CRD SEWAGE NEWS
- Richard Atwell on CFAX. October 9
- Oct 7 CHEK story on the Seaterra name change
- CTV story on the sewage project and new name
- CFAX 9 OCTOBER POLL ON SEWAGE RE-NAMING
- Hugh's graphic interpretation of Seaterra naming
- Sewage project rebrands itself with $15,000 image makeover
- Seaterra, Seaterror, Seat-error?- Esquimalt will now be Seaterra-by-the-Sea?? Raeside's take on it...
- Role of Directors in Creating Bad Sewage Plan (Atwell)
- Editorial: It would smell as sweet
- Presentation to CRD Sewage Ctte. 9 Oct. (Newcomb)
- Re-using sewer water would save costs (Atwell)
- Seaterra rebranding is its own satire (Bavelas)
- Sewage shouldn’t be either/or issue (Klassen)
- White elephant gets a veneer of green (Wraggett)
- SEND IN YOUR LETTERS!
CRD SEWAGE NEWS
Richard Atwell on CFAX. October 9
1/2 hour. Starts at 32:45 minute mark but especially catch the rant by Geoff Young at the 50:50 minute mark. Wow - he is really mad at us!
Oct 7 CHEK story on the Seaterra name change:
CTV story on the sewage project and new name:
CFAX 9 OCTOBER POLL ON SEWAGE RE-NAMING
Hugh's graphic interpretation of Seaterra naming
"Treatment project Director Albert Sweetnam says a popular perception of "sludge" in the context of the Victoria project is incorrect.
He brought a sample to C-FAX studios today, to demonstrate that the "sludge" is in fact 98 per cent water, so that it will move through a pipe. That then means there has to be provision to dispose of the water later..."
Well, this is utterly amazing! Raw sewage that is 99.9% water is somehow so disgusting but sludge which is 98% water looks harmless in a jar.
Con Job Alert!
The CRD would be pumping a slurry up to Hartland which is nothing more than sludge from the plant that has been diluted so that it can be pumped through a pipeline.
By naming the slurry (a term the CRD engineers are on the record using at their open houses) as sewage sludge they will then start selling the public on the wonders of biosolids which naturally can't be sludge.
The sewage sludge that will come out of the Hartland facility which will be toxic. Secondary sewage systems and chemical concentrators.
Make no mistake: this a a coordinated PR effort by Sweetnam ahead of the CRD meeting on the 30th to lift the ban on the land applications of biosolids.
CRD banned it in 2011 and now they are in panic to undo it.
It's time to ramp up this campaign another notch...
Sewage project rebrands itself with $15,000 image makeover
OCTOBER 7, 2013
Greater Victoria’s contentious sewage treatment project was rebranded the “Seaterra Program” Monday by a civilian commission of experts that’s taken day-to-day decision-making away from local politicians.
The new name and logo for the long-running and divisive $783-million megaproject came amid a publicity blitz by the new program director, Albert Sweetnam.
Sweetnam, a former nuclear power official and engineering project manager from Ontario, unveiled the rebrand during meetings with Victoria media.
“It’s reflecting what we’re trying to do, which is clean up the ocean, as in the sea, and the elements associated with the biosolids, which is the land,” he told the Times Colonist.
He called it a “changing of the guard” in the project, which sees the civilian commission of experts take over procurement and construction from the Capital Regional District’s sewage committee.
CRD politicians on the committee have been planning the project since 2006, but agreed to hand over day-to-day control in exchange for half a billion dollars in funding from the federal and provincial governments, which equates to two-thirds of the project’s budget.
Local politicians retain control over plant locations and the overall budget. Sweetnam acknowledged those politicians still need to make several key decisions before he has a final plan to execute.
Among the holdups is a zoning dispute between Esquimalt and the CRD at McLoughlin Point. The CRD has shortlisted three firms to build a treatment plant at McLoughlin, without a zoning agreement.
“My expectation would be we would not sign a McLoughlin treatment plant contract until this was settled,” said Sweetnam. The commission hopes to sign a deal by March or April, he said.
