What kinds of wastes Should Not go down the drain?

The following items should not go down the drain because they can damage or block your drainpipes and public sewers, can damage the wastewater treatment plant or its biological processes, could harm your septic system (if you have one) or may be hazardous for other reasons.

  • Solid waste including food waste and other garbage, trash, debris, sand, ashes, gravel, rags, animal tissue, etc.
  • Fats, oil and grease including motor oil, other mineral oils and vegetable oil.
  • Gasoline, kerosene, and other fuels and substances that may explode or burn.
  • Anti-freeze or coolant, brake fluid, transmission fluid and other automotive chemicals.
  • Chemicals used in pools, hot tubs, etc.
  • Corrosive substances (acidic or alkaline items including those with a pH lower than 6 or higher than 10).
  • Fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides/insecticides including those in liquid form.
  • Metals and metal compounds including mercury, lead, etc.
  • Medical waste including infectious waste, blood and other tissue.
  • Poisons and hazardous waste.
  • Medication (drugs) and various personal care products.
  • Detergents with higher levels of phosphate than allowed under Michigan law.
  • Packing "peanuts" made of corn starch
  • Rainwater and stormwater including water from foundation drains, roof drains, etc.
  • Water from a "sump pump" that gathers water in a basement, under a house, etc.
  • Paint, stains, wood preservatives, solvents, sealants and thinners.
  • Photographic compounds such as developing chemicals.

The list above is a summary intended to indicate types of items that should not go down the drain.

If you have questions or comments about whether something should be disposed of in the sewer system, please email the City of Marshall Environmental Department or call at 269-781-3985.

Show All Answers

1. What is wastewater?
2. What is a sanitary sewer?
3. What kinds of wastes should go down the drain and into the sanitary sewer system?
4. What kinds of wastes Should Not go down the drain?