Hydrovac facilities

Information on waste authorizations and the management of hydrovac generated wastes.


The Alberta government continues to provide information to industry on how hydrovac generated wastes must be managed.

Authorized facilities

The following list of facilities are authorized to accept hydrovac waste. The list includes stand-alone hydrovac facilities and hydrovac facilities that are integrated within existing waste management facilities (such as landfills, wastewater treatment plants and hazardous waste facilities) who have opted to be listed.

If you operate a hydrovac facility and would like to be added to this list, contact us at [email protected].

Types of facilities

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

Waste authorizations come in 3 types:

  • notification
  • registration
  • approval


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
  • the type of waste to be managed and management procedures for each (such as salt impacted)
  • how and where the residuals will be processed 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)

Complete the notification form below for a storage site.


Waste management facilities operating under a registration have additional management options than notification facilities. The Code of Practice for Hydrovac Facilities is enabled in the Waste Control Regulation and the Activities Designation Regulation.

Registered facilities:

  • cannot accept hazardous hydrovac wastes
  • must meet the design specifications as listed within the Code
  • may use waste treatment technologies
  • has options to beneficially reuse processed solids and liquids.


Waste management facilities operating under an approval have additional management options than notification facilities and registration 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

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 unnecessary 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 additives are used, then on-site reuse would likely be limited.