CRD politicians are also unhappy with the Hartland landfill as the site of a biosolids centre to treat leftover sludge, which would require an 18-kilometre pipe from McLoughlin. The CRD sewage committee is expected to hear about other options during an in-camera meeting Wednesday.
Sweetnam said he won’t sign any contracts for Hartland either, until politicians have made up their minds.
Sweetnam, a former vice-president of nuclear energy at Ontario Power Generation and a senior vice-president at engineering giant SNC-Lavalin, said he was well aware of the CRD project’s controversy when he started his job last month.
“I had a feeling of what I was getting into,” he said. “What I didn’t fully understand was actually the magnitude of the municipal politics that are involved.”
Sweetnam said he’s seen similar opposition to much larger projects he headed in Ontario and around the world.
“I’ve been through it, I’ve done it, I understand how it works and I understand we need to get as much public support as possible,” he said.
Reaction to the Seaterra rebranding, which cost $15,000, was mixed.
“Is that the way they want to spend taxpayer money?” asked Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins, a vocal critic of the current plan’s impact on her township.
“That’s a commission decision. I’m sure we at CRD will hear back from the public as to whether they think that’s appropriate.”
Langford Coun. Denise Blackwell, who chairs the CRD sewage committee, said “it’s a good idea” and pointed to the success of the Seattle-area Brightwater treatment project’s brand.
Saanich Coun. Vic Derman said the new name doesn’t address the CRD’s many failures in planning. “They might as well call it Failure-to-do-due-diligence,” he said. “That’s probably more accurate.”
Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin gleefully channelled Shakespeare: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.”
Richard Atwell, organizer of StopABadPlan.ca, said the CRD plan will capture only some of the toxic chemicals in sewage, and will launder them back into the land through biosolids and rain.
“Perhaps ‘Sea Terror’ would be a better name for this project,” said Atwell.
news/local/sewage-project- rebrands-itself-with-15-000- image-makeover-1.652184
Seaterra, Seaterror, Seat-error?
- Esquimalt will now be Seaterra-by-the-Sea?? Raeside's take on it...
Times Colonist, 9 October
Role of CRD Councillors in Creating Bad CRD Sewage Plan (Atwell)
Richard Atwell 1:05am Oct 11 Facebook
Of all the eye popping and mind blowing experiences I've had with this sewage project, the last two outbursts from Geoff Young on August 14 and Oct 9 caught me off guard. This CRD Director is clearly losing his cool.
This is a must see video recounting a critical moment in the sordid history of this bungled project:
Part 1: Vic Derman sets up the challenge
Part 2: Geoff Young goes on a tirade and lashes out at the public
Part 3: Dave Saunders sets the record straight on what really happened (via 2009 spy cam time machine)
Length: 12 mins
NB: I've never suggested during any of my presentations that the project outcome was predetermined early on but after listening to Young stand up for the rigorousness of the pricey protracted planning process and given this archival video of Saunders, I'm not looking for the person who has levelled this criticism.
We not only need a new project but new people to helm it. This batch (Blackwell, Brownoff, Young, etc) is cooked. After 7 years, they are sewage project burnouts.
They've blown it and they know it. They just won't admit it.
Editorial: It would smell as sweet
OCTOBER 9, 2013 04:52 PM
‘Seaterra” evokes a fresh breeze sweeping the clean scent of the open ocean across a forested landscape. Spelled SeaTerra, it’s a luxury resort development on the northern cost of the Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus.
Either way, Seaterra Program doesn’t sound much like a sewage-treatment project, which is undoubtedly one of the factors behind the choice of the new name for the Core Area Wastewater Treatment Program. Another factor is that it’s a lot easier to say than the original moniker attached to the project by those whose approach was more literal than literary. But even they were reluctant to use the word “sewage.”
That’s what it is, though — human waste that must be disposed of. It is smelly and a hazard to health and the environment. For most people, it’s not a pleasant topic of conversation. Changing names won’t make it smell better.
