Land vs. marine sewage treatment

There has been little comment in the current sewage debate on the best way to minimize the risks

There has been little comment in the current sewage debate on the best way to minimize the  risks of land-based versus marine-based treatment.

While most of our sewage effluent is water, included are the hard to control, often toxic, discharges of pharmaceuticals, herbicides, petroleum products, metals, etc.  into our marine environment.

Do we know the cumulative risks of these discharges? Will land based or marine based sewage treatment best minimize these risks?

The 2006 Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) report did not inspire confidence in the Capital Regional District monitoring of marine waters near sewage outfalls. In part, this report said “given the effluent is untreated, … a higher degree of caution is merited, there are numerous gaps.”

Which method of sewage treatment, land based or marine, will best minimize the ecological, economic and social risks? Has the CRD corrected the monitoring deficiencies pointed out in the 2006 SETAC report? What method is the most responsible? Will taxpayers receive value for money?

Ray Travers

Saanich