February 11, 2012

- ROOKIE DIRECTORS GET SEWAGE TREATMENT UPDATE (Shaun Peck mention & Esquimalt concerned about site)
GUERNSEY UPDATES (Victoria situation cited, SAS threatens Guernsey tourism)



“Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you at your first meeting since September 2011.

Speaking to Agenda item 5, I am looking forward to hearing the staff report, to hear if there is any new information from staff since last September.

I would like to mention, and hope that will be included in the staff presentation, that two weeks ago the Marine Monitoring report was presented to the Environmental Sustainability Committee. That report is highly relevant to the decisions of this committee.

That report stated that when a minimal dilution factor was applied within the Initial Dilution Zone around the deep sea outfalls that the measurements are fully in compliance with standards established by the Ministry of Environment and the Canadian Council of Ministers of Environment.

It will be of great interest if and when the Federal Government proclaims the Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations whether they will allow for (as the BC Ministry of Environment does) this Initial Dilution Zone. I have been told it is expected that the regulations will allow this. Victoria will be in full compliance and secondary treatment will not be needed.

The results from this monitoring report reiterate the fact that there is a minimal effect observed on the marine environment with the current practice of discharging the sewage, after screening, through the two deep sea outfalls 1-2 KM offshore through long diffusers. There are some concerns around the Macaulay point results.  These concerns should not too quickly be attributed to the sewage outfall particularly at the 400 Meter monitoring site where it is very difficult to identify the highly dilute plume.  I am glad that report states “Preliminary information indicates that similar declines in benthic community health have been observed over the same time period at other monitoring stations in the Strait of Georgia, Juan de Fuca Strait and Puget Sound, even at locations far away from point sources of pollution such as municipal wastewater outfalls”.

From a public health perspective I was glad that the results for testing for faecal coliform bacteria at the surface were well below levels established by the Canadian Recreational Water guidelines, indicating a low risk to human health.

We heard two weeks ago that Dockside Green, which has been promoted as a model for the future, is not in compliance with its permit from the Ministry of Environment which means that the sewage from this development has to be pumped into the Victoria City sewer system.

The audit report stated the final system configuration is behind schedule. It seems that there are two major decisions that have to be made by this committee if land based secondary sewage treatment plants are to be constructed. The first is whether land closer to McLoughlin point, will be purchased. The second issue is how will the toxic sludge be finally disposed of? Will it be land (outside the CRD – because the Board has resolved not to apply it to land – even forage crop land) or is it really going to be dried (using a great deal of energy) and then transported to the lower mainland and burned in a lime kiln?

This audit review noted there is no signed agreement for Provincial or Federal one third share of the capital costs. This was meant to be in place in 2010. From my perspective this is welcome because the more this project is delayed the less likely it is to be completed.

As most of you are aware I belong to a large group of people who have been convinced that, based on the evidence, that the planned $782 million land based secondary treatment for the core area is not needed and will be a waste of taxpayer’s dollars. There will be no measurable benefit from this vast expenditure. The marine monitoring report provides further evidence of the minimum effect that is occurring.

There are many sewer system improvements that could be made for much less cost.

For example in the City of Victoria there are high rates of inflow and infiltration, failure due to age and capacity limitations as well as the existence of a significant amount of dual storm and sanitary sewer pipes. This means that sewage is being directly discharged onto the beaches around the city of Victoria through the storm drains.

Recovering heat from existing sewerage pipes (as the committee has heard in the past ) makes sense.  Continuing to enhance to source control program and having a rain water source control program should surely be the priority for this committee in a Liquid Waste Management plan in coordination with actions taken by member municipalities.

