Black Press journalists Don Descoteau

Black Press journalists Don Descoteau

SEWAGE IN THE CRD: Tackling the treatment issue

In a five-part series, Black Press journalists delve into the many aspects of sewage treatment in the Capital Regional District

Black Press series on Sewage from Victoria News on Vimeo.



The subject of sewage treatment has been a contentious one for more than 30 years in Greater Victoria and has so far cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

While some in the region have already begun treating wastewater – Saanich Peninsula started in 2000, while Sooke completed a system upgrade in 2005 – the region’s core and West Shore municipalities send untreated sewage into Juan de Fuca Strait.

The cost, siting and engineering of a regional treatment project make this a complex undertaking from a technical standpoint, but also from a political one, as council representatives from seven municipalities debate plans.

In the past six years alone, the Capital Regional District has spent tens of millions of taxpayers’ dollars on research, consultant fees, land purchases and construction. Completion of the project is estimated to cost more than a $1 billion. Annual operating costs will add to the amount for which homeowners and commercial property owners will be on the hook.

It’ll be up to municipalities and the CRD to determine how the tax burden is divided. But who’s making these decisions, and who is holding them accountable?

To help readers gain a better understanding of where we’ve been, where we are now, who’s involved and what the future holds, Black Press assembled an investigative journalism team to provide perspective and help simplify this complex topic.

Starting in tomorrow’s Victoria News, Saanich News, Oak Bay News, Goldstream News Gazette and Peninsula News Review, and next Wednesday’s Sooke News Mirror, our five-part series will tackle issues ranging from where money has been spent and the sites being considered to what other cities have done and what scientists say.

We’ll ask for feedback along the way and encourage you to connect with your community newspaper. Write letters to the editor or comment on Facebook and Twitter.

This special Black Press presentation aims to give you new insights into this complicated issue.

To listen to Goldstream News Gazette editor Don Descoteau’s interview on Friday about the new series with CFAX 1070 host Ian Jessop, scan to the 33:40 mark below.

Just Posted

Andrea Lewis (left), board member of the Shoreline Medical Society, receives a $3,000 cheque from Andrew Hansen, owner of Boondocks Bar and Grill. They are joined by Elizabeth Rhoades, executive director Shawna Walker, as well as board members Richard Flader and Andrew Tidman. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney bar owner helps doctor recruitment for Saanich Peninsula clinics

Boondocks Bar and Grill raised $3,000 in May for Shoreline Medical Society

Google Maps shows significant traffic backups after a crash reported shortly before noon on Father’s Day, June 20. (Google Maps)
Saanich crash closes lane of McKenzie Avenue

Police say there were injuries, traffic is impacted

Victoria Regional Transit System routes 7 UVic/Downtown, 21 Interurban/Downtown and 53 Colwood/Langford will undergo changes as of June 28. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria school routes scaled down for summer by BC Transit

Service changes take effect June 28, enhanced service returns this fall and winter

Hot rods, rad rods, muscle and sports cars spanning the decades made their way in a parade from North Saanich to Victoria on June 19. (Kiernan Green/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Classic cars cruise Saanich Peninsula in advance of Father’s Day

Retirement home residents from North Saanich to Victoria treated to a spectacle of hot rides

A bathtub kitchen garden is part of the lineup for this year’s Teeny Tiny Garden Tour to benefit Victoria Hospice. (Screenshot/Teeny Tiny Garden Tour)
Virtual garden tour for Victoria Hospice features trio of back yards

Online tour is free; calendar purchase and donation options raise money for the cause

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Most Read