After following this issue closely for 10 years, my opinion is that we shouldn’t build a plant (or plants) at all.
The primary reason is based on scientific evidence, which proves beyond any doubt that screened sewage discharges are dealt with efficiently and safely by the natural daily purging of tidal seawater and fresh water which mixes in the strait and then goes out to sea.
Testing by marine scientists shows the liquid at the end of the deep-sea outflows is 99 per cent clear water. Why is it that our local politicians and the majority of citizens, accept the science of climate change but refuse to consider scientific facts supporting our natural sewage system? It also operates successfully in many places around the world which are lucky enough to have the perfect hydraulic dynamics that we in Victoria enjoy. And why is the open letter to CRD signed by a dozen or so UVic scientists, who recommend we keep our existing system, being dismissed?
If the scientific evidence isn’t enough, my second reason for concern is that if a couple of plants are built, the estimated $1 billion cost will end up at two or three times that. There is evidence of this happening with most major projects in which government has a hand. This could well cost each household $1,000 to $1,500 more per year in property taxes or whatever other scheme is concocted to recover the costs.
And finally, just imagine what $1 billion would do for the homelessness situation and other truly important issues. Please, let’s not spend our hard-earned money on something we don’t even need; the biggest white elephant in Island history.