CRD must consider all sewage treatment options

Canadians generate an impressive three trillion liters of sewage annually

The letter in the April 20 Saanich News ‘Former minister clarifies position on sewage’ is a commendable exposé by Mr. Anderson when considering the time, cost forecasts, expenditure and efforts expended to resolve the issue.

A number of aspects appear to have been overlooked, however, over and above screened sewage discharged to the Strait of Juan de Fuca from the core area communities as this is not the only contributing factor to water pollution. Coastal waters receive a variety of land-based water pollutants ranging from effluent, petroleum wastes, pesticides, to excess sediments. Marine waters also receive wastes directly from offshore activities, such as ocean-based dumping and offshore operations.

Canadians generate an impressive three trillion liters of sewage annually. Municipal sewage is the largest source of pollution discharged to surface water bodies in Canada, and Canada is flushing some 200 billion liters of raw sewage into its waterways every year.

There is 36 billion liters of untreated effluent from outfalls in Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster each year and millions of liters of raw sewage discharged annually by the Greater Victoria region in addition to the 82 MLD of screened sewage from the seven core area municipalities.

Mr. Anderson and others question the need for sewage treatment of the core area on the basis that discharging screened sewage in the Strait of Juan de Fuca has no, or negligible, impact on the environment.  The federal, provincial and local governments believe otherwise.

One contentious aspect of the debate in Victoria is cost for treatment and processing sewage waste.  From available information, forecast estimates for sewage treatment in the core area range in the area of $1-$1.5 billion. Other communities generally treat sewage and then truck the sludge to the Hartland Landfill for disposal.

A number of options are under consideration to deal with the situation, all at considerable cost to taxpayers.  It has also been recommended that the CRD also consider simple fluidized sand bed technology to process sewage and other bio-waste at a profit to the communities. This technology has been shown to handle a wide variety of waste streams, including dry-sorted garbage to thickened and wet sludge and other biowastes. It has shown to be a cost-effective waste treatment system with byproduct value – electricity, potable water and fly-ash used in agriculture or concrete.  It would be wise for the Capital Regional District to consider all options in this regard as they seem to be doing while struggling with costs.

Pierre Vallee



Just Posted

Greater Victoria residents among the most credit-worthy Canadians

Yet debt levels continue to rise as Canadians owe $178 for every $100 earned

BC business offers ‘clean start’ for people with employment barriers

CleanStart BC is looks to expand its Victoria staff

New roadside testing device can’t identify drug impairment says Vancouver lawyer

Lawyer says similar devices vulnerable to court challenge, testing for drugs different to alcohol

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

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

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Most Read