Thank you, 

Dr Shaun Peck, Public Health Consultant.
Member of Responsible Sewage Treatment Victoria  www.rstv.ca
Board member of the Association for Responsible and Environmentally Sustainable Sewage Treatment. www.aresst.ca



Environmental Sustainability Committee Minuteshttp://www.crd.bc.ca/minutes/environmentalsustain_/2012_/index.htm

Biosolids Management Program - Update on Call for Expressions of Interest: 



The Capital Regional District (CRD) is inviting residents to comment on the Core Area Liquid Waste Management Plan – 2011 Performance Audit of Plan Commitments. The audit report provides an independent review of the extent to which the CRD, participating municipalities and other responsible agencies have complied with their respective commitments, defined in the Core Area Liquid Waste Management Plan.
Public feedback is encouraged for a three week period beginning February 8, 2012, and concluding February 29, 2012. Copies of the report are also available in hard-copy at any of the CRD offices. Feedback can be provided as follows:
  • Email comments and submissions to contact@wastewatermadeclear.ca, Subject: 2011 Performance Audit of Plan Commitments
  • Mail comments and submissions to: Capital Regional District Head Office, Attention: Dan Telford, Senior Manager, Environmental Engineering, 625 Fisgard Street, Victoria, BC V8W 2S6

ARESST: CRD starts sewage plant construction in 2013, but they haven't completed an adequate Environmental Impact Assessment yet. CRD finance chief Daniels says that cost won't be in the $500-600/yr/household range, but when plan was approved in 2010, range of possible costs went from $210 up to $500, for a plan estimated then at $782 million. However, the estimate is now higher, with a "ball parked" estimate at $791 million.

Kim Westad
Times Colonist
February 09, 2012

Capital Regional District staff said Wednesday they expect the provincial and federal governments to announce funding approval for their portions of the $782-million secondary sewage treatment project by the spring.

Details were discussed by the region's sewage committee in camera.

Beforehand, Jack Hull, project manager for the regional plan, told the committee in open meeting: "We are actively working with B.C. and Canada on finalizing the funding arrangement."

The project has been in limbo since the fall, when the province approved the region's plan to provide secondary sewage treatment.

Currently, sewage is sieved through a six-millimetre metal screen before it is piped into the ocean. The province mandated that secondary sewage treatment be in place by 2016.

The region has worked on the treatment plan for years. However, before it can proceed, the senior levels of government must commit in writing to the funding.

"The funding issue is critical," said Saanich Coun. Susan Brice, a Saanich councillor on the sewage committee. "I respect the fact that staff has talked about finalizing a funding arrangement and agreement. But paperwork is one thing, the announcement is another. Is there anything to report other than we're hoping for something in the spring?"

That question was referred to the in-camera portion of the meeting after regional staff said it involved negotiations.

Costs to individual homeowners have not been finalized and will vary according to municipality. The current estimate is between $150 to $400 per home, depending on the way the municipality currently pays for the collection of sewage and the pump station.

A committee will itemize more specific costs for each community, with a variety of models. "The cost ranges by municipality, but it is certainly not in the $500 to $600 range," said Kelly Daniels, chief administrative officer.

Although the province mandated treatment be in place by 2016, that is no longer possible, Hull said.

If funding approval comes this spring, construction could start by 2013 with completion of all facilities by early 2018, he said.

The approved treatment plan calls for a liquids-only treatment plant at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt.

Sludge left after the liquid is extracted would be piped 18 kilometres to a biosolids digestion facility at Hartland landfill in Saanich.

Underground storage tanks will be built in Saanich in Cadboro Bay.

Esquimalt Coun. Lynda Hundleby reiterated that Esquimalt residents still have many questions about the McLoughlin Point facility and want some form of amenity for hosting the region's sewage.

"We lose taxes and we also get this sort of reputation for being that community," Hundleby said. "I think we need to have something to offset that."

The CRD received a legal opinion earlier that it could not compensate the host community with any particular amenities but could do "enhanced mitigation."


ROOKIE DIRECTORS GET SEWAGE TREATMENT UPDATE (Shaun Peck mention & Esquimalt concern about site)

Frank Stanford
CFAX 1070
February 8 2012

The new target date for completion of a land-based secondary sewage treatment system for greater Victoria is early 2018.

That date was referenced in a for-the-record summary of progress to date, reported for the benefit of newly elected members of the CRD's Liquid Waste Management Committee.

