Our house exterior is being painted with Sherwin Williams latex exterior
paint. Our painters insist on dumping their paint rinsing water etc. on
the ground. I've heard this is not good for the environment and I don't
want to create a toxic waste site in my yard. They say it is ok because
it is Latex, not Oil paint. Pouring it down my drain would be
equivalent, because of the septic system leach field.
Latex isn't a problem, as long as they flush it enough to not actually coat
and suffocate the grass. Disposal protocol for old latex is to leave the can
open till it dries, and then landfill. In a month, you won't be able to see
where they spilled it. Unless they are utter slobs, the amount will be
Your local health department can direct you to latex waste water
disposal regulations for your area, it's then up to you if you want to
The biggest toxicity issue with latex paint is that older (pre 1993)
paints sometimes contained mercury based anti-fungal compounds, these
are not present in modern paints (though some other compounds of
possible concern still are).
The most common recommend disposal technique for latex paint is to dry
it, then dispose of it as solid waste, accelerating the process with
an absorbent such as kitty litter if desired.
In many places latex paint "wastewater" from washing tools is
considered non-toxic enough so that it can be disposed of public
sanitary sewerage system, for example
but it's prohibited to introduce it directly into a septic systems
because the result can be floating "clots" of waste material, for
I've never seen any discussion of latex wastewater disposal on the
surface of the ground above a septic field, you might ask Sherwin
Williams directly (1-800-474-3794) if they have an opinion on this.
If you do, I'd appreciate it if you would post what you learn,
including references to any MDDS / Datasheets or other documentaion of
Paragon Home Inspection, LLC
Not commenting on the appropriateness of dumping the paint waste in
the yard: DO NOT LET IT GET IN YOUR SEPTIC!
If I had paint to dispose of, I'd let it harden and put it out with
the trash. I buy cheap roller covers and throw em out.
I rinse brushes in the yard, but that's not much paint in the yard.
Brushes, empty pans and accessories I have always just held them out and
shot with the hose. Never hurt anything. Anything with any volume I take
back in a corner and clean. Never hurt anything back there either
Not quite. It will trash the septic system before it gets out to any
soil. That is downright stupid to do.
Thought it's probably too late for the OP, any significant quantity of
left over paint can be donated to Habitat for Humanity, etc. Otherwise
save it in sealed plastic containers for touch up use later, (save some
anyway!), or let it dry and throw out the dried materials. You can even
spread it on scraps of plywood and drywall, etc, and let it dry and
just reuse the material or throw the scraps away. Most water based
paint now is not terribly bad to rinse out in the yard but you never
know. Unless the can indicates it is somehow that safe, IMO it's
better not to rinse it into the yard. I would definitely not rinse it
into an area you might use for food-producing garden plants, in any
As others have said. There is no harm in cleaning brushes, etc. in the
yard. There is no paint thinner per se used for latex as the "thinner"
is plain water. Do not put it in your septic though.
Actually they did have a few cans of "Paint Thinner - made with mineral spirits."
Not sure why they would need it for latex paint (Sherwin Williams A100 primer and
Duration exterior) but probably were cleaning brushes with it for some reason.
Not for latex. I was made to do it by my neighbor's 80 yoa mother. It
turned the brushes into a mess. The latex paint didn't clean out but
turned to some kind of gummy mess. I finally was able to clean em up
with water. I can't think of any reason for it while using latex but
they would have it on the truck for jobs using oil base.
On Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at 10:04:28 AM UTC-4, bob haller wrote:
Google isn't running the newsgroup. People find old threads and reply
to them. What's your solution? Prevent replies to threads that are
more than X months old? I guess you could do that, but then many of
them would start a new thread, without us being able to see the history
of the previous one.
Please read before you post. The OP's question had to do with paint
contaminated waste water from washing brushes, rollr cover, roller pans,
Birdhouse builders don't use waste water to paint.
There was no question about what to do with left over paint.
On Sun, 16 Jul 2006 11:54:43 -0400, someone wrote:
Where do you want them to dump it? If it was you doing some painting,
where would YOU dump it? Gee, the thing with latex paint is, "it
cleans up with water". Theories aside, what do you THINK people do
with wash water from latex paint brushes??? (This your first house?)
Reply to NG only - this e.mail address goes to a kill file.
When I do oil painting projects, I am very careful with mineral spirits I use
for cleaning brushes used for oil paint. I don't just dump them in my yard.
I have found that you can recycle most of the mineral spirits, because the
paint settles to the bottom.
When the neighbor had their house painted with latex, the painters collected
their wastewater and took it away. I understand it is ok to put latex paint
wastewater in a city sewer, throughly dilluted. I also believe there is a
way to settle and/or separate the majority of the latex out of the water to
Meanwhile they clogged up an important french drain (!!!!) with latex paint,
not sure how that can be fixed without a lot of digging, which is very
difficult because the drain access is narrow and the ground level
(covered/sealed with the paint) is nearly 4 feet below. Help!
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