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Old 08-08-2008, 01:06 PM   #1
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Default Cleaning equipment without putting water in yards?

I am transitioning into doing "green" painting. One problem that I am having trouble finding a simple solution to is "eco-friendly" ways to clean equipment. For my repaint jobs, I hate when my crews clean their equipment in customer's yards. I tell the customers that I am environmentally friendly, but then they see my guys letting all that paint water go into the grass/sewer. The easiest thing I have thought of is to have the crews get an empty bucket with water, put the tools into it and clean at their house. However, this is ultimately not solving the problem.

Does anyone have any solutions to this?

Thanks
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Old 08-08-2008, 01:13 PM   #2
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I wont clean up brushes, etc on the job (residential). I am small enough to have a trailer where I can contain everything. As far as waste water - the most environmentally way I know is to collect it in a fiver and put it down the toilet. At least that way it is processed through the city's waste water treatment center. If it goes into the ground it is part of the eco system. Solvents are collected and saved and reused after settling.
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Old 08-08-2008, 01:16 PM   #3
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Good idea Tony,

I didnt think about letting the city clean the water for us.
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:11 PM   #4
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I got to ask. (no sarcasm intended in spite of what others believe)

If you are using environmentally safe products, what are you worried about the wash water for? Is it not eco-friendly? (or at least eco-neutral)
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:00 PM   #5
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I clean out the sprayer into waste water 5ers and let them evaporate fora while. then I take them to the recycling station. But I figure any paint that does go into the grass dry up on the surface and just breaks down and is already diluted with water. Soil is a great filtration system.
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Old 08-08-2008, 09:06 PM   #6
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Yea we clean everything off site for residential repaints... I have heard horror stories from client about previous painters and there cleaning habits at their houses.
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:53 PM   #7
 
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I don't clean my equipt. at my clients cause I don't want my clients to question my professionalism which is usually the begining of questioning the amount of money being charged.
I never wash my roller sleeves, I will reuse for about 3 days when using the same colour and then let it dryout overnite and then chuck it. Similar with tray liners- i brush out all the paint - let them dry out and re-use a couple of times and just before they start to flake i chuck um. My brushes sit over a fiver with a piece of clothes hanger through the handles- different colour on the job means using another brush. I dump my 5 ers in my back yard in my "untamed corner" and then clean it all out with the hose and when its relatively clean I finish up in my brushes in the laundry sink. I haven't found a better way to go about clean-up.
Is it true that treatment plants recycle water for bottling? Thats why I don't dump it in the toilet
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Old 08-16-2008, 06:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmax Consulting View Post
I am transitioning into doing "green" painting.
Thats awesome!

There are several third party organizations trying to define it these days, so it can be a bit confusing. You might want to check out Greenguard, GreenSeal, Degree of Green and LEED for ideas.

You must have a clear sense of what "green" means to you since you are transitioning your business model to the "green" side.

If you dont mind me asking:

What type of painting did you do prior to going to "green"?

What motivated your change?

How would you define "green" painting?

Anything you could share would be appreciated. Thanks.



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Old 08-16-2008, 08:11 AM   #9
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As Scott suggests, research is the key.

I'm no coatings engineer or chemist, but I wonder how truly "green" any architectural coating can be. My logical side says there must be some kind of preservatives and biocides in almost any coating - unless technology has advanced far beyond my scope of understanding.

And then there are the colorants and vehicles.

I've seen folks wash their waterbornes out in the driveway and even kitchen sink saying that because they are not solvent based, this is OK.

I wonder.

Call your city/town and see if adding these chemicals to the town's waste water treatment system is "environmentally safe". Call your local waste disposal companies and find out their recommendations. Look at the MSDS of your coatings and discover what is in them.

Personally, if I can't drink it, then I would be careful how I dispose of it.

This is a new area and a lot of claims are being made. A lot of painters are advertising being green without doing the necessary research to find out all the facts.



