Businesses and Institutions

What Not To Flush

What you pour down the drain at your business could be costing you money, potentially creating a sewer backup on your property, and putting wastewater workers at risk.

Fats, oils, and grease thicken and set around materials like shop rags, so-called "flushable" wipes, syringes, and other materials that don’t biodegrade or break down. These materials cause clogs in pipes and pumps in the wastewater system. The labor cost of cleaning this stuff out of pipes and pumps adds up — on your wastewater bill.

Do the right thing. Learn how to dispose of waste properly.

Automotive shops

Paint strippers, solvents, and other hazardous materials must be disposed of properly. Talk to your city or county hazardous waste official if you have questions. When these materials go down the drain, they can corrode pipes and create a toxic atmosphere for sewer workers. Traps for sand, grit, and oil in loading and service bays must be cleaned regularly.


Industrial businesses may require a special permit from the Met Council for wastewater disposal. Learn more about industrial waste disposal.

Medical and long-term care facilities

Strict regulations dictate the disposal of medical waste, but some cities are finding that wastewater pumping stations near clinics and nursing homes catch materials like syringes in their screens and pumps. In addition, some long-term care facilities are throwing used wipes down the toilet that do not biodegrade. These create clogs and may lead to wastewater backups into the facility, nearby buildings, or the environment.


Fats, oils, and grease do not belong down drains. Pots, pans, and cooking areas should be wiped out prior to washing. Restaurants and businesses that use and dispose of grease should have grease traps and a schedule for routine emptying and inspection. Waste oil should be collected and stored for recycling. Food waste should go in the trash or into a compost bin, not into a sink garbage disposal. Poster: Managing fats, oils, and grease.

Contact us

If you have questions about small business or industrial wastewater discharges, including limited or one-time discharges, call us at 651-602-4703.