December 26, 2010




Our ARESST/RSTV member Dr. Shaun Peck was featured on CFAX Radio, the Dave Dickson Show,
2-2:30pm, 13 December. Shaun discussed the links between storm water, combined sewage overflow,
and that land-based sewage treatment won't be reducing those contaminating routes - and he managed
to "scare"  CFAX caller Murray. 

ALSO - Shaun's PowerPoint presentation is now on homepage at



Letters to the Editor
James Bay Beacon
December 2010

The citizens of James Bay are urged to make their voices heard about the sewage treatment plant scandal. I recently sent an e-mail as below to our new Minister of Environment pointing out the most significant facts.

Dear Mr.Coell,
I write to you as the only person to have written a book about  Victoria's sewage, which I did some twenty years ago in a desperate  attempt to stop the proposal then current to have land based  treatment plants installed for Victoria. The referendum so proposing was defeated at that time. I imagine my book is still available in your Ministry library or other libraries and can be read at

It is, of course, as obvious that one cannot discharge sewage without treatment as that the sun goes round the earth. Out of some thirty-five years of research locally,  in the USA, England and Australia, I draw your attention to just three items: Professor Isaac's address to a committee of Congress acting on behalf of American scientists explaining why secondary treatment was not needed with long outfalls; the Royal Commission (no less!) in England in 1984, which concluded that comparing the two long outfalls "could be environmentally preferable"; the statement by Professor Littlepage of UVic that "we should be promoting our  system as one of the most efficient and environmentally sound systems in North America". No one knows more about it.

The evidence is quite clear that under the right conditions (and ours are ideal) long outfalls are environmentally preferable to secondary treatment, but the situation is worse than that implies, for the construction and operation of land- based plants would carry significant adverse environmental health and safety risks. Pleas to have them examined have been ignored. Furthermore the impacts will continue generation after generation, for the massive civil engineering work involved would be irreversible.
Perhaps the most serious aspect of this matter is ignoring our University. Our scientists must wonder why they bothered with all those exams and what their purpose is thought to be when the most important advice they will ever give on a local topic is swept aside.

I have been fighting this battle since I was 42 and am now 84 and still hope to see science prevail. So please, I urge you to re-examine this issue.

J.E.Dew-Jones, P.Eng.


Thanks to Rob for recommending this event: 


Air and Waste Management Association, Vancouver Island Chapter – Technical Luncheon

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - Pharmaceuticals, Personal Care Products, Illicit Drugs and Their 
Metabolites in Screened Municipal Wastewaters - Chris Lowe, Director, Marine Programs, Capital Regional District    

The Luncheon will be held at the Cedar Hill Golf Course, 11:45 to 1:30.  Admission and lunch is $20 non-members, $10 members and students.

Markus Kellerhals

Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in the Canadian Environment: Research and Policy Directions

Sludge grudge
Re: “The Week,” December 16-22
Monday Magazine 
23 December 2010

Keeping organics out of the landfill and using them for energy is linked to worrisome negative impacts of a future sewage plant because, while our current marine-based sewage treatment system produces no sewage sludge and very little greenhouse gases, a land-based sewage treatment plant will produce thousands of tonnes of human sewage sludge, which will emit loads of greenhouse gases and the sludge will need a big home if the plan fails that would send it all to mainland cement kilns.

If the CRD has to deal with all that sewage sludge in Victoria, adding compostables and digesting the mix chemically may produce more energy than the human sludge alone, or at least may shrink the whole sludge mountain a bit more before dumping the mix into the landfill. However, the cost of needing a new landfill earlier than otherwise expected hasn’t been included in the billion-dollar sewage plant cost so it might be prudent to tack on another $100 million or so, just in case.

John Newcombe,


James Bay Neighbourhood Association
Harbour-Centric Column
James Bay Beacon
December 2010

Excerpt: "Waste Treatment"

At the November 10, 2010 meeting of the JBNA, Bruce Cuthbert, a resident of Esquimalt, presented a case for undertaking a socio-economic and community development impact assessment of the proposed Capital Regional District (CRD) Core Area Liquid Waste Treatment Plant, and particularly of its proposed location at McLoughlin Point. He expressed concern that the proposed facility would crimp Esquimalt's future revitalization plans and not be the best use of waterfront lands. He asked for support from JBNA members for his proposal for a pre-decision socio-economic assessment.



Long lasting chemicals toxic to humans and the environment

A new research at the Arizona State University is trying to find what happens to toxic chemicals when they enter the environment.

Rolf Halden and colleagues have suggested that a number of high production volume (HPV) chemicals-that is, those used in the U.S. at rates exceeding 1 million pounds per year, are likely to become sequestered in post-treatment sludge and from there, enter the environment when these so-called biosolids are deposited on land.

"With each of these compounds, we are engaged in an experiment conducted on a nationwide scale. Odds are, some of these chemicals will turn out to be bad players and will pose problems for ecosystems, public health or both," said Halden.

Halden's group applied a new empirical model for estimating the fraction of mass loading of chemicals in raw sewage expected to endure in digested sludge.

Chemicals that become sequestered in digested sewage sludge are a potential cause for concern in part because the treated sludge is often subsequently applied to land, including land designated for agricultural use.

Halden's group screened some 207 HPV chemicals, using a model that predicted that two thirds of these compounds are likely to accumulate in digested sludge to greater than fifty percent of their initial mass loading in raw sewage. Eleven of these chemicals were flagged as compounds of special concern and deemed potential hazards to human and environmental health.

In order to better gauge which chemicals may go on to present human health and environmental risks following sequestration in sludge, the group conducted a computer or in silico analysis.

The method provides a streamlined and economically attractive means of isolating those chemicals deserving more in-depth field analysis. The group applied a new empirical model able to predict the fraction of total mass of a hydrophobic chemical likely to persist in biosolids after wastewater treatment.

Another advantage of the new model, applied by Halden Randhir Deo from the University of Guam, is simplicity. The model only requires two input values in order to estimate a chemical's environmental persistence. The chemicals to be screened were taken from the High Production Volume Information System database maintained by the EPA to monitor the environmental fate of chemicals produced in amounts exceeding 1 million pounds per year.

The empirical model was developed and tweaked to produce the best agreement between the mathematical framework based on a given chemical's physical properties and actual measurements derived from large sewage treatment plants.

The physical characteristic found to play the largest role in a chemical's persistence in sludge was its sorption potential-the tendency of molecules of the chemical to adhere to the surface of other molecules. In the case of the HPV chemicals under consideration, high sorption values among hydrophobic chemicals caused them to stick to other particles and be sequestered from the degradative processes used to treat wastewater.

The bulk of the chemicals included in the HPV study were used for industrial purposes and included antidegradants, antioxidants, metal chelators, intermediates, by-products, catalysts, flame retardants, phenylating agents, plasticizers, heat storage and transfer agents, lubricants, solvents, anticorrosive agents, and others.

The study also identified five mass-produced chemicals used as flavors and fragrances that were predicted to persist in sludge in fifty percent or greater amounts of their initial mass loading in raw sewage.

The findings were reported in the Journal of Environmental Monitoring. (ANI)