Radiology clinics

Find advice for radiology clinics on how to responsibly dispose of trade waste, and how trade waste charges are determined.

This information is applicable to independent and outsourced radiology clinics, not radiology departments owned and operated by hospitals (as these are dealt with under separate agreements). The management of trade waste from radiology clinics is similar to photographic waste.

Photographic waste

Radiology clinics are to operate in accordance with these standards.

Requirements for safe discharge to wastewater system

Radiology clinics must apply for a trade waste permit in order to discharge wastewater from their processes to the system. This permit attracts an annual charge.

Trade waste permits

The information supplied through the application process is used to calculate the quality and quantity charges for each clinic.

Quality–quantity usage charges

The determination of quality and quantity data as is only applicable to waterwash x-ray film processors that have a water limiter installed. If there is not a water limiter installed on the waterwash processor, then discharge to the wastewater system will not be approved until one has been installed.

Some radiology practices are progressively introducing 'dry' processing units (eg. laser developing, digital imaging etc.).

The following details only apply to waterwash x-ray film processors.

Guidelines for completing application supplement

The section in the Application supplement – photographic and x-ray services that refers to 'Daily Production' is the information used to calculate quality and quantity data for the clinic.

In completing this section of the form you should supply an averaged estimate of one of the following business measures:

  • Square meters of film used per day.
  • Number of x-rays performed per day.
  • Number of x-ray patients per day.
  • Daily wastewater discharge.

The basis of calculation should be clearly stated on the supplement form.

Application supplement – photographic and x-ray services

Determination of discharge quantity

A generic discharge volume (from Table 1) will be applied to the chosen business measure.

The daily discharge is then extrapolated to an annual figure using the weekly hours of operation as indicated by you on your application form.

Determination of discharge quality

Fixed concentrations are applied to the annual volumetric discharge to calculate quality charges. The parameter values are provided in Table 2.

These concentrations are based on averages for different chemicals used in film processing. All assume that a silver recovery unit is used to pre-treat silver bearing waste before discharge to the wastewater system. 

Please note that since the charges are based on business measures, it is important that any changes to your operation are communicated to our trade waste section as soon as possible. Examples of changes that affect the charges are increase or reduction in customer turnover, or updating to dry processors.

Data tables

Table 1: Factors for calculating daily discharge volume

Business Measure


Applicable Calculation Factor


Square meters of film  75  L per m2 of film 
Number of x-ray procedures  12  L per x-ray 
Number of patients  24  L per patient 
Measured daily discharge volume  L per measured L 

Table 2: Typical water quality concentrations for radiology




Biochemical Oxygen Demand 600 mg/L 
Silver  1.5 mg/L
Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen  155  mg/L
pH 8.5 mg/L 
Suplhate 1560 mg/L

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