October 27, 2013


CRD SEWAGE NEWS

Open Letter advert from ARESST
The RITE Plan is launched to promote alternate land-based sewage treatment
Opponents of CRD sewage plan offer a proposal of their own
CTV video clip about Michell farms organic composting
Incinerator could be needed for sludge, adding to cost of sewage project
CRD MEETS TO DISCUSS SLUDGE PLAN
CHEK VIDEO CLIP ABOUT HARTLAND INCINERATOR THREAT
Alternate sewage proposal for regional plants, gasification rejected by director

LETTERS

Hartland biosolids centre solution leaves a bad taste (Bickerton)
TV station presented opposing viewpoint (Germain)
Piping sewage sludge to Hartland irresponsible (Ferguson)
Sludge-pipe decision irresponsible (Ferguson)
- Sludge-pipe decision jaw-dropping (Penrice)
Process sludge in old gravel pit (Rowntree)

SEND IN YOUR LETTERS!
   
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CRD SEWAGE NEWS

ARESST OPEN LETTER ADVERT PUBLISHED

ARESST OPEN LETTER TO THE CITIZENS OF VICTORIA

YOU ARE BEING MISLED ABOUT SEWAGE TREATMENT

The October 3rd media release(1) by Georgia Strait Alliance (GSA), TBuck Suzuki Foundation (TSF), and David Suzuki Foundation (DSF) presented misinformation suggesting that Victoria’s current system of natural marine treatment needs to be replaced.

In a subsequent October 4th CHEK TV news-cast(2), retired UVic microbiologist Dr. Ed Ishiguro presented informal test results that were neither scientifically peer-reviewed nor published.On the same news-cast, CRD director Judy Brownoff cited his tests to support her promotion of the CRD’s sewage plan.

- READ full advert and links to references on ARESST website:  http://www.aresst.ca


Advert that appeared in News Group papers, Times Colonist on 23 October,
Monday Magazine, Victoria Daily News.

Join ARESST on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ARESST/

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The RITE Plan is launched to promote alternate land-based sewage treatment


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Opponents of CRD sewage plan offer a proposal of their own

ROB SHAW
TIMES COLONIST
OCTOBER 24, 2013
   
Opponents of Greater Victoria’s sewage treatment plan have pitched yet another alternative, this time involving a system of 15 smaller plants with a higher level of treatment, and gasification technology that could also handle the region’s garbage and kitchen scraps.

The proposal, which advocates say could save the region millions over the long term, would replace the Capital Regional District’s current plan for a single treatment facility at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt and a biosolid sludge centre at Hartland landfill in Saanich.

However, it would also need the backing of politicians on the CRD’s sewage committee, where a majority of directors have consistently voted to reject delays and proceed with the current plan.

“People are looking for a better alternative,” said Richard Atwell, who unveiled the proposal — dubbed the “RITE Plan” — on Thursday on behalf of the Sewage Treatment Action Group.

“They’ve been complaining about it for a long time and nothing has been offered. The benefits [of the current plan] are simply too low for the cost. I think the time is right.”

Atwell’s proposal is estimated at roughly $650 million, compared with the current plan of $783 million.

The idea involves up to 15 small sewage treatment plants at existing CRD-owned pump site locations across the region.

The plants would be built with tertiary treatment technology, similar to what’s being used at Dockside Green in Vic West and the massive Brightwater sewage system in Washington state. It involves a higher level of treatment that would treat more waste and contaminants than the secondary treatment called for in the CRD plan.

Under the CRD proposal, the leftover sludge would be piped 18 kilometres to Hartland landfill, where it would be dried to be used as either fuel or fertilizer.

Instead, Atwell said, the CRD should build a gasification plant that would use high heat to reduce sludge to gas.

Gasification would have the added benefit of destroying the CRD’s garbage at Hartland, as well as regional kitchen scraps. The CRD is struggling to figure out what to do with food scraps, after it pulled the licence of the region’s only composter, Foundation Organics in Central Saanich, due to odour complaints.

“The idea is to combine all of these waste streams together into one waste-to-energy facility that you pay for once and it takes care of everything,” Atwell said.

Having one facility handle sewage, garbage and kitchen scraps would mean the CRD doesn’t need to build a separate garbage incinerator or gasifier in the future, saving hundreds of millions of dollars, said Atwell.

Gasification has been raised as an idea by CRD director Vic Derman for several years, but CRD engineers have argued the technology is unproven for sewage and kitchen scraps.

“Gasification is clearly a proven technology,” Derman said. “It’s been around for over 100 years and has been used on a large scale.” It’s also cleaner than incinerating waste, he said.

