being used, the Bl-3 wash with fatty
> esters can also pose an additional problem because fats, oils, and
> greases are prohibited discharges because they have a tendency to clog up
> the sewer lines. None of your information provides flashpoint information, but
>flammable washes are also prohibited from discharge as well.
>I am not aware of any off-the-shelf treatment systems that could be used
>for these wastes. Any system would have to be able to break down the
>organics. A UV/Peroxide oxidation system might be a good approach, but the
>costs associated with purchasing and labor to run it would probably
>outweigh the
>costs of proper disposal. Also, installation of a pretreatment system
>could trigger permitting from the state, POTW, and require certification
>for the wastewater operator. You need to check the regulations.
>I hope this helps, let me know.
>Gary Jones
>Graphic Arts Technical Foundation
>200 Deer Run Road
>Sewickley, PA 15143
>412/741-6860 x608 - Phone
>412/741-2311 - Fax

Debra Jacobson (formerly Kramer)
E-mail Address (Revised 9/99)
IL Waste Management & Research Center / IL Dept of Natural Resources
1010 Jorie Boulevard, Suite 12
Oakbrook, IL 60523
630/472-5023 Fax

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