Colwood considers sewage treatment option

Link with developer could mean avoidance of CRD plant.

The City of Colwood continues to look at options for sewage treatment and is delving into the possibility of a community treatment plant, separate from the Capital Regional District’s plans.

Because of its rate of growth, Colwood has been a complicated player in regional sewage treatment plans. Under plans for the regional plant, the city is being asked to pay not only for current capacity needs, but also for its projected capacity 20 years from now.

To potentially avoid this conundrum, the city has been in talks with Capital City Centre to partner on a treatment plant serving both the development and the 14 per cent of Colwood homes currently on sewer, as well as future users.

While the plan is still in its early stages, Coun. Judith Cullington said the research is moving forward.

“We’re very much working with CRD and the Ministry of Environment on this one, so we’re not disappearing off on our own,” she said.

Capital City Centre also intends to recover heat from the system for reuse and to use tertiary treatment to produce non-potable water for use in toilets and for irrigation. The goal is to have the development’s residents save 60 per cent on energy bills and 40 per cent off water bills.

“They’re very keen on it. They were the ones who came to us,” Cullington said. “We had expressed interest for quite some time in doing more innovative sewage treatment.”

Affordability is a key component of the plan. The city has said partnering on such a project would not proceed if the projected cost to Colwood taxpayers was more than taking part in the CRD’s proposed sewage treatment system.

While no date has yet been set, the Colwood treatment option will eventually be discussed by a committee, then city council.