But the rebranding cost only $15,000, a reasonable price for such a move and a microscopic sum in a $783-million budget. At worse, it’s a harmless strategy; at best, a phrase that will ease communications.
The new name will have little effect on public acceptance of the project. Arguments have raged back and forth, minds have been made up, decisions have been rendered and the process is moving ahead. Whether Seaterra becomes synonymous with boondoggle or environmental success depends on the project’s effectiveness, not on a public-relations exercise.
Presentation to CRD Sewage Committee 9 October (Newcomb)
GEORGIA STRAIT ALLIANCE (GSA) ADVOCACY GROUP’S PRESS RELEASE LAST WEEK ABOUT FECAL COLIFORMS WAS INTENDED ONLY TO PRESSURE YOU INTO MAKING MORE BAD DECISIONS ABOUT THIS SEWAGE PLAN.
THIS SEWAGE PLAN ADVOCATES’ PRESS RELEASE, WITH NO INDEPENDENT ANALYSIS, WITH NO COMPREHENSIVE REPORT AND WITH LITTLE CRITICAL COVERAGE BY THE PRESS IS TOTALLY DEVOTED TO INFLATING PUBLIC AND POLITICAL PERCEPTION OF RISK ASSOCIATED WITH OUR CURRENT MARINE-BASED SEWAGE TREATMENT SYSTEM.
THE SEWAGE PLAN ADVOCATES’ AIM IS NOT JUST THAT THE CRD FLOUNDER ON WITH THIS BAD PLAN BUT THAT YOU IGNORE TREATMENT OPTIONS AND THAT YOU IGNORE COMMUNITY CONCERNS. BEAR IN MIND THAT EVEN IF GSA’S CLAIMS ABOUT SEDIMENT FECAL COLIFORM LEVELS ARE EVER CONFIRMED TO HAVE ANY VALIDITY, THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE MEASURE REFLECTS A SIGNIFICANT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT, NOR THAT THE ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT OF AN EXPANDED SHELLFISH HARVEST EXCLUSION ZONE IS ANYWHERE NEAR THE EXPANDED TOTAL ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT OF YOUR CRD SEWAGE PLANT, SLUDGE PLANT AND PIPELINES.
THIS IS A CRITICAL ISSUE BECAUSE A RELATIVE SAFETY, HAZARD, DANGER AND RISK ASSESSMENT OF VARIOUS SEWAGE TREATMENT SYSTEMS AND OPTIONS HAS BEEN MISSING IN YOUR CRD TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE PROCESS - AND THE SEWAGE PLAN ADVOCATES INTEND TO KEEP IT THAT WAY.
HOWEVER, AN INDEPENDENT TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE EVALUATION THAT INCLUDES SAFETY, DANGER AND HAZARD CRITERIA WOULD LIKELY CONFIRM THAT THE BEST AND MOST SUSTAINABLE OPTION IS OUR CURRENT SYSTEM, FOLLOWED BY A DISTRIBUTED SYSTEM, AND TRAILING WOULD BE THE CRD’S SEWAGE PLAN.
FOR THE MONTHS THAT THE VIEWFIELD NEIGHBOURHOOD WAS STRUGGLING AGAINST THE PROSPECT OF YOUR HIGH-RISK SEWAGE SLUDGE PLANT IN THEIR NEIGHBOURHOOD, THE GSA AND ITS ALLIES WERE SILENT.
ITEM 6 STAFF REPORT DOESN’T ADDRESS THE SOCIAL, HEALTH OR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF DISTRIBUTED TREATMENT BUT A NETWORK OF MICRO-PLANTS DO RESPOND TO AT LEAST SOME OF THE SOCIAL EQUITY CONCERNS.
WHILE THE MOST SOCIALLY-EQUITABLE TREATMENT OPTION IS OUR LOW-COST, SUSTAINABLE, MARINE-BASED SEWAGE TREATMENT SYSTEM THAT CREATES NO SLUDGE AND FEW GREENHOUSE GASES, COMPARED TO THE CRD’S SEWAGE PLAN FOR A SINGLE MEGA-TREATMENT PLANT, A NETWORK OF VERY SMALL PLANTS SPRINKLED AROUND THE CORE AREA WILL BE SEEN BY RESIDENTS AS MORE EQUITABLE AND LESS OF A SAFETY HAZARD AND ECONOMIC THREAT TO THEIR HOMES’ VALUE.
