June 30, 2014

Audio-Visual News:
Mr Floatie's Poopaganda on CBC 26 June
Cascadia Living Building Workshop for Esquimalt Village Project Part 1

- The RITE Plan's Youtube Channel
News stories:
​Saanich and Hartland landfill
Mayor mulls ‘made-in-Victoria’ option for sewage
Treatment options clean and green for City of Colwood
Esquimalt Fact Sheet Published
Raw sewage spills offshore at Clover Point, health warning issued

Washington sewage plant attractive and pleasant (AM Anderson)
- Sewage debacle like a slapstick movie (Buckingham)
Astounding facts surround sewage plan (Ferguson)
Offer to Esquimalt an attempt to break logjam (Jensen)
Sewage-plant offer is not an insult (Jones)
Organic wastes should be used for gas (Krause)
Looking for outcome that makes sense (Pietraszek)
CRD plan will meet region’s sewage needs (Sweetnam)
Mayors should offer land for sewage plant (Volet)



Audio-Visual News:

Mr Floatie's Poopaganda on CBC 26 June

Grossly uninformed or poopaganda machine? Mr. Floatie "resurfaced" on CBC radio this morning and it was the usual stream of misinformation:


- Believes Minister didn't intervene because her government wants to privatize several small treatment plants. Wrong, read the letter.

- Believes Esquimalt has plans to put anaerobic digesters in the heart of Esquimalt (after Viewfield, really?). Wrong, attend the design competition.

- Believes Esquimalt will be discharging reclaimed wastewater on playgrounds. Wrong, ditto.

- Believes we're going to get fined after Jan 1, 2015 for not having a plan. Wrong. CRD applied for the transitional authorization.

Some background on this guy:

He tried to run for Mayor of Victoria and wasn't allowed on the ballot so he endorsed Ben Isitt for Mayor back in 2005:


"Skwarok has since endorsed Ben Isitt, the Victoria Civic Electors candidate for mayor. Isitt is calling for tertiary treatment and stronger controls of pollutants such as detergents and chemicals at their source."

Back in 2012, he endorsed Murray Rankin for MP on TV:


And is there's even such a thing as the Victoria Sewage Treatment Alliance when T. Buck Suzuki is behind it?


Cascadia Living Building Challenge Workshop for Esquimalt Village Project Part 1 online


Filming Location: The English Inn (429 Lampson St.), Esquimalt, BC

RITE Plan's Youtube Channel

Frequently updated with the most vital and interesting snippets that show the best and the worst of the CRD's sewage planning process

News stories:

​Saanich and Hartland landfill

Frank Stanford's comment Tuesday June 24 2014

Frank Stanford
June 24, 2014 6:30am

I wonder if composting spoiled lettuce along with kitchen grease and egg shells constitutes a new land use on the regional district's property on Hartland Avenue in Saanich?

It's no secret there's a certain "me too" sentiment in Saanich--and why shouldn't there be?-- arising from the CRD's increasingly generous offer to Esquimalt of an "amenity package", in attempts to persuade that municipality to host a regional sewage treatment plant.

Esquimalt keeps saying "it's not about the money"...but if it was...if it in fact eventually turns out that a deal is done, well...what about all the other regional facilities that aren't paying taxes to their host communities?   Most particularly, what about the less-than-desirable facilities, like a garbage dump?

Well, you'd say, it's been there for years.  Saanich can't very well go back and demand compensation retro-actively.  But what about the zoning for a slightly different use?  Recycling rather than landfilling?

Particularly when Saanich has gone ahead and arranged to haul its kitchen organics out of the CRD.  I can see regional  co-operation crumbling further before it gets better.

Esquimalt Fact Sheet Published

Esquimalt has just posted a "fact sheet" responding to what it sees as inaccurate statements being bandied about. It does seem to clarify some things from Esquimalt point of view: 

Mayor mulls ‘made-in-Victoria’ option for sewage

Daniel Palmer
Victoria News
June 24, 2014

As Capital Regional District directors debate a feasible way forward with sewage treatment, Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin said city staff will begin exploring the possibility of a made-in-Victoria model.

The CRD board agreed to explore four concurrent options to salvage the $788-million Seaterra program at a meeting last week. One of those options is asking municipalities and local First Nations if they’re willing to offer land for a regional wastewater treatment facility. The CRD will also spend $250,000 to analyze the cost and benefits of a distributed treatment model.

“In Victoria, we’re going to get some options about how we do this locally,” said Mayor Dean Fortin. “When I go and talk to the residents of Victoria, I clearly hear them say we need to stop putting our untreated sewage directly into the ocean. And we’ve been ordered by the federal government to do it.”

The CRD is scrambling to comply with federal and provincial regulations that require secondary wastewater treatment by 2020. Should it fail to meet those deadlines, about $500 million in funding contributions from higher levels of government is at risk.

CRD directors are also spurred on by the threat of personal liability for failure to comply with the regulations.

Fortin said city manager Jason Johnson will gather information and report back to council on the possibility of building one or more local treatment facilities.

The regional project, which included a wastewater facility at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt and biosolids plant at Hartland landfill in Saanich, was put on hold after Esquimalt turned down a rezoning request for the wastewater plant in April.

Another option put forward by the CRD board will test Esquimalt’s resolve by offering to cover the municipality’s capital costs for the wastewater treatment plant, in the hope its council will favour cost savings over public opposition.“Everything I’m hearing from our community is it’s not about the money,” said Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins.

