How Do You Manage Wastewater?

I drain, let it sit and settle, pour off the “clean” water, dry, scrape residue into my scrap bin. (looking forward to building the drain/filter/fill solution though. :slight_smile:

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My tank is a large plastic tote with a lid on it, so I can clean it out if necessary. I usually let the water settle in the table for a day before draining it, so most of it stays in the bottom of the table. When the table is dry, I scrape up the debris with a 6" drywall taping knife and scoop it into a trash bag.


Do you have a link to the pump motor you use? I really like that setup, simple and cheap! And i’m already halfway there as i have a very similar PVC drainpipe setup. Might use a 20gal salvage drum instead of a tote, though :thinking::thinking::thinking:

I used this pond pump from Harbor Freight.

The cheaper ones didn’t have a fast enough flow rate. This one fills my table in about 5 minutes. When it is about 80% full, I shut off one of the drain valves and let it finish filling from one side.


all very good option…replies…and suggestions…there is a lot of information on the forum for water table mods…

I use air pressure, not a pump to fill my water table, then gravity drains into the storage tank. I can use the same air pressure to force the spent fluid (homebrew mix) out the hose fitting at the bottom.
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toolboy… yes, agreed.

my specific question was for the wastewater itself, it seems like most of these guys either dump it, or let it settle then remove the slag.

the problem with the megathread on the tank solutions is that they’re focusing on complicated and expensive solutions, and very little mention of how to manage the waste products themselves.

i really appreciate everyone’s advice and help. :slight_smile:

I use plain water with some borax. Drain it and every once in awhile when I notice a lot of precipitate in the tank (or buckets when I used those) I just dump it all in the dirt on the side of the driveway. The pine trees don’t seem to mind. There’s nothing toxic in there. Anything left in the table gets vacuumed up & tossed in the trash.

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by waste products are you talking about the metal slag in the bottom?
the type of water and the chemicals used?
or Both?

The actual wastewater drained from the table is my primary concern, as it has an extremely high concentration of metal particulates. I don’t personally use any chemicals, yet, just plain water for now.

I actually have a really cheap water filter…Rainfresh…although I circulate my table water it could easily be used when draining water to remove particles…
let the water stand in the table a couple of hours…drain it into a bucket…put a strong magnet in a zip-lock baggie…dunk the magnet in the water to pick up the rest of the particles…then when you remove the magnet from the baggie you have clean magnet and clean water


oooooohhhhh i really like the magnet and bag idea, gonna order a magnet right now, haha

I have this to help with tip-ups and picking off hot parts…and it works like a charm cleaning the table of the bottom crap


I recirculate mine. Use a pond fountain pump. Big plastic bin. I dump a bunch of Arm & Hammer in it to make it alkaline. No rust or smell.


As far as the water!! I drain the tank into 5gal pails; let it settle. When I am ready to use the table again I pour the water from the pail watching for the solids in the bottom to come forward. I take this out and pour into a small leaching area. When the table is nearly empty I put the plugs back in and I remove the slats for cleaning. I use my Shop Vac. to remove the remaining sediment from the table. I put a baggie on my pickup magnet to remove large solids before I use the Shop Vac. When I am finished I remove the baggie and the magnet is still clean.


Well considering that we dug that metal outta the ground, seems pretty straight forward on where it can go. What do you do your grinding wheel metal dust?

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There are laws and regulations on properly disposing of contaminated water, depending on where you live.

That is a true statement. However plasma table water isn’t considered contaminated, hazardous, or toxic.

× Your septic tank won’t like the metal.
× City sewers don’t care.
× Commercial shops evaporate the water and dump the solids in the scrap bin.
× Scrap bins are sold to reprocessing
× local dumps recycle metals
× Some yards will pay you for it.


The water out of a Plasma table is NOT toxic or contaminated. I just give it to the plants in my backyard and they absolutely love it. I drain the table after every single use - the amount of water used is so relatively little that I found it very hard to justify any system to reuse it, especially when I have to use fresh water anyway to irrigate the plants.

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Rust isn’t magnetic. So your filter is essential to collect debris before it turns to rust which is almost instantaneous.