Sewage treatment model flawed

Colwood readers argues that CRD went against the public's wishes on plant idea

Re: Public opinion wins on sewage (Our View, May 30)

Four years ago the Capital Regional District asked the public which procurement method they preferred and in response well over 90 per cent selected the traditional “Design-Bid-Build” model. Having asked the public what they wanted, the CRD proceeded to do the opposite. They split the plant into two so they could build the biosolids component as a P3 (design-build-operate) and use the “Design-Build” procurement method for the sewage plant.

I found it really unusual when Seaterra announced it had selected a “site specific” design and a builder for the sewage plant when they didn’t have an approved site. But then I read they had selected a consortium that included the same multinational that was responsible for the new Halifax Wastewater Treatment Plant.

That plant lasted less than a year before having a catastrophic failure. In just 20 minutes it was flooded to a depth of over 60 feet, resulting in $11 million in damage and putting it out of service for a year and a half. The post-mortem revealed many problems relating to its design and its lack of “fail-safe systems.”  The P3 and Design-Build models are more prone to this type of outcome.

We are also now seeing a number of municipalities that had bought into the P3 idea, realizing it was not the best choice after all. Port Hardy cancelled a 20-year operating contract for its wastewater plant after 10 years and hired all the contractor’s staff.

Now that the pause button has been pressed, let us also hit the reset button and give serious consideration to proposals like the RITE Plan.  To learn more on what happened in Halifax, Google “How the sewage plant broke.”

James Lloyd

Colwood

Just Posted

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

Sun on its way after Greater Victoria sees wettest July in six years

Environment Canada meteorologists say the drizzle is likely to end soon

Mayor’s charity tournament sells out both Bear Mountain courses

23rd annual event raises funds to make ‘a positive difference in Langford’

After Victoria dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

VIDEO: 1,400 classic cars roll into Victoria for Deuce Days

The four-day festival highlights classic hot rods, with a special emphasis on cars built in 1932

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

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

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Most Read