THE CRD MUST CORRECT THE INADEQUACIES OF THE TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE PROCESS, AND INTEGRATE SAFETY, HAZARD AND DANGER CONCERNS INTO THE TBL.
Re-using sewer water would save costs (Atwell)
Re: “Tertiary sewage treatment too expensive,” letter, Sept. 28.
The writer asks how it can possibly be a minimal cost to bring a “purple pipe” carrying recycled water to homes.
One answer lies with our aging infrastructure — a Google search of “inflow-infiltration-dp” brings up the Capital Regional District web page that shows $421 million in underground repairs that must be completed.
This cost is not factored into the CRD’s sewage project, and insufficient matching funds have been committed to help pay for it. Residents of Victoria will soon start funding their share of these repairs via their new stormwater utility bill.
When you consider these inevitable repairs, piping costs are decoupled from the expense of sewage treatment, but this opportunity to provide treated water to homes will disappear without the necessary long-range community planning.
Tertiary treatment makes water safe for re-use. Look to Vernon’s irrigation program that supplies recycled water to agricultural land as just one example.
Homes will eventually be renovated to fully benefit from water re-use, but initial access for new developments and for lawn watering would be the primary application. Increasing use of treated water will also help to defer the huge cost of the future expansion of the water reservoir as our population inevitably grows.
The CRD has gone to great lengths to avoid a dollar-to-dollar comparison of its outdated plan and a forward-thinking decentralized tertiary treatment system using today’s proven technology. We are left wondering why.
Brief comment from Dr. Janet Bavelas, UVic Professor Emeritus of Psychology:
Seaterra rebranding is its own satire (Bavelas)
Re: “Sewage project rebrands itself with $15,000 image makeover,” Oct. 8.
The problem with announcements like this is that they co-opt the possibility of ridicule. They are their own satire.
Sewage shouldn’t be either/or issue (Klassen)
OCTOBER 8, 2013
Re: “Sewage pollution too high: groups,” Oct. 4.Yet again, we have environmental groups showing us how our sewage is harming the environment, along with a plea to forge ahead with the current Capital Regional District plan.
For several years, these groups have made it abundantly clear that you are either for this plan or you are against ocean ecosystems. In this black-and-white thinking, where is the space for those environmentalists like me who strongly support sewage treatment but think the current plan is ill-designed?
There clearly is none. They have no time for critical examination, no time for neighbourhood impacts, no time for those who come to the CRD with solutions that could treat sewage to a higher standard for a similar or better price.
The result is that while we pro-treatment advocates argue with each other in this “for it or against it” dichotomy, the CRD keeps trucking along with its unexamined plan; old-school secondary treatment dumped without proper consultation in Victoria’s lowest-income neighbourhood, ignoring our interconnected sewage and storm drain pipes and refusing to look at modern technology.
Those of us who want sewage treatment should not be on opposing sides. We all want to stop fouling the ocean. We have common enemies, and they are poor leadership, bad planning and crappy project management. If we continue to ignore these, all of us, citizens and ocean creatures, will lose in the end.
White elephant gets a veneer of green (Wraggett)
OCTOBER 10, 2013 04:14 PM
Re: “Sewage project rebrands itself with $15,000 image makeover,” Oct. 8.
As the adage goes, s--- by any other name is still s---.
It is telling that the new program director’s public unveiling is the rebranding of the ill-considered boondoggle known as the Capital Regional District sewage treatment project. It shows how this is more about public image than an efficient, well-conceived and fully capable project, and disregards the reality of the fractured, contentious, money-hole that it is and likely will continue to be.
Taxpayers should step forward and demand a full review of what appears to be a white elephant, regardless of the fresh veneer of Seaterra green.