Burnside lands given official thumbs down for Victoria sewage facilities

Esquimalt mayor attempts to broker deal, but CRD board shuts down expensive idea

The idea of building both the Capital Region sewage treatment plant and the biosolids energy centre on a rural site near Victoria General Hospital was rejected by the CRD board last week.

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins brought a motion to consider the proposal to last Wednesday’s full board meeting, after she was approached by a landowner willing to sell property at 1947 Burnside Rd. W., near the junction with Prospect Lake Road.

The discussions happened behind closed doors, given their relationship to the sale of land, but the board determined it would release the results of the vote due to high public interest in the matter.

Preliminary estimates by CRD staff determined that moving the project to the Burnside site – two additional large pumping stations and many kilometres more pipes would be required – would increase the overall cost by 23 per cent to $962.7 million. Operating costs would be an estimated $734,000 higher per year.

Besides the cost factor, the board rejected the idea on the grounds that it would require removal of the lands from the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Existing plans call for the treatment facility to be built at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt, while the location of the biosolids plant has yet to be determined. Sites on Viewfield Road in Esquimalt and at the Hartland Landfill are being considered for that facility.

For information on the CRD’s Core Area Wastewater Treatment Program, please visit crd.bc.ca/wastewater/madeclear.htm.

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