Chief Engineer Jack Hull told the group that it looks as though funding could be approved by senior governments this spring; that contracts could be let and work be underway by 2013, and completed by 2018.  He didn't say so...but that's two years later than the provincial requirement of 2016. 

As for cost, Hull said various changes to the original plan have shaved 185 million dollars from the first estimate...it's now ballparked at 791 million dollars capital; and 14 1/2 million per year in operating costs. 

Questions about the status of negotiations with the federal and provincial governments were quickly shuffled off to a closed door portion of the meeting.

Esquimalt representative Lynda Hundleby reminded the committee that Esquimalt is still not happy about the presumption a treatment plant will be located in that municipality...and will be expecting some kind of compensation...

"That question is still, as far as I'm concerned, still on the table, so we don't need to call it 'amenities'...we call it something else.  But, you know, we lose taxes, and we also get this (umm) sort of, reputation of being 'that' community"

One other thing that has not changed is the presence at every meeting of a delegate from a group that argues secondary treatment is not necessary and a collasal waste of money.  

Former Provincial Health Officer Dr Shaun Peck told the new committee that every delay is good news because it makes it more likely the project will never actually proceed.



Each year the municipality accepts applications from individuals interested in serving the community as a member of an Advisory Committee, Commission or Board. Esquimalt Council will be considering applications for appointments in the following areas (excerpt only environment):

- Environmental Advisory Committee (up to 3 vacancies)

Youth interested in serving the community as a youth representative on one of Council's Advisory Committees are also encouraged to apply as voting members. Youth applications will be considered for the following Advisory Committees:

- Environmental Advisory Committee  (1 vacancy)

Council will also be appointing a representative from the Environmental Advisory Committee to participate on the Advisory Planning Commission in a non-voting capacity, with a focus on the environment. Please indicate on your application if you are interested in this appointment.

Anyone interested in being considered for appointment to any Committee, Commission or Board is invited to submit an application form and a résumé listing professional and volunteer experience and interests to Anja Nurvo, Manager of Corporate Services, by 4:00 p.m. Monday, February 13, 2012. 

Applications may be mailed, faxed (250-414-7111) or scanned and e-mailed [anja.nurvo@esquimalt.ca].  Applicants will be notified of interview date and time. Please include a daytime phone number and email address in order to be contacted to schedule an interview.

For further information about the various appointment opportunities, including terms of reference, length of appointments and meeting times, please contact: 
Anja Nurvo, Manager of Corporate Services

Also, Esquimalt Council has developed a Strategic Priorities Chart, its first step in creating a comprehensive strategic direction document. The chart lists Council priorities for the short- and long-term as well as operational strategies for all Township departments. Waste Water Treatment Plant is included in the Engineering section. The chart is posted to the Township website here.



ARESST: With meetings such as that of 7 Feb, could there be something happening that might be applicable to our concerns about this sewage plant -  the role of the CRD, the CRD sewage committee, and all of the participating municipalities that are members of the core sewage area? 

ARRESTer Bruce Cuthbert's comment about the 7 Feb Amalgamation Discussion:

Thanks to the organizers of the Greater Victoria Amalgamation Discussion Last Night. Interesting topics: What don't we know (before making decisions or changes)? and What could we share and How could we approach doing it?

There was a lot of great discussion tonight at our table including many points for consideration: more and better sharing, better integration, cost savings, efficient services, resource sharing, common practices, best practices, what more could be common services, common or shared "finance, admin, IT, planning, GIS, Public Works tools", "common toolkit", "urban toolkit", "rural toolkit", updated governance, ... learning from others and use social media for more involvement...

In the "Open Mic" discussion, questions from audience included:
"If each table had a clean slate and were designing for 330,000 people, how many would design what we have today?"
"If you live near the border of two municipalities, should you have any say on what gets put up across the street?"

Hopefully this is the beginning of more sharing and integration of services.


ARESST: Excerpt from news below: 

"Contrary to what the critics might say Guernsey is not the only place in the developed world where this form of treatment is deemed appropriate - Victoria, British Columbia, Canada has a similar fast flowing tidal stream providing an equally sustainable wastewater disposal route.



