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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Washington state
    Posts
    6,491

    Tech Inquiries Regarding Mobile Groomers Dumping Down Storm Drains

    I get anonymous inquiries from non-groomers that find their way here to get answers on this topic. I would like to let our board members answer please and I can pass along. It's a good question when you consider non-groomers really have no idea exactly what groomers use, and do notice a good point, the hair. As some of you know I know of a home based groomer who was sued by her city way in six figures when she was not trapping hair and it clogged a whole neighborhood's sewage line, and they had to close the street and dig up the pipes! Please be kind, they are just asking....thanks. All inquiries remain anonymous.


    I have a neighbor who owns a mobile grooming van. Great business! But, I was a little concerned w/ the way she dumps the waste. She does so on the street a couple of times a wk. We have a pond near. It goes down the storm drain. Sometimes there is hair clippings in the street. no one complains but, I was wondering if that is hazard 2 us, her business & environment.
    Most questions regarding GroomerTALK are answered in the FAQ section, or in the Board Help Forum. Thanks for coming to PetGroomer.com http://www.petgroomer.com.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    297

    Default

    Most of the shampoos, especially those professional grade, are completely biodegradable and safe. I wouldn't worry too much unless she's using old school style "dips". I'm mobile and I dump my grey tank at home (I live in the county) and use it to water my lawn. Mr grass actually grows higher where it's dumped! As for the hair I would imagine the birds or squirrels may pick it up as a great nesting material.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    1,174

    Default

    I just used to dump my water on my Hydrangea, ferns, cherry trees, camellias and rhododendron. I use really good shampoos that doesn't harm things and it makes my plants grow really really well. I'd assume bad shampoo would affect something? My backyard also backs to water. I have never had an issue with hair coming out of the pipe since it was filtered by a hair trap. I Guess it depends on what type of shampoo she is using and what kind of hair control she is using. I would ask her and then call the company to ask about the safety of the product. Does she have flower beds that she can dump into? Instead of the street?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    massachusetts
    Posts
    754

    Default

    The water from a grooming van is considered grey water here and there are regulations about where that is to be disposed of. During the 6 weeks I was in a van grooming I had conservation officers knock on the van door several times to tell me to stop dumping the water in the driveways and roadways. Told my boss and well she let me go saying I was causing too many issues..... even though she was the one that cleaned and set up the van every day before I took it lol... I was only filling in while she had foot surgery anyways so it wasnt like it was shocking when I got told my services were no longer needed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    147

    Default

    I let my gray water out in my driveway as well. I've never had an issue. No different than washing your car in the driveway. I have never seen hair come out with waste water. I would think if she was letting hair go down the drain it would clog the drain.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Northern NV
    Posts
    2,678

    Default

    I'm not mobile now, but have been in the past. I too dumped grey water in my driveway or lawn. I'm quite sure the shampoos are much safer than say what a person would wash their car with, which also goes into the storm drains. People with oil leaks, radiator leaks, or people who just don't care and drain a radiator right into the gutter, it all goes down those drains eventually. I'd definitely say dog shampoo is the least of their environmental worries. As for the hair, yes, I'd occasionally get a clump or two that would come out of the hose, but I would pick it up as it just laid there stuck to the driveway.

    I did have the police call me one day and ask what I was dumping because a neighbor was concerned (this was actually in my mom's neighborhood) and when I told him, he said oh no worries then. Thank you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Plymouth, Mi
    Posts
    154

    Default

    I believe that these neighbors have a misconceived notion on dumping liquids down the drain.

    http://youtu.be/4fyS5CLBgyM

    The fact is, unless the mobile groomer is using a chemically enhanced shampoo (ie prescription shampoos), there is no reason they cannot dump the waste water down the drain. Those shampoos are eco friendly and most are all natural, some organic. I used to water my lawn when I drained my tanks at my house. Aside from that, they were drained in the warehouse where the vans were kept overnight.

    Sometimes there is hair that comes out of the waste tank. The amount is very minimal and should not cause any damage. Birds use the hair to build their nests. Ahhhhhh, the wonderful circle of life!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    A, A
    Posts
    295

    Smile Eco Friendly

    I use all natural and eco friendly only shampoos and even use Simple Green to clean my tub. Because of that I do let it drain into the street. I have never had a problem with hair because I clean the hair out of the strainer in the tub. Another reason I let it drain out naturally is that if I stop it, I have to put bleach in the tank for the smell. Bleach is far worse than our products we use for animals.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    765

    Default S Fla

    Here we are asked not to dump into storm drains but instead on grassy or unpaved areas. Working in Laboratories around the world, I an still surprised what you can legally put down a drain. Every hospital , every lab in every clinic's analyzer in this country, is plumed into a drain... thats medical waste.... blood.... chemicals... the lot. Most of the regulations we have to ad-hear to seem to be geared to the harming of the infrastructure.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    tampa florida area
    Posts
    13

    Default

    I use all natural shampoos and dawn detergent and not much other than bleach to wash out the tub after the day is over. I made a homemade catch screen for the clumps of hair that sometimes empty out so no hair makes its way down the driveway into the sewer drain which is right at my curb. Nobody has ever qustioned me and I'm the first house in my subdivision so I'm very visible to everyone who drives by. I'm sure the average guy powerwashing his driveway or spraying pesticides which runoff during heavy rains is pouring alot worse down the drain than I am!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    469

    Default

    oddly enough I would wager that there is not much more than 1 full cup of shampoo in the gray tank, at least by my calculations of what I typically use for 6-7 dogs in a day. If it is safe to use on living breathing creatures then it should not be an environmental hazard by any means. I would say the products used to wash vehicles would be more of an imposed hazard, specifically bug and tar remover. Or pesticides and herbicides used to treat lawns.
    Always strikes me odd how animal urine does damage to 'property' but no one raises a stink over that, lol. Unaltered pet urine is corrosive.

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