CRD-RELATED SEWAGE PROJECT NEWS:
- SEWAGE PROJECT IS ITSELF A WASTE: GROUP
- LETTER: BUREAUCRACY TRIUMPHS OVER COMMON SENSE (GIBSON)
- CRD FLEXIBLE ON LANDFILL IN SEWAGE PLAN
GENERAL SEWAGE-RELATED NEWS:
- APPROPRIATE ELIZABETH MAY TWEET
CRD-RELATED SEWAGE PROJECT NEWS:
SEWAGE PROJECT IS ITSELF A WASTE: GROUP
July 10, 2012
A group of doctors and marine scientists is standing by their view that the Greater Victoria sewage-treatment project awaiting funding is not necessary and would create more toxic waste than the current system.
The Capital Regional District expects the provincial and federal governments to announce their shares of sewage-treatment funding "within weeks," CRD chairman Geoff Young said Monday.
But the Association for Responsible and Environmentally Sustainable Sewage Treatment in Victoria says the proposed secondary-sewage treatment plan would be a waste of $782 million.
Jack Littlepage, a retired biological oceanographer and member of ARESST, said governments need to compare the environmental effects of marine discharge versus land discharge before financially backing the secondary-sewage plan.
"People assume that onland treatment is good - but it's not. It has its own set of major problems and one is that it is very energy-demanding. It takes a lot of energy to do what the ocean does," he said.
Currently, sewage is sieved through a metal screen before being piped into the ocean, about two kilometres offshore.
The secondary-sewage system approved by the provincial government last fall calls for a liquid-only treatment plant in Esquimalt. Liquid from sewage would be extracted and the sludge left over would be piped to a biosolids digestion facility in Saanich.
In the early 1970s, Littlepage and the University of Victoria monitored the marine discharge from the two existing outfalls of the sewage system. He said Victoria enjoys a rare environment - one of a handful in the world - ideal for the current marine-discharge system.
Littlepage said the cold temperature of the water, the high current flow and the fact that the net transport of water in the area is seaward, make for an effective marine-discharge system.
The waste discharged into the ocean now is essentially non-toxic, Littlepage said, and is easily metabolized by marine life. He said concentrated waste, like the sludge that will be produced at the proposed plant, is highly toxic.
Retired physician Shaun Peck, a former CRD medical health officer, said the current system poses no public risk and there is no need for the proposed secondary-sewage treatment.
"This is a political decision. It's not based on science," Peck said.
Both Peck and Littlepage said a better use of taxpayers' money would be to improve the storm-water drains and storm-water overflow that affect capital beaches.
LETTERS: BUREAUCRACY TRIUMPHS OVER COMMON SENSE (GIBSON)
Re: “Sewage-project cash likely ‘within weeks’,” July 5
Times Colonist internet site
Monday, 9 July 2012
Capital Regional District chairman Geoff Young says they haven’t heard anything from the federal or provincial governments indicating they might change their minds about requiring Victoria to build a billion-dollar sewage-treatment plant.
Well, no wonder! Neither Young nor any other of our local politicians has ever had the moxy to challenge them on the need for this project in the first place, despite overwhelming evidence from the scientific community that such a megaproject is unneeded and will actually be worse for the environment than the existing system, which uses natural biological processes in the ocean off our doorstep to break down and recycle our natural body wastes.
If this project goes ahead, with its huge burden of debt and operating costs, it will truly be a triumph of bureaucracy and political correctness over science and common sense.
Only in Victoria? What a pity.
business/Letters+Hereditary+ peers+bonuses+sewage+salaries+ more/6905655/story.html
CRD FLEXIBLE ON LANDFILL IN SEWAGE PLAN
Willing to consider other sites for biosolids facility, chairman says
Cindy E. Harnett
July 10, 2012
The Capital Regional District is open to suggestions for the perfect site for a biosolids digestion facility, even after federal funding for a secondary sewage treatment plant is announced.
CRD chairman Geoff Young said Monday he expects that within weeks, the federal government will deliver on its promised one-third funding for the $782-million capital cost of the project.
Vanessa Schneider, a spokesman for Transport Minister Denis Lebel, said: "Our government remains committed to this project, and we are working closely with our partners to reach an agreement."
The B.C. announcement of one-third funding is expected to follow.
Operating costs of $14.5 million and any land acquisition costs would be borne by the participating municipalities, with the estimated property tax burden for homeowners to range from $100 to $500 a year.
Meanwhile, although the business case for the project has been completed for years, discussions continue about the possibility of a better site for the biosolids facility, currently proposed for Hartland landfill.
"If there is a better one, certainly we will look at [it]," Young said. "Right up until the time when we select a proponent or proponents and sign a contract, we will always be open to better options.
The approved treatment plan calls for a liquids-only treatment plant at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt. There, the liquid would be extracted and the sludge left over would be piped 18 kilometres to a biosolids digestion facility at the landfill. Underground storage tanks would be built at Cadboro Bay.
Currently, sewage is sieved through a six-millimetre metal screen before it is piped about a kilometre into the ocean.
The Hartland site has never been considered ideal, but it is owned by all municipalities within the CRD. Other properties the CRD has considered would cost in the range of $15 million to $20 million.
There has been ongoing discussion of other sites that may be suitable. But with little provincial or regional land available, the price tag could prove a deal breaker.
The location of the liquids-only treatment plant at McLoughlin Point, at the entrance to the Inner Harbour, has been less contentious except in Esquimalt.
The site is centrally located, for the most part away from neighbourhoods, and is in the vicinity of the new outfall proposed for the harbour. The former Esso site, which would have to be remediated, was also considered relatively inexpensive.
The site is too small to house both liquids-only treatment and a biosolidsdigestion facility. The CRD considered a site that would house both, but due to the cost is now considering separate locations.
Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins is encouraging residents "to be speaking in a louder voice in public" about the inappropriateness of both the McLoughlin site for liquids-only treatment plant, and the considerable economic and environmental costs of piping biosolids to the Hartland landfill.
Desjardins supports secondary sewage treatment but said it needs to be integrated at a single site away from McLoughlin Point.
GENERAL SEWAGE-RELATED NEWS:
Thanks to ARESST member forwarding following May tweet.
APPROPRIATE ELIZABETH MAY TWEET
From Elizabeth May MP @ElizabethMay
Raj Sherman, leader of Alberta Liberals, told me: "we need evidence-based decision-making; not decision-based evidence-making." #cdnpoli