Mercury is a naturally occurring element that can be found in products such as dental amalgam, batteries, compact fluorescent lights, jewelry, skin creams, paint thermometers, switches, and relays, etc. While many of these products probably won’t reach the wastewater system in large quantities, we want to keep mercury out of the environment as much as possible. Our wastewater treatment plant isn’t designed to remove metals like mercury and silver, and we need help from businesses and industries to comply with federal and state laws and take steps to reduce pollution.
The Oregon Dental Association, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and local jurisdictions such as the City of Springfield developed best management practices to recycle mercury, amalgam, silver, and lead, and keep these pollutants out of the wastewater stream. For dental office information, scroll down to our section for the Best Management Practices (BMP) Program.