Hazardous Waste Facility

BGSU maintains a facility that is specifically designed for the temporary storage of hazardous waste. The structure is located on the north edge of campus, east of the Campus Operations building, and south of the Wood County Airport.

The structure was formerly the maintenance garage for Bowling Green's Wastewater Treatment Facility. The building is away from classroom and residential buildings and is easily accessible from Interstate highways.

Building Overview

External security for the facility consists of a six-foot chain-linked fence topped with barbed wire. The south end of the structure contains a metal ladder that is secured to the outer wall. This ladder is used to gain access to the roof and the ventilation equipment for the purpose of inspection and any repairs that may be necessary. Lightning rods located around the perimeter of the roof protect the building from any discharges during electrical storms. A photosensitive light illuminates the front entrance to the facility.

The interior of the building is divided into four rooms. The main room, not used for waste storage, includes a fume hood, fire detection/suppression equipment,  security panel, smoke detectors, an emergency eye/body wash unit, and a spill control station (details provided later). The three remaining rooms are used for the storage of hazardous wastes: one room for flammables, one for corrosives, and one for poisons. All waste storage rooms are separated from the main area by metal doors. There are no floor drains in the facility. Six-inch diking provides spill containment consists of six-inch diking for all waste storage rooms as well as a portion of the main room. All floor areas are coated with a material resistant to solvents and corrosives.

Fume Hood

A chemical fume hood is located in the main room. Its purpose is to serve as a site for bulking chemicals into smaller (i.e. five gallon) containers. In certain instances it can be used for temporarily storing chemicals that may be exceedingly odiferous.

Fire Detection/Suppression

The facility contains a State-approved system for the detection and suppression of fires. This system is inspected semi-annually to assure proper operation. A 10-pound ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher is also available in the main room for use on small fires.

Fire detection is accomplished through the use of two separate component systems. Two hard-wired smoke detectors provide coverage in the main room of the facility. Within the chemical/product storage rooms, fusible links attached to the suppression system serve as detection devices. All detection devices are connected to a building alarm panel system monitors the building on a continual basis. Three telephone lines at the facility provide a direct link of this system with the University's Department of Public Safety. Public Safety monitors the status of the facility through their computer system.

The suppression system for the chemical storage rooms is comprised of two 30-pound cylinders that contain a dry chemical extinguishing media. This two-cylinder system functions as individual units. One cylinder unit services the flammable storage room (the largest in area of the three storage rooms). The remaining cylinder cover both the corrosive and poison rooms. This suppression arrangement prevents both cylinders from discharging if a fire occurs in only one room. Should smoke enter the detectors, or should temperatures exceed 135o F in the storage room(s), the suppression system unit covering that particular area will discharge. The suppression system can also be engaged through the use of manual pull stations located near the exit door.  If either or both cylinders are engaged, dry chemical will be released through the discharged systems located on the ceilings of each chemical storage room.

If a fire is detected through the detection system(s) within the facility or one of the pull stations is engaged, a signal will be sent to the fire alarm panel which is connected to a building alarm panel. The building alarm panel will: disengage the building ventilation system, sound an audible alarm by means of a horn located on the outside of the building, and engage an oscillating strobe light on the roof of the building. Through the use of telephone lines, a "fire" signal will be sent to the Department of Public Safety for their response.

The building alarm panel is also equipped to send the appropriate signal to Public Safety in case of a "trouble" condition in the fire detection system (smoke detectors only), a malfunction of the building ventilation system, or a breech in security.


Building security consists of two components; fencing and a motion detector system. As previously mentioned, the facility is surrounded by a six foot fence which is topped with barbed wire. The motion detector system within the building is attached to a remote panel that contains a numerical keypad. After entering the building, the correct sequence of numbers must be entered on the panel keypad within 30 seconds to disengage the system. If the correct series of numbers has not been entered at the end of that period, the panel will send a "security breech" signal to Public Safety for its response. The security panel also provides the capability of sending a manual alarm to Public Safety without engaging the fire suppression system (depressing the "*" and "#" buttons simultaneously).

Other Features

The main room contains an eye wash station and shower. These units provide the required quantity of water for the rinsing of the eyes and body areas that are contaminated by chemicals managed at the facility.

A spill control station is provided on the inside east wall to assist in the handling of small spills within the facility. The station is equipped with spill control pillows, goggles, tyvek suits, protective "booties", and waste disposal bags. Additional absorbents and other spill control materials are also available. Only trained personnel are authorized to utilize spill control equipment.

A first-aid kit is available for minor injuries that might occur during routine activities.

An explosion-relief panel is located along the west wall of the flammable room. It is designed to relieve any pressure within the room caused by an explosion of any significant magnitude. The outer surface of the panel (on the outer west wall of the building) is printed with the following information: "Explosion Relief Panel - Keep Away."  Also within the flammable room is a formal ground wire system used to ground any static electricity generated during transfers of flammable wastes into appropriate shipping containers.  Wire cables with metal clips are also available to use for "bonding" containers during any transfer of flammable liquids within the room.

The main components of the facility's ventilation system are located on the roof of the facility.  The system operates continuously.  Within the facility, the system vents are designed such that the intake air enters at the upper area of each chemical storage room.  The air is then exhausted through ductwork located at floor level along the wall opposite the intake. This allows for the removal of vapors that might be heavier than air.  Sensors within the system are connected to the building's fire alarm panel.  Should the ventilation system shut down for any reason, a signal indicating that occurrence will be sent to Public Safety.

The ventilation system is capable of providing heat during the winter months.  This is accomplished by heating elements located as part of the roof unit.  The elements function through the use of a manual thermostat located in the facility's main room.  The building is not air conditioned.

Waste Storage Areas

Hazardous wastes brought into the facility are initially placed with the Flammable room where they can be segregated by hazard category according to current State and Federal guidelines. Waste containers are then placed into the appropriate waste storage room. Painted wooden shelving is used for the temporary storage of small containers (bottles, 5-gallon pails, etc.). Metal drums too large for the storage shelves are to be placed in locations within the rooms that will not interfere with normal waste management activities. (NOTE: metal containers used in the transfer of waste flammable liquids within the flammable room will be properly grounded and bonded using approved grounding wires and a building ground cable designed for that purpose, as described above).

Facility Inspection

Routine inspections (weekly) of the hazardous waste storage facility are conducted by the Hazardous Waste Coordinator or a trained EH&S representative. The purpose of the inspection is to assure that: the exterior and interior structures and components are sound, no leaks have occurred in any of the waste containers, and that other acceptable storage practices are being followed. Results of the inspection will be documented on a Hazardous Waste Facility Inspection Form. Inspection records will be kept on file at the facility for a period of three years.

Any leaks observed during the inspection will be handled in accordance with provisions identified in the Spill Contingency Plan section of this manual.