The B.C. government will allow only incineration or gasification if a landfill diverts at least a 70 per cent of waste to recycling, said CRD spokesman Andy Orr. The current CRD diversion rate is 50 per cent.

Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Andrew Weaver praised Atwell’s proposal.

“It’s innovative, it’s distributed and it’s dealing with the problem,” the Green MLA said. “It’s integrating solid and liquid waste management, which is the way of the future.”

Weaver said CRD made mistakes in planning, and encouraged it to ask the government for more time to consider a new sewage plan.

The CRD wants to sign the first plant construction contracts in early 2014, with project completion in 2018.

rshaw@timescolonist.com

http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/opponents-of-crd-sewage-plan-offer-a-proposal-of-their-own-1.671892

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CTV video clip about Michell farms organic composting

Richard Atwell
Oct 21

CTV went to visit Michell Farms where Saanich has planned to send its kitchen scraps for composting:


Is Saanich part of the CRD or not?

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CTV also went to visit Albert Sweetnam to see his collection of antique jars:


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Incinerator could be needed for sludge, adding to cost of sewage project

ROB SHAW
TIMES COLONIST 
OCTOBER 25, 2013 10:12 PM

Greater Victoria will need to look at building an incinerator to burn its sewage sludge if politicians refuse next week to overturn a ban on applying sludge to land, says the chairwoman of the civilian commission overseeing the sewage project.

Brenda Eaton has written to Capital Regional District politicians warning that the treatment-project budget might have to be increased by $38 million for an incinerator, unless the region lifts a ban on applying sludge to land.

Eaton’s letter, released Friday, said the civilian commission of experts in charge of building the project “strongly supports” using sludge as fertilizer, compost or soil-amendment, and “respectfully requests” politicians reconsider the ban.

CRD directors will vote on the issue Wednesday.

It’s the first time an incinerator has been proposed to deal with sludge — a byproduct of the treatment process — and is likely to spark concern from environmental groups historically opposed to air pollution caused by incineration.

The CRD banned use of sludge on land two years ago amid worries that farm land and the food grown on it could be polluted by pharmaceuticals and heavy metals.

CRD staff are recommending politicians vote Wednesday to repeal the ban, but still prohibit sludge from agricultural land where food is grown.

Lifting the ban would avoid the need for an incinerator and shave an additional $35 million off the sewage project’s budget because sludge wouldn’t need to be dried, Eaton said.

The CRD’s current sewage plan includes a treatment plant at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt, with the resulting sludge to be pumped 18 kilometres to a facility at Hartland landfill.

For years, the CRD planned to dry the sludge as fuel for cement kilns. But it now admits there are no Canadian companies that want to purchase sludge as fuel.

Without a buyer, and with the land ban, the CRD has few options.

“The major option would be to landfill it, or to build a waste-to-energy solution,” Eaton said in an interview.

The sludge from existing sewage treatment plants in Sooke, Saltspring Island and on the Saanich Peninsula is dumped in Hartland landfill.

The new sewage plan would deal with that sludge as well.

Applying sludge to land can help fertilize soil, and if done properly, has few negative effects on the environment or human health, say CRD staff and a report by consulting firm Stantec. Most cities across the world apply some sludge to land, according to the reports.

“For us this is not just about money,” Eaton said.

“The main issue is that land applications of biosolids are, by far and away, the best environmental solution.”

But environmental groups, including the Sierra Club of B.C., are rallying to keep the sludge-on-land ban in place.

“We do see the point of actually returning the organic matter and nutrients to the soil, but what concerns us is the amount of pollutants this carries,” said Ana Simeon, Sierra Club spokeswoman.

“The current treatment proposal does not have any way of removing those pollutants from the waste stream. If we are not dumping [sludge] in the ocean because it’s too hazardous for the ocean ecosystem, we should not be dumping it on land.”

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins, View Royal Mayor Graham Hill and Saanich councillor Vic Derman have all expressed support for the existing ban.

Former Victoria councillor Philippe Lucas has founded an organization called Biosolids Free B.C. and in an open letter is also urging support to maintain the ban.



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CRD MEETS TO DISCUSS SLUDGE PLAN

Richard says on The Rite Plan Facebook page:

The Biosolids CRD Staff Report is now available ahead of the Wed Oct 30th meeting and the recommendation within is as predicted:

"That the CRD harmonize current and long-term practices to allow alternative management options for the beneficial use of biosolids produced from CRD-owned sewage treatment facilities, with the exception of application to agricultural lands used for food production in the CRD."


But look at the presenters:

4. Review of Regional Biosolids Management Policy 

PowerPoint Presentation: Robert Simms, Stantec
Colin Smith, Vice Chair, Seaterra Program Commission
Pam Elardo, Commissioner, Seaterra Program Commission

When did the commission become the salesmen for the project? This is horrible state of affairs.

