Dental Amalgam Effluent Guidelines

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has promulgated pretreatment standards under the Clean Water Act to reduce discharges of mercury from dental offices into publicly owned treatment works (POTWs).  The Dental Office Category regulation is codified at 40 CFR Part 441. The final rule is effective on July 14, 2017. Existing dental offices must comply by July 14, 2020. The compliance date for new dental offices (“new sources”) is the effective date of the rule.

This final rule requires dental offices, that replace or remove amalgam, to operate and maintain an amalgam separator and use two Best Management Practices (BMPs) recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA). In addition, this rule requires dental offices to submit a one-time certification.

This rule applies to wastewater discharges to POTWs from offices where the practice of dentistry is performed, including large institutions such as dental schools and clinics; permanent or temporary offices, home offices, and facilities; and including dental offices owned and operated by federal, state or local governments including military bases.

The final rule does not apply to mobile units or offices where the practice of dentistry consists only of the following dental specialties: oral pathology, oral and maxillofacial radiology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, periodontics, or prosthodontics.

Additional documents related to this rulemaking can be found on EPA’s docket at regulations.gov. The Docket Number is EPA-HQ-OW-2014-0693.

Should you have questions or require additional information, call (254) 299-2446.