LETTER: Sewage concerns certainly concerning

Plastics, sanitary wipes and natural disasters all factor into Greater Victoria's sewage treatment project

There are warning signs that the Seaterra sewage treatment plant they propose to build will not work as designed.

Throughout North America, problems within sewage treatment plants are being kept quiet.  Studies have found that antibacterial soaps are killing the germs that are meant to aid in the digestive sewage process.  Also, the hygienic sanitary “flushable wipes” are clogging the sewer pipes.

In 2013, New York spent $18 million unclogging the disposable wipes from within their sewer pipes. Another problem: there are plastic polyethylene microbeads that are used as exfoliates to scrub our skin, whiten our teeth and brighten our clothes. One single facial cleanser contains 300,000 of the microbeads.

In June 2014, Illinois banned the sale of microbeads, while New York and California are preparing new laws. Recent studies show that these microscopic plastic beads are not removed in sewage treatment facilities.

Presently, they accumulate at 80,000 per square kilometre on the seabed. Fish and other marine animals are unknowingly ingesting them. We consume aquatic marine life as part of a healthy diet. The microbeads also attract contaminants and toxic chemicals that stick to their surface as they do not breakdown or dissolve in seawater. Evidence will soon appear in our health care examinations.

Other warning signs being ignored are the fact that we are in an mega-earthquake/tsunami zone. While California is preparing to move it’s sewage facilities inland due to earthquakes, tsunamis, climate change and sea level rise, professional engineers at Seaterra are placing the Secondary Sewage Treatment plant just a few metres above the high tide line.

We are assured that the Seaterra plant will be protected by a seawall. As a taxpayer, I’d feel better protected if they placed a cement statue of King Canute holding back the tide along the McLoughlin Point shoreline.

Our consumer laws need to be changed immediately as we can’t change the laws of Mother Nature. The CRD’s professional engineers have dismissed the climate change warnings as just graffiti on the seawall.

Art Bickerton,

Saanich