The Committee of the Whole meets at 9:30am but there's a board meeting at the exact same time which isn't right.

My guess is there is a plan to have the board meet right after the first COTW meeting to pass whatever motion makes it through the first meeting.


If that's the case, the CRD rubber stamp is out of control.

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John added:
That Stantec sludge report totally lacks transparency about options because report only refers briefly on page 4 to November 2009 Stantec/Brown & Caldwell Biosolids Management Plan(BMP) that delved deep into why mixing sewage sludge with organic kitchen scraps was great idea for generating energy AND for reducing landfill volumes (Section 4):

Integration of solid waste, liquid waste and organics hasn't been on CRD's official agenda, but current events in Central Saanich and Hartland seem to be pushing the agenda in that direction anyway. 

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CHEK VIDEO CLIP ABOUT HARTLAND INCINERATOR THREAT

CHEK on the CRD Commission's threat of a sewage incinerator at Hartland:
http://youtu.be/Bf5XtSi9XaM

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Alternate sewage proposal for regional plants, gasification rejected by director

ROB SHAW 
TIMES COLONIST 
OCTOBER 26, 2013
     
The director of Greater Victoria’s sewage project is throwing cold water on an alternate proposal for regional plants and gasification that would handle garbage and kitchen waste.

Albert Sweetnam said gasification, the process of heating waste to produce gases, has been around for some time but remains “an industry in its infancy” limited to small projects mainly in Japan and Europe.

“It’s still something people are looking at and researching and trying to develop,” he said Friday.

“As an established municipality or region, we’d not really be looking at this because it would not fall under what we call proven technology. For us, proven technology is defined in a couple of ways: one, is it’s been around at least five years, and the other is it’s been operating at the type of volumes we’d expect.”

The Sewage Treatment Action Group pitched the idea Thursday, gaining the support of Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Andrew Weaver.

The group proposed up to 15 small tertiary-level sewage treatment plants at existing Capital Regional District pump stations, and a gasification plant at Hartland landfill that would handle sewage sludge, garbage and kitchen scraps.

The plants would offer a higher level of sewage treatment than what is planned by the CRD, and the gasification plant would allow many types of waste to be dealt with at one facility, proponents of the alternate plan say.

“There is no land at the existing pump stations,” said Sweetnam, who said the idea has previously been examined by CRD staff.

“Even if you were fortunate enough to find land throughout [the CRD] for these plants, you still have to truck the sludge somewhere similar to Hartland, and you are talking about 31 major tractor-trailers full of sludge on the road every day. That’s quite significant.”

The CRD’s civilian commission is willing to look at any companies that bid on the Hartland sludge facility and propose gasification technology, Sweetnam said, but they would need to prove the technology works at the scale proposed and has a track record elsewhere.

rshaw@timescolonist.com

http://www.timescolonist.com/alternate-sewage-proposal-for-regional-plants-gasification-rejected-by-director-1.673819

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LETTERS

Hartland biosolids centre solution leaves a bad taste (Bickerton)

Victoria News
October 24, 2013

I am annoyed to learn the sewage biosolids plant could be built at the Hartland Road dump.

Seaterra is just another example of re-branding a sewage concept with a “no-money-back guarantee.” Some Capital Regional District directors are being misled by a Pied Piper tune – acting like lemmings falling over a cliff in pursuit of promised provincial and federal funding. The promises are as thin and transparent as cheap bathroom tissue, all in pursuit of a byproduct consisting of sludge, herbicides, insecticides and toxins.

The $783 million quotation is likely just the down payment. Consider past financial miscalculations for the CREST radio system, McTavish Road Interchange, CRD kitchen scraps program, Viewfield Road treatment site and other infrastructure upgrades.

There are no costs to CRD politicians who make bad decisions, other than losing their election. For those who win, there will be self-regulated bonuses, no-fault clauses and amnesty for cost overruns likely hidden by in-camera confidential discussion. Taxpayers must still pay increased property taxes when municipal services are further reduced.

The CRD has chosen to ignore the wisdom of experts like Dr. Shaun Peck. Instead, it is relying on advice from interest groups and lobbyists such as the David Suzuki Foundation.

Several less expensive tertiary sewage treatment plants should be built throughout the Capital Region, using Dockside Green as their model.

If CRD proceeds with their expensive obsolete plan, there will be fewer private projects attempted, owing to new higher taxes, fees and a growing to-do list from all three levels of government. That leads to less disposable income for local residents and businesses.

Fortunately, at local coffee shops, there is an expanding group of seniors in disagreement with the CRD’s decision. They are well-informed voters.