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Old 08-16-2008, 10:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daArch View Post
This is a new area and a lot of claims are being made. A lot of painters are advertising being green without doing the necessary research to find out all the facts.
Seems like there are a lot of "everything'ers" promoting them selves as green, its starting to drive me nuts. Green grocery stores (no, everyone carries locally sourced and organic foods), Green realtors (how so?) Green Law offices (again, what?). Unless they all drive plug in electric cars and use George Z style of paperless communication I don't buy into it.
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Old 08-16-2008, 11:00 AM   #11
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I would say that about 90% of the time I clean my brushes on site and don,t really see a problem with it. I have about 2 gallons of water in one bucket that we use as a first rinse, and an equal amount in another for a second rinse. Now mind you this is all outside on a drop cloth (I could see how it would be problematic inside) we wash our brushes, put a lid on the bucket, and throw it in the van. I think if anything it just completes the storyline in the HO's eyes. They see you show up, set up, do a nice neat job, clean your brushes and pull out of the driveway with them admiring the way you care for their home, and your tools.
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Old 08-16-2008, 01:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankcanpaint View Post
Is it true that treatment plants recycle water for bottling? Thats why I don't dump it in the toilet
If it will clean this then I'm not worried about a little bit of paint.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,174995,00.html
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0128120727.htm
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Old 08-17-2008, 12:21 PM   #13
 
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Default Paint water down the toilet ?

Quote: Originally Posted Tonyg...Thats why I don't dump it in the toilet
If it will clean this then I'm not worried about a little bit of paint.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,174995,00.html
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0128120727.htm

Holy sh*t! We will be drinking our paint water at this rate.
"San Diego has cited Orange County's successful "sewer to showers" program in arguing for its proposal to begin treating sewage for drinking.."."...Earlier in January, for instance, California approved operation of the Advanced Water Purification Facility (AWPF), the largest water reclamation plant in the nation. It will yield 70 million gallons per day of drinkable water from sewage."
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:23 PM   #14
 
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Hope you don't mind if the ole Florida gal chimes in here... I agree with not cleaning your equipment at the customer's house, it's more professional to tidy everything up at the end of a job and clean the equipment at home or the shop if you have one.

To clean, I use a spray nozzle and a 5gal bucket, that way the water doen't just run and run while you clean. The soil/grass itself is a pretty good surface to disperse any pollutants so I don't sweat that a lot. I do wet down my whole cleaning area around me before I begin cleaning, it keeps the paint from showing as much.

I have taken to storing my roller covers in a plastic bag and putting them in my fridge while I'm in the same color, paint stays soft and then I spray them out well at the very end of the job. Sounds weird I know but it works!

As for "green", I think that term is becoming way overused but I also try my best to be as eco-friendly as I can, in other words I try to keep my crap out of the landfill and recycle as much as I possibly can.
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Old 08-19-2008, 05:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmax Consulting
Does anyone have any solutions to this?
A shop with a slop sink
Seriously, unless the H/O absolutely insisted that I should, I'd never clean brushes in their yard...or their sink












....while they were home
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:03 PM   #16
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Quote:
The soil/grass itself is a pretty good surface to disperse any pollutants so I don't sweat that a lot.
This from our website:
"It is environmentally irresponsible (illegal too) to pour paint and paint contaminated water into the sewer and storm water drainage system. Washing of painting tools outdoors or rinsing them with the hose is even worse, as the contaminated water will enter the natural waterways and eventually pollute our beautiful lakes and rivers."

" When water based paint waste enters the waterways
Paints contain solid pigments that can increase the turbidity of water. In addition to making the water "muddy" and unsightly, they can cause particles to clog the gills of fish, and restrict their ability to breathe. Increased turbidity can also block out sunlight and reduce photosynthesis in plants. Paints also contain several biodegradable substances. As they break down, they can reduce the oxygen level in the water making it difficult for fish and other organisms to survive.
When solvent based paint enters the waterways
Solvent based paint waste contains many organic solvents and compounds. These substances don't mix well with water. When they eventualy break down they deprive organisms of the oxygen they need to survive. Solvent paints can contain lead, mercury, zinc and chromium. These heavy metals can contaminate the sediment and poison the food chain. In addition, toxic ingredients in solvent based paints can cause tumors to be formed in fish and other water organisms. "

http://ecopainting.ca/dispose.art.html
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsunamicontract View Post
But I figure any paint that does go into the grass dry up on the surface and just breaks down and is already diluted with water. Soil is a great filtration system.
You figure wrong. That is the least responsible way to dispose of it.
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Z View Post
You figure wrong. That is the least responsible way to dispose of it.
why not suggest a more responsible way
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Mac View Post
why not suggest a more responsible way
I have Dave, just read the post before that.

Most of the time, plain common sense is best.
Down the sink is better than directly in the waterways (at the very least).
It is even illegal in most states anyway.
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Last edited by George Z; 08-20-2008 at 10:35 PM..
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:41 PM   #20
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I have read that down the sink is not so great either. If you have a septic system, latex paint kills the bacteria in the septic tank that are supposed to be breakdown solids.



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