BBC News Guernsey
8 February 2012

Moves to investigate full and partial sewage treatment for Guernsey have been rejected by the States.

Deputies have instead approved £6-8m of work to replace and upgrade the current long sea outfall, through which sewage is discharged into the Little Russell.

The Public Services Department had suggested the improvement and reviews every four years after an independent report into the impact of sewage.

It found full treatment would provide no benefit above the proposed changes.


Minister Bernard Flouquet said: "If one accepts that there is little or no tangible benefit to be derived from having a fully land-based solution then the issue is largely one of perception and to some extent reputation.

"Contrary to what the critics might say Guernsey is not the only place in the developed world where this form of treatment is deemed appropriate - Victoria, British Columbia, Canada has a similar fast flowing tidal stream providing an equally sustainable wastewater disposal route.

"Using the natural resources of the island we can provide a sustainable, reliable and efficient means of liquid waste disposal at the lowest possible carbon footprint and indeed cost."

He said the end of investigations into introducing sewage treatment would mean the current wastewater investigation charge of £50 per household could be stopped, once the costs already incurred had been paid off.

During debate Deputy David De Lisle, who called for full sewage treatment, had called on politicians to reaffirm the island's commitment to full sewage treatment made by the States in 1997 and 2009.

He said: "The continuing pumping of millions of gallons of raw sewage into the sea constitutes a pollution risk to our beaches and a health hazard to bathers and those partaking in water sports."

Deputy De Lisle said the untreated sewage contained a wide array of pathogens, chemical and nutrients - many of which pose a serious threat to human health.

For those comments he was branded "irresponsible" and accused of "scaremongering".

Environment Minister Peter Sirett said beachwatch figures showed island beaches were the cleanest in the British Isles.

He said: "All this talk of sewage spread across our beaches is I'm afraid a gross exaggeration and is doing nothing for our tourist industry whatsoever."


Guernsey sewage fight 'goes on', Surfers Against Sewage says

BBC News Guernsey
10 February 2012

Environmental group Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) has vowed to fight for full sewage treatment in Guernsey.

SAS spokesman Andy Cummins said although States members voted against treatment investigation, the group would make it an election issue.

He said SAS would continue reminding its members that the States voted to continue pumping raw sewage out to sea.

Guernsey's politicians voted 34 to eight against investigating options for dealing with sewage earlier this week.

Instead, the island will replace the outfall pipe in the Little Russel, and will fit diffusers to it.

Surfers Against Sewage carried out a range of publicity exercises aimed at encouraging Guernsey to adopt full sewage treatment


SAS dismayed at States decision on sewage

Guernsey News
10 Feb 2012
Pressure group Surfers Against Sewage have expressed their dismay at the decision by Gurnsey's States not to progress full sewage treatment works.

Earlier this week they decided to continue pumping sewage out to sea untreated, although they agreed to extend the lenght of the outfall pipe.

In a statement Surfers Against Sewage described the practice as "archaic", suggesting the States had gone back on the promise they'd made islanders for full sewage treatment.

SAS Campaign Director Andy Cummins says: “This is disappointing but unfortunately not surprising. Time and again Guernsey’s Government have ignored the wishes of residents, local businesses and supporting scientific evidence. Guernsey is increasingly isolated as a country promoting the discharge of raw sewage into the sea as a responsible treatment method, something which has been largely rejected across the rest of the developed world.” 

The group says it will continue to warn supporters in the UK and around the world of the policy. They also suggest the Marine Conservation Society won't be able to recommend several of Guernsey's beaches due to the impact of the raw sewage.

They have vowed to make sewage an election issue and promised Guernsey residents that they can be called upon "to protect the island's environment, tourist industry and reputation."



Surfers Against Sewage
10 February 2012

SAS are disgusted and dismayed that Guernsey’s Deputies voted yesterday to continue the archaic practice of discharging the 65,000 people’s raw sewage out to sea daily, reneging on promises to the islanders for full sewage treatment yet again.

