Sewage treatment decision will be costly for taxpayers

There appears to be internal political manipulation that is targeting McLoughlin Point

We have some very intelligent directors at the CRD. Unfortunately, there are some who follow the money and not their heart. There appears to be internal political manipulation that is targeting McLoughlin Point. The plan is to disperse 108 million litres of warm filtered sewage water into a salty marine environment. Zika, pharmaceuticals and superbugs will survive. Some directors fail to understand that warmer oceans are also changing the climate and upsetting the balance of marine life. Where are the marine scientists and engineers on this?

In the fall we will have extreme wind and rain events with power failures. Heavy torrential rain will once again cause our storm drains to overflow. It’s become a tradition that the CRD will post signs along the beaches to warn us of the contamination. There will be additional expense requiring $450 million to address the upgrades. This was ignored by the sewage panel as it is not considered as sewage, in the $750 million sewage debate.

Another omitted item is the aging Clover Point sewage pump station. It is overdue for an expensive upgrade and will not have washrooms when completed. This is not on the CRD website and the public will only be informed after upgrades commence.

There is one more billion dollar question: Why pump millions of litres of liquid sewage 18 kilometres to Hartland, store it, with little resource recovery, then return it to the ocean? The new tax bill, the inconvenience, congestion, damage to the environment, parks and roads will not be forgotten.  For this part of the project, a private contractor will reap the rewards. The taxpayer won’t know how much it costs as the terms will be confidential.  The upgrades and breakdowns will be never ending. Where is the independent critical  thinking that is supposed protect the taxpayer?

The wastewater treatment issue could be far less expensive and less complex. There are much better sites than the McLoughlin location.  Resource recovery, gasification and green innovation have been omitted and has never been part of the panel’s agenda. There was no other site seriously considered, just pre-planned excuses. The taxpayers have once again been bluffed by false due diligence and will be treated as an infinite financial resource.

The McLoughlin wastewater washer has only one feature. It will have an unstoppable political spin cycle. It is not on sale, no guarantee, will waste vast amounts of energy while damaging the environment and it will kick-back. Tertiary treatment with resource recovery and gasification would have been ideal for an inland location. The politicians chasing the funding carrot will leave a legacy with a permanent stain. Imagine being forced to purchase a ticket on an installment plan to the abyss.  The engineers sit silently, while watching the stacking of the decks of the new Titanic, being positioned to the wrong location.

Directors, don your personal flotation devices, lower the lifeboats and demand the ship alter its course. It’s never too late. It is even better to have missed this boat.

Art Bickerton

Saanich

 

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