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Safe disposal of brines, tanning sludge and other liquids?  RSS feed

 
Patrick Winters
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I plan on doing lots of pickling, and probably some leathermaking if I get the chance as well, but I want to make sure that I can safely dispose of these kinds of liquids and others that sure as hell won't be any good in a greywater system! I don't plan on just dumping them out anywhere and contaminating my garden soil, but I also don't think finding a "reject" spot to pour them out is much better.

What do you guys do with your old brines? Pour them out in a stand of shepherd's purse or an area with a certain fungi species? Let the water evaporate and make a salt lick? And I've heard that tannery effluent can be composted through anaerobic digestion, but won't it still be contaminated, what with all the use of Potassium Hydroxide and tannic acid? And similarly, what do you do if you've made a natural dye for cloth?

I'd love to hear suggestions on soil-friendly disposal methods for the above-mentioned liquids, as well as anything else similar to this subject!
 
S Bengi
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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You could boil/evaporate the water with solar or wood fire then re-use the solid or just send it to the landfill/sea.
I am not sure which chemicals are involved but I could see the organic ones being broken down by heat or fungi.
The metal/mineral stuff will probably just salt/destroy your soil if you can not reuse it.
 
Judith Browning
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Patrick Winters wrote:I plan on doing lots of pickling, and probably some leathermaking if I get the chance as well, but I want to make sure that I can safely dispose of these kinds of liquids and others that sure as hell won't be any good in a greywater system! I don't plan on just dumping them out anywhere and contaminating my garden soil, but I also don't think finding a "reject" spot to pour them out is much better.

What do you guys do with your old brines? Pour them out in a stand of shepherd's purse or an area with a certain fungi species? Let the water evaporate and make a salt lick? And I've heard that tannery effluent can be composted through anaerobic digestion, but won't it still be contaminated, what with all the use of Potassium Hydroxide and tannic acid? And similarly, what do you do if you've made a natural dye for cloth?

I'd love to hear suggestions on soil-friendly disposal methods for the above-mentioned liquids, as well as anything else similar to this subject!


I lacto-ferment with whey and a minor amount of salt so liquid we don't use can go in the compost pile. This is one of the reasons I stopped making brined dill pickles...too much salt for us and always the issue of where to put it.

My husband has worked deer and goat and rabbit hides using alum. I remember he used wood ash solution to slip the hair and at some point there was salt involved...I'll check with him to see what he remembers about disposal.

There are so many unavoidable toxins in our world that I tend to think it's better to avoid any deliberate toxic choices first off.

I do a lot of natural dying. I use a small amount of alum as a mordant and avoid any of the toxic mordants like chrome. I try to exhaust the dye bath before disposing and even though I know my dye materials I dilute with more water what is left and spread over a large area of soil...not food areas. I don't use any salt in the process as some do. If I need tannic acid I make a solution of dried sumac leaves.
 
John Ram
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Location: Gaia, Portugal
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I'm actually doing this sort of thing on a 6 month basis. I'm very interested to hear not only your methods of disposing and neutralizing the materials but also your tanning techniques.

I usually just flush everything in the septic tank that as an efluent to the sewage grid. It has always been small amounts of it but next time i'll be doing a large batch.

Since i dismantled the septic tank all together a couple of months ago, it will flow directly into the sewage grid, and i don't think that would be desirable.

thank you for your coments and hope Patrick doesn't mind me picking up on his topic
 
K Nelfson
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I understand that plants are quite sensitive to salt. And the holding properties of clay soil are amazing. I would avoid spreading even weak brines on the ground. Evaporation is a good idea, but there's an energy cost there, too. And leaving tubs of used tanning solutions around might be a safety hazard for kids and certain animals. I sometimes dump salty solutions on the gravel road in front of our house. It's salted by the county in the winter and summer (to control dust), so I'm having minimal impact there. I might even dump alum solutions out in the gravel.
 
S Bengi
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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If we could use saltbush or something to mine the salt/aluminium and then dump it and have it re-mined again in a close loop fashion.
Not importing more toxin, then it would be awesome. But as long as we are continually importing more poison it does not make sense.

Salt/brine is just one method of preservation, we could use lacto-fermenting, yeast fermenting (alcohol), vinegar, dehydrating, sugar (jam), freeze, refrigerate (root cellar), leave it in the dirt, or just eating appropriate food for the season aka eat radish (root crop) or squash in the winter vs pickled cucumber/cherry.
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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@sbengi, I don't understand what you mean by "as long as we are continually importing more poison". Do you mean our country or us as individuals? I really believe we as individuals can choose to limit the toxins we bring into our lives.
 
Kari Gunnlaugsson
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( aside...you can make some really fine leathers for most applications without real tanning and all of the salt and other chemicals...using brain or eggs and smoke)
 
S Bengi
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Judith Browning wrote:@sbengi, I don't understand what you mean by "as long as we are continually importing more poison". Do you mean our country or us as individuals? I really believe we as individuals can choose to limit the toxins we bring into our lives.


I meant as an individual, on our land. I want us to close the loop on our individual land. And esp when it comes to toxin.
It better if we make our own salt/ash/compost/fertilizer than bringing it from somewhere else. Because that means we have just made our place worse or we have made somewhere else worse off.
 
S Bengi
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Kari Gunnlaugsson wrote: ( aside...you can make some really fine leathers for most applications without real tanning and all of the salt and other chemicals...using brain or eggs and smoke)


I never knew that you could do it with just eggs and smoke, good stuff to know. Thanks for the info.
 
andrew curr
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Location: Deepwater northern New South wales Australia
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red oak bark and many others boiled make great tanning solution (it is full of tannin ) ie tannic acic
 
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