EDITORIAL: Sewage solution conundrum

Time is of the essence in order to prevent $500 million from being flushed down the drain

It’s likely not the ideal solution, but seven Capital Regional District municipalities – Victoria, Esquimalt, Saanich, Oak Bay, Colwood, Langford and View Royal – are on their way to making the best of a bad situation.

In a perfect world all the Greater Victoria municipalities would work together to find a solution to the sewage treatment issue. But as the days, months and years quickly countdown, the prospects of finding a perfect solution seem all but impossible.

The CRD is required by federal legislation to treat its sewage to a secondary or greater level by 2020, and the province has set a sewage treatment deadline of 2018.

Last spring the project to develop a regional wastewater treatment facility at McLoughlin Point came to a grinding halt after Esquimalt denied required rezoning. Work was meant to begin by the end of July 2014 on the projected $788-million plant.

Meetings will be held in the communities (the first was held in Colwood last night) as the committees work to identify a location for the facility and hammer down the costs. And you can be part of the solution by participating in the upcoming meetings

There will be some help on that front as the province has committed $248 million, while the federal government has offered $253.4 million towards the final project cost contingent on meeting specific timelines.

No matter what the final break down of costs works out to be, what is clear is that time is of the essence in order to prevent $500 million from being flushed down the drain.