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Mercury is a toxic heavy metal that is used in amalgam form for dental fillings. Dental wastewater may be contaminated with mercury any time dentists work on teeth containing mercury amalgam fillings, even if the dentist is not placing new mercury amalgam fillings themselves. All dentists in Minnesota must meet federal and state requirements to limit the amount of mercury in their wastewater. The MPCA administers these requirements in Minnesota.

Install and use an appropriate amalgam separator

All dentists in Minnesota that perform any work on teeth containing mercury amalgam fillings must either install and use an appropriate amalgam separator or collect their dental chair wastewater separately and manage it as a hazardous waste. The chart below summarizes what types of amalgam separators must be installed and when.

If your dental facility is: Then you:

Not connected to a public sanitary sewer (is on a septic system)

May NOT discharge dental wastewater to your septic system.

Must either:


  • if you install an MPCA-approved amalgam separator, you may ship your treated dental wastewater off-site as a universal waste.

Located in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Area and connected to a public sanitary sewer served by Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES)*

Must install and use an MPCA-approved amalgam separator.

*Find out if your dental facility is served by MCES:

Located outside the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Area or is connected to any other public sewage treatment system except MCES

Must have already installed at least a federally compliant amalgam separator**, unless your sewage treatment plant operator requires you to install an MPCA-approved amalgam separator.

**If your facility already installed another amalgam separator, you have until June 14, 2027, to replace it with at least a federally compliant separator, unless required to install an MPCA-approved amalgam separator by your sewage treatment plant operator.

To protect Minnesota’s waters, the MPCA and Minnesota Dental Association (MDA) agreed in their 2007 written Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that all Minnesota dentists are strongly encouraged to install MPCA-approved amalgam separators.

MPCA-approved amalgam separators

The MPCA, in partnership with MCES and the MDA, has approved these amalgam separators. All of these separators surpass the U.S. EPA's minimum federal requirements found in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40, Part 441. For questions on the minimum federal standard, contact the EPA.

To maintain the approval of their installed amalgam separators, dentists must follow the manufacturer’s operating and maintenance instructions and use only suction line cleaners compatible with the installed separator.

Manufacturers and distributors interested in submitting amalgam separators for review and approval by the MPCA may contact the MPCA for performance criteria and application procedures.

Amalgam separator Manufacturer/distributor
Amalgam HoG DentalEZ Group, branded as RAMVAC1
amalsed Silver Medentex1
AVTMax Apavia Filtration Technologies1
CatchHg 400 Rebec Environmental
CatchHg 1000 Rebec Environmental2
ECO II Metasys Group; distributed by
Pure Water Development LLC dba Pureway Total Compliance
ECO-STAR Tech West Inc.1
  with CC-5M collection container
Solmetex; also branded as RAMVAC3
  with CC-5M collection containers
  with CC-5M collection container
LibertyBOSS MARS Bio-Med Processes, Inc
  with NXT-Hg5 collection container
  with NXT-Hg5 collection container
Syclone Crosstex1

1The Syclone Crosstex model line previously sold by Crosstex, and also rebranded as the Amalgam HoG, amalsed Silver, AVTMax, and ECO-STAR, has been purchased by Solmetex. Solmetex is discontinuing the model line and offering replacement with Solmetex NXT Hg5 models. Contact Solmetex or your distributor for additional information.

2Custom systems designed by the manufacturer based on the CatchHg 1000 are also approved.

3The Hg5 model line is no longer available, but may continue to be used with the CC-5M collection containers. The Hg5 model line was also offered by DentalEZ under the RAMVAC brand name; these may also continue to be used with the CC-5M or RAMVAC-branded collection containers sold by Solmetex.

Submit certification/compliance report

All dentists in Minnesota must submit either a certification or compliance report to the designated control authority for their facility’s community. To find your community’s designated control authority, refer to the list of delegated  publicly owned treatment works: 

If your facility’s community is delegated or serviced by MCES, contact them to determine how to submit your certification or compliance report.

If your facility’s community is not listed, the designated control authority is the MPCA. Submit your certification or compliance report to the email below or to WQ submittal center at the MPCA office in St. Paul.

Subsequent certifications or compliance reports must be submitted within 90 days of a change of ownership of a dental facility or after installation or replacement of an amalgam separator: