Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Anacortes PNW
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Re: I've read that ethylene glycol is better for the soft parts...
Probably a bad habit of engineering I would think. But then again, there are differences between the advice given from a "public health" perspective and the advice your doctor gives YOU which is IN context.
I think that the great unwashed masses (or recently washed with full greywater tanks) who own RVs are quite likely to confuse one type with another, or one inlet with another. That might be part of the reason. Another part of the reason is that the city water people might not want antifreeze in the city sewer system. Technically you are supposed to dispose of engine antifreeze at a household hazmat site.
Where is Gary H. Lucas when you need him?
Here is a little of what google says on the subject. Sorry, no engineering white papers came up.
1: What should I do with used antifreeze that I remove from my radiator? Can I just pour it down the drain or the sewer in the street?
Never pour used antifreeze down the drain or in the street. Both ethylene glycol and propylene glycol are toxic. Used antifreeze also picks up heavy metals like lead during use in the engine. These should not be released to the environment. Properly dispose of used antifreeze at an appropriate collection center.
2: Antifreeze has a sweet taste that can attract pets and small children. So do not pour antifreeze on the ground outdoors and do not put it in the garbage. Also, never dump antifreeze down a household drain or toilet if you have a septic system. If you’re connected to a municipal sewage plant, check before dumping antifreeze down a drain or toilet.
3: It won't hurt the treatment plant. DDawg16 is assuming the anti-freeze cannot be treated, and will remain in it's "toxic" form. Well, it is treated, and completely. Anti-freeze is nothing more than a glycol based fluid, whether it's propylene or ethylene (others are also common), and it actually acts like a food source to treatment plants (like alcohol or sugar). I'm not condoning dumping it in huge numbers, but 5 gallons isn't going to hurt it. Want to know what's REALLY toxic to treatment plants? Milk. Yep, regular, plain old milk. Too much and it'll shock the system (depending , overload it, and it'll kill all the biomass if the plant is small enough (especially under 20,000 GPD or a town of 200 people).
Now, don't get me wrong, I am not encouraging you to dump the anti-freeze down the drain. In fact, the best place to take it is a car dealership, as they routinely have someone come by and filter it (usually on-site, a friend of mine does this full time), so it's reused, and they'll make a profit from it. Therefore you SHOULD NOT pay them to take it, most places I have seen will accept it willingly, for the aforementioned reason.
DO NOT MIX IT WITH OIL! This does nothing but screw up the oil, and it creates a substance that is much harder to get rid of than either component separately.
BTW, I am licensed in treating water, wastewater, and groundwater sites (Superfund), and have worked in the industry for over 10 years. I have 8 different licenses in the field, all top grade.
I have a sauna on my boat, therefore I win.
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