‘Forced hiatus’ on CRD sewage project an opportunity, says Saanich councillor

Westshore communities, Esquimalt working on terms of reference for distributed model study

Capital Regional District directors meet once again Wednesday to discuss salvaging the region’s $788-million secondary sewage treatment project, but the “forced hiatus” provides a window for new ideas, said Saanich Coun. Vic Derman.

Derman, who also sits as a director on the CRD’s core area liquid waste management committee, intends to put forward a notice of motion next week to ask for an overview of the latest technology and the feasibility of a distributed treatment model.

“It might be appropriate to have an investigation led by a retired deputy minister or someone of similar status,” Derman said. The process wouldn’t need the time and expense of a full-scale Request for Proposals, but could still inform directors on “what’s out there,” Derman said.

“We’re not going anywhere right now, and that’s pretty obvious,” he said. “There’s been an attempt to resuscitate the old project, and for lack of a better term, buy off Esquimalt. I don’t think that will be successful.”

Only two smaller projects, the Craigflower pump station and a $760,000 design of an attenuation tank at Arbutus Road, are continuing as planned while the Seaterra program awaits direction on a way forward from CRD directors.

During that wait, Derman said directors need a “sounding” of available sewage treatment technology to ensure they’re building the best plants for the right price.

“We need an independent examination of the technology out there, the potential for architecture, what are examples elsewhere, and get enough information to figure out whether a distributed model is worth pursuing further or whether we stick with the direction we went, but without McLoughlin Point.,” he said.

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins is already involved in that process. Staff from West Shore communities, Esquimalt and the City of Victoria are currently working on terms of reference to move ahead on a distributed model study under the umbrella of the CRD, she said. The team had hoped to present those terms at Wednesday’s meeting, but more work needs to be done.

“Our technical staff believe we may be able to provide sewage treatment that not only meets regulatory standards and guidelines, but beats them by standard and by cost,” Desjardins said.

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 wastewater treatment deadline of 2018.

An extension to that provincial deadline will likely be necessary if the CRD can come up with a viable alternative to the current plan. Even with the current project, an extension will likely be needed to find an alternative site to McLoughlin Point.

“We have five of seven affected municipalities working on a new way forward,” Desjardins said. “We need Saanich and Oak Bay to come on-side, because we don’t want them to get left behind.”

Regardless of the outcome, the Seaterra program that included McLoughlin Point as a wastewater site is now effectively dead, she said.

“The sooner everyone understands that, the better off we’ll be coming up with solutions,” Desjardins said.

editor@saanichnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria’s Other Secret not so secret anymore

How six Mount Doug teachers turned a lunch jam into $11,000 raised for charity

PHOTOS: Inside the opening of the expanded Westhills Stadium

The grand opening of the expanded stadium in Langford is on schedule for Aug. 24

Award-nominated Snotty Nose Rez Kids headline Indigifest 2019 coming to Victoria

Scheduled for Aug. 24, the event is a showcase of Indigenous musicians from around B.C.

Cycslists were all smiles during ninth Tour de Victoria

More than 2,100 cyclists participated

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after Const. Beckett’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Ferries employees participating in Denman Island cleanup for plastic-shedding ferry

The cleanup comes a few weeks after one organized by residents of the Island

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Most Read