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of Alberta

Resolution ER1-06F

Alberta Septage Facility and Hauler Inventory Project Final Report and Recommendations

January 1, 2006
Expiry Date:
December 1, 2009
Active Status:
Vote Results:

WHEREAS the summary report on the Alberta Septage Facility and Hauler Inventory, Best Practices and Needs Assessment Project was delivered in October 2006; AND WHEREAS the project was co-managed by the AAMDC and the Alberta Onsite Wastewater Management Association (AOWMA) and funded through grants provided by Alberta Environment and Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation; AND WHEREAS the research project and the summary report were prepared by Jack Hayden Consulting and Grosfield and Associates and supported by a Steering Committee which included the AAMDC, AUMA, AOWMA, Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation, Alberta Environment and Alberta Municipal Affairs; AND WHEREAS the summary report identifies a need for additional water/wasterwater funding to address existing and future septage facility capacity needs; AND WHEREAS the report recommends solutions to address current capacity issues including: increased access to existing facilities, exploring regional partnership options, accelerating and improving existing funding programs, increasing monitoring and testing capabilities and exploring new technologies for managing and reducing septage, sludge and scum volumes; AND WHEREAS the summary report also calls for additional research and development of technologies in the septage hauling industry, certification and training opportunities for the septage hauling industry, an industry association for the septage hauling industry, and more education and training for the general public;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMDC) support the recommendations of the Summary Report on the Alberta Septage Facility and Hauler Inventory, Best Practices and Needs Assessment Project; AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC work in conjunction with AOWMA, AUMA and other stakeholders to develop an implementation plan and advocacy strategy to address the recommendations for strengthening the septage hauling and receiving industry contained in the summary report.

Member Background:

The Alberta Septage Facility and Hauler Inventory, Best Practices and Needs Assessment Project Summary Report is available at www.aamdc.com for review. The summary report makes the following recommendations: Facilities Recommendations 1. That all municipal septage receiving facilities approved by Alberta Environment in the future be required to include adequate vehicle and dumping access as part of their design. 2. That the provincial (Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation) water/wastewater funding program be expanded to include an infrastructure funding component municipalities could access to provide vehicle and dumping access to those existing wastewater treatment facilities and lagoons that currently have no access or no dumping facilities. 3. That immediate steps need to be taken to increase the provincial Water/Wastewater Infrastructure Program funding to address the backlog of municipal wastewater treatment capacity and upgrade needs. 4. That development of regional wastewater treatment systems be explored and provincially funded where supported by a cost-benefit analysis in areas where development, growth and population forecasts warrant (Urban fringe areas, Highway #2 corridor, etc.) 5. That wastewater capital funding for proposed regional systems in high development areas (ie. the Highway #2 corridor) either be accelerated to meet current growth-related needs OR additional funding be provided for expansion and retrofitting of those facilities currently at or near capacity and facing a multi-year wait for hook-up to a regional system. 6. That a capital planning and investment strategy to address the demand/need for additional dumping/treatment facilities that accept graywater, muddy water, and wastewater streams with silt and sand content be immediately undertaken. Hauler Recommendations 7. That a strategy to minimize the cost of any future certification and training protocols or other regulatory requirements for the hauling industry be undertaken in cooperation with the hauling industry and the AOWMA. 8. That industry-led research to develop options for increasing the viability of the domestic septage hauling business in Alberta and to further explore mechanisms to make emerging technology more affordable for operators be undertaken. Certification and Training Recommendations 9. That a provincial legislative/regulatory framework and provincial budget resources to support the launch of an industry/government training and certification initiative for the septage hauling industry be developed and implemented 10. That an education and certification program be developed for septage haulers as a joint initiative of the Alberta Onsite Waste Management Association and Alberta Municipal Affairs (similar to the model used to develop education modules for certified installers in Alberta). Land-Spreading Recommendations 11. Before any moratorium is placed on the land-spreading of septage, steps be taken to ensure existing and future septage treatment facilities are available to septage haulers and there is adequate capacity for septage to be properly disposed of at approved facilities. This will require a multi-pronged approach that may include: – Capital investment to improve dumping access at existing facilities – Increasing facility access hours through enhanced access controls – Certification and training of septage haulers – Better testing and monitoring technology (both truck and facility-based) – Establishing a chain of custody for domestic waste that includes knowledge of where the septage is generated, the generator, the hauler and the receiver (ie. Increased use of manifests for tracking the origins of hauled septage) ? A public education campaign (co-ordinated among stakeholders) Research and Development Recommendations 12. That additional research be provincially funded to further explore truck-based septage treatment that is affordable and applicable to Alberta’s situation and climate. (ie. lime stabilization, UV disinfection, mobile de-watering etc.) General Recommendations 13. That the septage hauling industry be actively targeted for membership in the Alberta Onsite Wastewater Management Association (AOWMA). (Being part of an industry association would provide a ‘voice’ for the septage hauling industry, create enhanced networking opportunities for haulers, create a forum for developing industry-led best practices and for delivering education modules that may be developed.) 14. That additional study be undertaken on effective government/municipal programs, protocols and mechanisms for monitoring private sewage systems, sludge accumulation and cleaning/pumping cycles to guard against system failure and malfunctions. 15. That a public education program be developed by government and industry targeted at homeowners and the general public and focused on system operation, maintenance, and each individual’s responsibility for the waste they generate.


The resolution was endorsed by the association. A Septage and Onsite Wastewater Strategic Advisory Committee was convened to guide the implementation of recommendations from the Model Process Reference Document and the Alberta Septage Facility and Hauler Inventory, Best Practices and Needs Assessment Project. On this committee, there is representation from the AAMDC, AUMA, the Alberta Onsite Wastewater Management Association, the Alberta Water Research Institute, Alberta Environment, Alberta Transportation, and Alberta Municipal Affairs. Currently, the AAMDC Model Process Pilot Project is underway.

Provincial Ministries:
Treasury Board and Finance,
Municipal Affairs,
Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
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