The CRD decision for secondary treatment, with twin pipes from Hartland to McLoughlin Point is an unthinkable, undrinkable solution.

Art Bickerton
Saanich

http://www.vicnews.com/opinion/letters/229177951.html

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Piping sewage sludge to Hartland irresponsible (Ferguson)

Victoria News
October 24, 2013

When I expressed my concern about the proposed sewage project to one of the Capital Regional District’s liquid waste committee directors a year ago, I was assured that the “fear mongering” was unnecessary. The project would be changed and improved along the way.

That clearly hasn’t happened. Piping sludge to Hartland would be astoundingly irresponsible. If the CRD wanted to sink their own ship, they couldn’t do a better job. They have now demonstrated how truly foolish this proposed project will be.

Even if you firmly believe in treatment, the effectiveness of this plan will be minimal. The CRD is trying to brainwash the public into thinking that there will be resource recovery. Considering the energy required to pump sewage 18 kilometres uphill, that idea is laughable. If you want value for money, burn it in the fireplace or flush it down the toilet.

Dave Ferguson
Saanich


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Sludge-pipe decision irresponsible (Ferguson)
TIMES COLONIST
OCTOBER 23, 2013
   
Re: “Across-town sludge pipe to Hartland gets the nod,” Oct. 18.

When I expressed my concern about the proposed sewage project to one of the Capital Regional District wastewater committee directors a year ago, I was assured that the “fear-mongering” was unnecessary. The project would be changed and improved along the way.

That clearly hasn’t happened. The decision to pipe sludge to Hartland is astoundingly irresponsible. If the CRD wanted to sink its own ship, it couldn’t have done a better job. It has now demonstrated how truly foolish this proposed project will be.

Even if you firmly believe in treatment, the effectiveness of this plan will be minimal. The CRD is trying to brainwash the public into thinking that there will be resource recovery. After the energy required to pump sewage uphill for 18 kilometres, that idea is laughable. If you want value for money, burn it in the fireplace or flush it down the toilet.

Dave Ferguson
Saanich

http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/letters/sludge-pipe-decision-irresponsible-1.668438
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TV station presented opposing viewpoint (Germain)

TIMES COLONIST 
OCTOBER 24, 2013 
     
Re: “ARESST open letter to the citizens of Victoria,” advertisement, Oct. 23.

The letter cites the Oct. 4 CHEK newscast in which retired University of Victoria microbiologist Ed Ishiguro presented the findings of several environmental groups, including the David Suzuki Foundation. The findings were of water samples taken up to 10 kilometres from the Clover Point outfall.

For the record, CHEK included in its report an interview with ARESST’s Dr. Shaun Peck. Peck, a former public health officer, contradicted the findings of the environmental groups.

Rob Germain
News director
CHEK News


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Sludge-pipe decision jaw-dropping (Penrice)

TIMES COLONIST 
OCTOBER 21, 2013 
   
Re: “Across-town sludge pipe to Hartland gets the nod,” Oct. 18.

The article really sent my blood pressure into orbit. The Capital Regional District has “no choice” other than the option they already recognize as “insane” and this is an option that is also going to cost regional taxpayers $783 million?

To make matters even more concerning, this horrendously stupid decision was made in yet another opaque in-camera meeting. Wow. The level of deafness to the ongoing concerns of the public and the governing incompetence of the CRD regarding regional waste management issues is nothing short of jaw-dropping. We need new governance in this committee and we need it yesterday.

Andree Penrice
Victoria


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Process sludge in old gravel pit (Rowntree)

TIMES COLONIST 
OCTOBER 24, 2013 

Re: “Across-town sludge pipe to Hartland gets the nod,” Oct. 18.

I understand that the development of the former Butler gravel pits in Colwood has been put on hold after three different proposals over the last 12 years.

Why couldn’t the sewage sludge created by McLoughlin Point treatment be pushed through a sea-floor pipe across to the lower levels of the Butler site, which is being regraded? Processed sludge could be barged away from the gravel pit for use or disposal.

If the waters are deep enough and a sea-bottom pipeline does not affect naval security, wouldn’t it be easier to pump the sludge downhill or horizontally, rather than uphill, along the shortest path?

Also, if the pumps moving sludge uphill to Hartland fail due to power loss or earthquake, where will that sludge back slide to or burst out if a pipe or pump fails? Or do the planners intend to dump raw sludge in the ocean as an emergency backup plan?

The shortest route — a sea-bottom pipeline — could be less costly to construct and make more sense during emergencies.

How would our taxpayers feel about this idea, since our Capital Regional District representatives say they have run out of alternative ideas to pumping sludge uphill to Hartland?

Susan Rowntree
Victoria


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