‘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

Home care transition could exacerbate worker shortage: Seniors advocate

Advocate fears impact of eight-hour shift model on an industry under stress

United Way to recognize outstanding community members

The annual Spirit Awards celebration will feature 13 award recipients

Downtown Victoria Shoppers Drug Mart to take over previous Chapters location

The drug store is moving next door to take on a two-storey expansion

Oak Bay student Ottawa bound as parliamentary page

Community-driven Leah Smith to join Page Program

WATCH: Police call Happy Valley shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident

One person in custody, another fled following crash on Kelly Road

Wanted by Crime Stoppers

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

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

SPCA investigating after newborn kittens found in Vancouver dumpster

The kittens were found suffering from hypothermia and dehydration

Experts butt heads in court, hunter loses case for return of ram

Despite expert testimony, judgement says ram probably underage

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C. man turned to dating site for pimp operation, court hears

In court the details of how Simon Rypiak lured 4 women into prostitution revealed

Tofino beckons Trudeau for quiet Easter vacation

Environmental group hopes latest Pacific Rim vacation inspires change in prime minister

Most Read