[Pharmwaste] how do hospitals keep controlled substances out of the sewer?

Charlotte A. Smith csmith at pharmecology.com
Mon Feb 27 13:25:05 EST 2006

Most waste water treatment facilities I am aware of still allow flushing
of controlled substances since there are very limited options to meet
Drug Enforcement Administration disposal requirements. Hospitals can
give an estimate of how much would be involved based on a sample of
their witnessed destruction records. If it is an unused PCA morphine IV
or other relatively high volume, contained drug, it can go back through
reverse distribution through a transfer between registrants. When it's a
cc from a syringe, that's a problem. Some folks squirt it into the trash
or red sharps. 

Short answer - there is no really good method yet. 

Charlotte A. Smith, R. Ph., M.S., HEM
PharmEcology Associates, LLC
200 S. Executive Drive, Suite 101
Brookfield, WI 53005
Fax: 414-479-9941
csmith at pharmecology.com
H2E Champion for Change Award 2004

-----Original Message-----
From: pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us
[mailto:pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us] On Behalf Of Tenace,
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2006 12:09 PM
To: pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us; H2E - Hospitals for a Healthy
Environment - Info Exchange Listserv
Subject: [Pharmwaste] how do hospitals keep controlled substances out of
the sewer?

I got a question today from one of our waste water treatment people. She
tasked the hospitals in her district with developing BMPs for waste
They have asked her how they should manage controlled substances that
have previously been flushed since she had told them that is no longer

How have other hospitals handled this issue? 

Sorry for cross posting - I know some of you are on both list serves.


Laurie J. Tenace
Environmental Specialist
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
2600 Blair Stone Road, MS 4555
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2400
PH: (850) 245-8759
FAX: (850) 245-8811
Laurie.Tenace at dep.state.fl.us
view our mercury web pages at: 

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