EDITORIAL: Don’t pass the sewage buck

Greater Victoria's sewage answers must make the best of a bad situation

The regional sewage treatment project has no shortage of critics. Citizen opposition groups in Greater Victoria decry that the venture is a colossal waste of money, and residents and politicians in Esquimalt don’t want treatment plants in their backyard.

Trying to shoehorn a large piece of sewage treatment infrastructure into an urban area is guaranteed to anger and disrupt the lives of some residents and businesses, which is rightly a concern of Esquimalt council.

But the latest desperate offering by Esquimalt’s mayor to have the Capital Regional District consider relocating the entire project to rural farmland in Saanich is woefully self-serving and would only accomplish passing the buck to a different municipality.

The landowner has a right to offer the land for sale and the CRD board can give it a look. But to push this as a viable location for sewage and sludge treatment gives false hope to residents potentially impacted by the project.

It also comes years after painstaking and costly studies were undertaken to decide on where to locate sewage treatment infrastructure.

The CRD rejected the proposal. The Burnside Road West location is provincially protected agricultural land reserve and the move would add some $200 million to an already expensive $783-million project.

On the upside, the property offered is 16 hectares and would allow a single location for regional sewage treatment, and is far from homes. But the considerable downside is  pumping sewage from the Macaulay and Clover Point outfalls about 13 kilometres across the city for treatment on the farmland, and then back to an outfall.

That’s almost as bad as the proposal to pump (or truck) biosolids 18 kilometres to Hartland landfill for energy extraction.

Building a treatment plant at an industrial site at McLoughlin Point and potentially at the warehouse complex on Viewfield Road, in the middle of residential Esquimalt, is probably the best of a hard situation, given the geography of Greater Victoria and available land in the city.

Just Posted

VicPD seeks person of interest after short-term rental ransacked

Combined losses for damage and theft are over $5,000

Whitecaps favourite switches to the Island

Marcel de Jong worked to end Whitecaps contract, joining Pacific FC on the ground floor

RCMP ask for public’s help to determine cause of weekend fire

RCMP are investigating the cause of the South Island Concrete fire

UVic’s cutting-edge centre leading the way in drones and AI

Centre For Aerospace Research works with partners including Department of National Defence

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

Most Read