Outfall areas back in sewage treatment plant mix

Anyone hoping to see Rock Bay named the site for a main sewage treatment plant would have been left wanting on Friday.

By Don Descoteau

Anyone hoping to see Rock Bay win the day and be named the site for a main sewage treatment plant for Greater Victoria’s core municipalities would have been left wanting on Friday.

The Capital Regional District’s (CRD) core area liquid waste management committee did, however, approve a recommendation that may offer flexibility in siting and technology options. The decision included a revisiting of McLoughlin, Macaulay and Clover points, three locations not previously being considered.

With no agreement around the table on the best option, and the $1 billion-plus cost of each option presented to the public a major stumbling block to a decision, the committee split up the six parts of a staff recommendation rewritten by Victoria mayor and committee chair Lisa Helps. The recommendation was heavily amended during discussions at the nearly five-hour meeting.

The two parts relating to location, and the application of alternate technologies and solutions for chosen sites, were referred to CRD engineering staff. They will investigate the feasibility of the new options and provide committee members with more substantial details in time for discussion at the next committee meeting March 9, the day the committee is scheduled to bring a progress report to the full CRD board.

“I think there’s a lot of work that’s been done today,” said Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton, who also co-chairs the Westside select committee.

“I think that what we’ve done, by kind of broadening the options –— even though I’m concerned that these are sites that have been (considered), then taken away or maybe not put up at all and not had the public consultation … we’ll figure out how to get through those kind of details.”

The first element CRD staff will be investigating leaves Rock Bay as the site for a central treatment plant and Colwood as the site of a smaller tertiary plant. But alternatives being costed out include a tertiary wastewater plant at either McLoughlin or Macaulay points, and a tertiary treatment plant at Clover Point, with provision for a tertiary plant on the westside.

Hartland landfill in Saanich is shown as the preferred site for sludge (biosolids) processing.

Part 2 of the referral to staff deals with inviting submissions of project concepts that relate to everything from new technologies to integrated resource management, and provide enough detail to compare them to the base case, which in this situation is Rock Bay.

Cost, especially the apportioning to municipalities, was equally a concern for Hamilton. Her city’s taxpayers are roughly 70 per cent on septic and 30 per cent on sewer and many wouldn’t look kindly on being billed for something they weren’t receiving service for.

“At least it’s keeping options that are viable on the table (and) what we heard from the public; it’s about cost control on things,” she said of the overall picture. “So if there are cheaper solutions to be had by building closer to outfalls, it makes sense that we’re going to actually see that. I’m hoping that we get real kinds of costings and not these planning estimate costings out of engineering that are sometimes up as high as 90 per cent contingency.”

Also Friday the committee voted postponing until March 9 to give a progress update to senior levels of government and finalizing, with CRD board approval, the option to purchase the Rock Bay lands subject to it being selected as the primary site.

Passed on the day were the dissolving of the eastside select committee and the retaining of the westside select committee for the completion of technical work around wet weather design flows; and a directive to staff relating to procurement and project management.

Washington State legislator Jeff Morris recently proposed a bill that would see employees of state agencies not reimbursed for any travel to Victoria until the city has a primary treatment in place.

If the bill passes, it will be in effect until Victoria has at least primary sewage treatment in place.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

Staff and volunteers at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea were disappointed by the theft of an educational porpoise skull likely taken on Jan. 8. (Courtesy of Tina Kelly)
Well-loved porpoise skull stolen from Sidney aquarium

Skull had been used for youth and visitor education and outreach for years

The Starbucks in Langford’s Westshore Town Centre is one of almost 300 storefronts that the U.S. coffee giant will be shutting across Canada by the end of March. (Google Maps)
Langford’s Westshore Town Centre Starbucks to close permanently

Popular coffee chain to close 300 storefronts across Canada by end of March

An Oak Bay Police officer handed out five tickets for “fail to obey stop sign” and two tickets for using a cell phone while driving, all within two hours at King George Terrace on Jan. 11. (Oak Bay Police Twitter)
Man confronts unmasked group at Oak Bay Marina

Oak Bay police issue plenty of tickets in short King George Terrace visit

A 45-metre tall call tower is proposed for Westhills Stadium. (Black Press Media file photo)
New cell tower proposed for Westhills Stadium in Langford

Tower will increase capacity in congested network: staff report

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

Gin, one of the Kantymirs’ two sheep. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Sheep start up ATV, sit in cars and go for walks in Salmon Arm

Until they bought two sheep, Ken and Karleen Kantymir didin’t realize just how social the animals are

Most Read