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​Environmental risks of concrete, asphalt, and cement-based products​​​​​​​

Concrete, asphalt and cement based products are harmful to our environment and may cause adverse effects on fish, insects and plants. The chemical content of these wastes are classified as hazardous by Alberta Environment and may have increased concentrations of hydrocarbons and heavy metals. In addition, there is potential for obstructions in the EPCOR drainage system.

Waste from these materials have a high potential of entering the stormwater drainage system through catchbasins which lead directly to local creeks, stormwater management facilities and the North Saskatchewan River. These products are prohibited substances in the City of Edmonton EPCOR Drainage Services and Wastewater Treatment Bylaw 19627.

  • ​Concrete wastewater cannot be adequately filtered to reduce its toxicity
  • Filtered wastewater that looks clear still has a high level of toxicity
  • You are responsible for proper disposal of concrete, asphalt and cement and are required to have a plan in place to manage wastewater runoff before you start work.

Concrete, asphalt and cement cannot, at any time, be allowed to enter the drainage system. Report any spill immediately to EPCOR by calling (780) 412-4500.

​Tips to ensure proper handling of runoff from concrete, asphalt and cement work

  • Dilution will not prevent pollution. You cannot effectively dilute or filter slurry to reduce toxicity or impacts on the environment. 
  • Ensure all employees and contractors understand proper disposal of concrete, asphalt and cement and follow your company’s rules for protecting the environment
  • Check the weather, do not place concrete or expose aggregate in the rain or if rain is expected soon.​​

Proper slurry controls

Ensure your slurry controls are in place prior to beginning work:

  • Use sandbags to divert slurry to a grassy or bare soil area where it can be collected and ensure the area is large enough to handle the amount of water you are using.
  • Place a tarp or containment under concrete pumps to catch drips.
  • Use chute covers while driving.​​

While working:

  • Use a wet/dry vacuum or a vacuum truck to divert wastewater as it builds up.
  • Sweep or shovel and collect all dust and slurry to prevent it from entering the stormwater system. Do not use a hose to wash it away.
  • If you are using acid wash, do not divert it to the grass or an area of bare soil. Collect all acid wash wastewater for proper disposal.​

When work is complete:

  • ​Wash out the pump equipment and concrete chutes in your designated slurry control area. Never wash onto driveways and do not allow the water to drain onto the streets or into catchbasins.
  • Do not clean equipment onto a grassy area or bare soil where it could be washed into a creek, the North Saskatchewan River or a nearby catchbasin.
  • Ensure the cuts and work site have been fully washed out and slurry has been properly collected.

For more information contact EPCOR Drainage Compliance at​.

An example of a proper control.​​

An example of a proper control.

​An example of not using proper controls.