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Safely Cleaning Up Dry Cleaning Contamination

Dry cleaners, no matter how eco-friendly they are now, still produce a certain amount of hazardous waste that is under strict regulation by federal and state authorities. More modern equipment and better operational measures are helping to cut down on this issue and limit groundwater contamination in a dry cleaner’s surrounding area due to drycleaning-related discharges. But there is still the potential for issues related to contamination to occur.

More than 35,000 retail dry cleaners are open for business in the United States, not including bigger, more commercial laundry centers, making it plausible to think that a good amount of those have released certain contaminants in groundwater over the years, stacking up cleaning costs that range in the tens of thousands to several million per cleanup.

It’s important for dry cleaning businesses to understand how far they still need to go in doing what they need to keep their environments safe and keep away from costly legal claims and fines related to contamination cleanup.

Finding Solutions in Insurance

There are certain environmental dry cleaners insurance options available that have evolved over the years, providing viable solutions and controlled costs when it comes to cleanup problems. Even general dry cleaners insurance programs can help to provide protection for future contaminations, undiscovered problems, and third-party liability.

It’s important for dry cleaners to review their dry cleaners insurance programs to make sure they have the right level of coverage that can protect against major claims. Cut-rate dry cleaners insurance plans will only cover the first part of a problem, but it’s important to see the bigger picture and understand the scope of a costly contamination problem that may take up to three years to clean up.

Newer Cleanup Technologies

Cleanup of groundwater tainted by dry cleaning operations is becoming more and more available and cost-efficient. With newer cleanup solutions and technologies, cleanup is faster and less expensive. Achieving regulatory closure in half the time of conventional technologies makes a big difference for companies looking to keep costs low and get back to work.

Previous groundwater cleanups used pump and treat systems that would extract and treat large volumes of groundwater, but they were expensive. However, there are newer solutions to this more archaic way of doing things.

One option involves injecting a mix of hydrogen peroxide into the contaminated water, which breaks apart the molecules. This option is still seeing growing pains as the main challenge to using it is delivering the hydrogen peroxide and avoiding its ability to lose its reactivity.

Another option is enhanced reductive dechlorination, which uses bacterial cultures to cut into the solvent in the groundwater. It stays active by living off sugar syrup and nutrients injected with the special bacterial cultures into the groundwater.

About Irving Weber Associates

At Irving Weber Associates, Inc., we understand what it takes to run a successful Dry Cleaner, Coin Operated Laundromat, Textile/Linen Supply business, Restoration, or Commercial Launderer, including investing in a comprehensive Insurance Program to ensure that they are financially protected against claims. Our program, Fabricare Advantage™, offers overall business insurance coverages including, Bailee,General Liability, Property, Site Pollution Liability, Boiler & Machinery Equipment Breakdown, Workers’ Compensation, Business Auto, and many more. For a detailed look at how we can help you safeguard your business with a custom-tailored package, please contact our experts today at (800) 243-1811.