The Deputies were told by the Public Service Department that ‘natural’ sewage treatment could deal with 65,000 people’s raw sewage. ‘Natural’ sewage treatment consists of the sea, sun and tides. SAS delivered a dossier outlining basic errors in Guernsey’s Public Service Department ‘Liquid Waste Strategy’ to all the Deputies and were buoyed by the support in the lead up to the debate.

• The tidal currents Guernsey’s sewage effluent is discharged into do not take the effluent away from the island. The tidal currents take the effluent along the east coast of Guernsey and then around the island in an anticlockwise direction.

• By leaving the solid organic waste in the effluent, the natural UV (from the sun) will be less effective in decaying the trillions of pathogens continuously discharged into the sea. Some of these pathogens can survive for prolonged periods in seawater (Hepatitis A for 90 days and Ecoli 0157 for 30 days).

Only last week Guernsey’s coast was impacted by raw sewage and associated sanitary waste with the island’s former environment minister and a number of Guernsey sea swimmers identifying sewage outfalls as the probable source of pollution..

SAS hoped that the amendment tabled by Deputy David de Lisle calling for full for partially treated sewage would rescue Guernsey from the practice of discharging raw sewage. SAS is concerned that the Deputies irresponsible actions pose a tangible health risk, contribute to the growing marine litter problem and could harm the tourist industry which is so vital to Guernsey’s economy.

SAS will continue to warm supporters in the UK and around the world that the States of Guernsey have a policy of discharging 65,000 people’s raw sewage into the sea. The Marine Conservation Society will also be unable to recommend several Guernsey beaches due to the impact of the raw sewage effluent.

SAS will be making Guernsey’s raw sewage strategy an election issue this year and Guernsey residents can once again call on their representatives to protect the islands environment, tourist industry and reputation.

SAS Campaign Director Andy Cummins says: “This is disappointing but unfortunately not surprising. Time and again Guernsey’s Government have ignored the wishes of residents, local businesses and supporting scientific evidence. Guernsey is increasingly isolated as a country promoting the discharge of raw sewage into the sea as a responsible treatment method, something which has been largely rejected across the rest of the developed world.”


States says no need to treat sewage

This Is Guernsey
Thursday 9th February 2012

A total of 33 members voted against an amendment placed by Deputy David De Lisle for the States to continue investigating having a sewage treatment plant and to report back as soon as was reasonably practical.

Members backed Public Services’ liquid waste strategy, which stated improving Guernsey’s sewage treatment over and above currently planned works would cost more than £100m. over the next 25 years and would not provide any environmental benefit.

Public Services minister Deputy Bernard Flouquet, said, like some of his board members in the past, he had wanted full sewage treatment but after conducting the report and looking at the scientific evidence he had changed his mind.



BBC News Guernsey
8 February 2012

A move to merge Guernsey Water and Guernsey Wastewater has been approved by the States.

However, a move to commercialise the new organisation was put off in favour of further research into the subject.

Deputy Matt Fallaize's suggestion that more work be carried out was supported by a vote of 41-4.

During debate he said the current proposals were "incomplete" and the States needed more information to make an informed decision.

The new merged entity will be called Guernsey Water.

The Public Services Department, which brought the original proposition to the States, has been tasked, once the merger is complete, with investigating turning the organisation into a States Trading Company.


‘Treat sewage for £25 million less’

This Is Guernsey
6 February 2012

A WASTE campaigner has said Public Services’ suggestion that it would cost £100m. to build a sewage treatment plant is off the mark.

Dick Bilborough, who is part of the Longue Hougue Project Development Company consortium offering to build an all-in-one facility to deal with the island’s rubbish, said theirs would cost less than £75m.

But PSD minister Deputy Bernard Flouquet said that, whatever the difference in cost, the overriding issue was the lack of environmental benefit from further treatment – as suggested in a report by environmental management consultancy Intertek Metoc.

PSD’s breakdown of costs, which are in the January Billet d’Etat, indicated a capital outlay of approximately £35m. plus £10m. additional investment required over the life of the plant and a further £2m. a year to cover operating costs for 25 years.

Mr Bilborough estimated operating costs at £1.5m. a year for 25 years in addition to a £35m. capital spend.