Hydrovac

Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) continues to provide information to industry on how hydrovac generated wastes must be managed. Please see the following fact sheet for more information:

A list of facilities authorized to accept hydrovac waste is being compiled and will be posted on this page once completed. This list is intended to include stand-alone hydrovac facilities as well as hydrovac facilities which are integrated within existing waste management facilities such as landfills, wastewater treatment plants and hazardous waste storage facilities.

If you operate a hydrovac facility and would like to be added to this list, please contact us at:

Types of facilities

Waste management facilities are required to obtain an authorization from AEP prior to construction, operation or reclamation as described by the Activities Designation Regulation (AR 276/2003).

Department waste authorizations come in one of 3 types:

  • a notification
  • a registration under a Code of Practice
  • an approval

Notifications

Waste management facilities operating under a notification are known as storage sites. These storage sites operate under the general provisions of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) and its regulations, including the Waste Control Regulation. It is the responsibility of the operator to understand and comply with these requirements.

Storage sites:

  • can only receive non-hazardous waste
  • cannot treat the waste and must send processed residues for disposal to an authorized waste management facility

Notifications must contain an operations plan detailing how the waste will be managed.

Common elements of a complete operations plan for this type of activity include, but are not limited to:

  • how the facility will ensure hazardous waste is not received
  • what happens if hazardous waste is received
  • the type of waste to be managed and management procedures for each (such as salt impacted)
  • the process to ensure non-conforming loads are isolated and removed from site
  • if the waste is being processed, details on how the waste (in each phase) will be processed
  • how and where the residuals (of each phase) will be treated and disposed
  • how the waste will be contained to prevent contamination of the soils and groundwater (for example, engineered liner, tank, container, bin, concrete pad)
  • if groundwater is not being monitored, why not; and if groundwater is being monitored, what parameters and frequency
  • how run-on and run-off water is being managed (for run-on and run-off definitions see section 3(1) of Code of Practice for Compost Facilities)

Complete the notification form below for a storage site.

Registrations

There is no Code of Practice for hydrovac waste facilities; therefore, registrations are not available for this activity.

Approvals

Waste management facilities operating under an approval have additional management options than notification facilities. Approvals are developed uniquely for each application based on the specific needs and design of the facility. For this reason, approvals take longer to obtain than a notification; however, the benefits are that a facility wishing to take both non-hazardous and hazardous waste is able to do so. In addition, a facility with an approval may apply to and use waste treatment technologies, and the approval can enable beneficial reuse of the residuals.

Applicants wishing to apply for an approval should complete their application in accordance with the Guide to Content for Industrial Approvals. More information on approvals can be found on the EPEA Approval Process web page:

Waste minimization

The 2007 Too Good to Waste Strategy highlights the waste hierarchy aimed at improving and reducing waste that requires disposal. Generators of waste are encouraged to reduce the amount of waste requiring disposal. For hydrovac waste this can be done by adopting best management practices to avoid generating waste by using the minimal amount of water necessary and not over-excavating.

On-site management

When hydrovac slurry is generated and there is a need to fill the excavation, generators can dewater the slurry onsite and use the solids as fill, so long as the solids are non-impacted. While there is no need to provide a notification to the department, liquids without treatment cannot be released and must still be managed as a waste at an appropriate waste management facility.

Solids cannot be moved offsite and used as fill at alternate locations nor can they be land spread. The on-site management cannot create an adverse effect to the land or water. If the hydrovac waste or the solids are suspected to be contaminated, or additional additives such as glycol are used for winter projects, then on-site reuse would likely be limited.

Ongoing policy work

AEP will be meeting with technical experts to develop non-regulatory guidance for facilities to follow when designing and operating hydrovac facilities. The initial work will be done together with industry associations.

 

Page Information

Updated: Jun 21, 2018