Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2008 16:54:25 -0500
Reply-To: ILPI <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: ILPI <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Subject: Re: Safety Shower/eyewash
In-Reply-To: <68579A47B8E85748A81BDABDACD1DD931D7EBC**At_Symbol_Here**>

Mmy company is a distributor for Guardian Equipment  which 
manufacturers eye washes, showers, and safety stations.  I asked for 
their thoughts on this question and got this reply:

"I don't believe there is any state or federal codes that say you must
install drains below the emergency shower. There are in fact local
plumbing codes that may require the installation of drains.

In many situations that the codes do not enforce the drains end users
are saying that they do not want to include them. They figure it is an
added cost that they would rather not incur. They do need to be educated
that the shower should flow 20 GPM for 15 minutes.  The 300+ gallons of
water will need to go somewhere. It is possible to mop it up, but if it
is the second floor of a building it will probably run down the walls
onto the floors below.

As the manufacturer we would always recommend the installation of floor
drains below our safety showers."

As we've seen in the replies to your question, there are apparently 
state and/or local regulations that *prohibit* floor drain 
installations because of wastewater discharge concerns.  I find this 
patently ridiculous for a typical research laboratory, but could 
understand it for say, a chemical stockroom.  One size does not fit 
all unless you are writing a government regulation, in which case it 
will cover everyone that doesn't need it and exempt those who do.

I have heard of folks who were able to get floor drains, but they had 
to install a cistern to contain the wastewater, the idea being that 
it could be tested after an incident and then treated and/or 
discharged.  In a retrofit of an existing building building a 10,000 
gallon holding tank below grade is prohibitively expensive.  But if 
you're building a new building, it's a worthwhile consideration.

I have a strong bias towards floor drains.  In the several episodes 
where I saw safety showers discharge (either on purpose or by 
accident) in a third floor laboratory without floor drains, the 
cleanup has been a royal pain.  Water finds its level.  So in my 
building, all labs on the east side would flood a couple inches deep 
(the building settled that direction over the years) and then it 
would start its way down to the basement by going through faculty 
offices.    I visited Case Western years ago after a major fire on 
the upper floor of their building and the water went all the way down 
to the basement damaging equipment before stopping in the taking out their NMR equipment.   I suspect they may 
have lost man-years of research data and records along the way, too. 
Sounds to me like a $100K or more on a cistern would have paid for 
itself in that one!

Rob Toreki

>Our laboratory is going under renovation, and the contractor just
>installed some eyewash/safety shower.  However, they are not connected
>to any draining or plumping system in the building.  The engineers
>stated that it's not required by any feds or state regulation to connect
>the eyewash/shower to the drain. 
>Does any one know if there is a regulation?
>Any comments are appreciated.

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