“We think we can gather some information fairly quickly to help us with a distributed model discussion. There’s a lot of balls in the air right now.”

A biosolids plant is still slated for Hartland landfill with construction set to begin in early 2015. That process involves a series of pumping stations and underground pipes between Hartland, the wastewater facility and marine outfalls.

A successful construction bid for the wastewater facility at McLoughlin Point is only valid until July 26.


Treatment options clean and green for City of Colwood

Arnold Lim
Goldstream News Gazette
Jun 26, 2014

Fresh off a site visit to a new sewage treatment facility being built in Sechelt, and a meeting with Minister of Environment  Mary Polak, the Colwood mayor said she is not only more excited, but more informed about the possibilities of a new tertiary sewage treatment facility in Colwood.

“We toured the plant still under construction and got into areas that you couldn’t (normally) see. It was a great opportunity,” Hamilton said. “It is noiseless, odourless and environmentally the right thing to do.”

The $25-million facility being built for 14,000 sewer users in the coastal town of Sechelt has already provided valuable information to Colwood staff and council about the possibilities for the approximately 5,500 residential users, and roughly 2,200 industrial, commercial and institutional users currently served here. As city staff collect the information and prepare to speak to the public at a transportation and public infrastructure committee meeting July 7, Hamilton said Colwood is in a good position to pave its own way to sewage treatment.

“It is a unique situation to be in, because not often do you get to start from scratch,” she said. “That is the disappointing part of the CRD direction. They weren’t taking advantage of opportunities to look at a creative venture for the future that would meet our (current) needs and expand into what is yet to come.”

Colwood’s city engineer, Michael Baxter, said a potential tertiary treatment centre may cost less than $25 million, if they decide to go with an even smaller facility than Sechelt. It would also be more environmentally sound than the CRD option, he said, and help create revenue with potable water generated by the new plant. Colwood’s portion of the CRD plan was going to be $36 million, minus the provincial and federal grants that would cover two-thirds of the cost.

With the same grants available for the localized tertiary option, the price could come in well under the $20-million mark and be both more environmentally and financially friendly, Baxter said.

“I think it is a great idea. The thing is, you have to look at the cost today, but you have to look at future revenues. The plant should have at least a 50-year life and hopefully it is a longer life than that.”

“The money you can get from selling heat and water over 50 years is quite substantial.”

The potential location for the facility, an underground site under the park and ride in the heart of Colwood, would open up a built-in customer base for the heat and water with the West Shore Parks and Recreation centre and Colwood Golf Club nearby, he said. Both use plenty of heat during the winter and water for irrigation in the hot summer months.

“The best place to do heat recovery and water recovery is in a place where you can use someone who needs it and might buy it from you,” he said. “So a built-up location is best, and close by we have a lot of new developments and have the existing recreation facility, which has a need for heating and cooling. So there are opportunities there.”

The proposed site, unlike those outlined by the CRD, has not been a controversial choice, with 79 per cent approval given by residents at an open house. The process has also been buoyed by the fact an outside entity didn’t choose the site, Baxter said. It has been done by Colwood residents for Colwood residents, simplifying the process for everyone involved.

Hamilton agrees, adding that despite being in the Colwood core, it would be invisible to visitors. “We could have that plant in place to create an economic driver within that would allow us to have office space or some sort of building up and over top the sewage treatment. It would be virtually unseen,” she said, noting the park and ride would remain.

“We are going to continue to move forward, looking to have a conversation at the next (July 7) meeting. I would welcome not only our residents, but anyone, so they can hear and understand what is potentially possible out there.”


​Colwood treatment plant artistic rendering
Raw sewage spills offshore at Clover Point, health warning issued

JUNE 27, 2014 06:06 PM
UPDATED: JUNE 27, 2014

The Capital Regional District is warning the public to avoid the water at Clover Point after raw sewage was dumped just offshore Thursday night.

Crews are testing the water for contamination and expect results Saturday.

The sewage was discharged between 10:20 and 10:40 p.m. Thursday, through the Clover Point short outfall.

It occurred during a scheduled B.C. Hydro power outage, when the backup power generator failed to work.

The generator and automatic transfer switch operated normally during testing, but did not start automatically when power was shut down, CRD spokesman Andy Orr said.

CRD operators responded by manually starting the generator, which returned the pump station to full operations.

About 650 cubic metres of sewage was released in the course of 19 minutes.

Orr said it’s “very rare” for sewage to be dumped near the shoreline. “We sometimes have storm surge issues in the winter to do with the pipes, but this is actually a technical failure.”

Crews are sampling water at seven locations along the beach. Warning signs will mark the area until the water is deemed safe.

Given the short duration of the event, fecal coliform levels are not expected to exceed Environment Canada’s standard for safe swimming water, Orr said.

Victoria Coun. Ben Isitt said it’s an example of why the CRD needs to improve its wastewater treatment infrastructure.

“This underscores the inadequacy of our current wastewater system and the need for major upgrades,” Isitt said.

“I think it’s incumbent on residents in the capital region to demand sewage treatment at the earliest opportunity.”

Typically, sewage is pumped through the Clover Point outfall pipe, which is 1.2 kilometres long and 65 metres deep.

Before the outfall was completed in 1981, wastewater was discharged from the shoreline during low tide.



Sewage debacle like a slapstick movie (Buckingham)

JUNE 23, 2014

Re: “ ‘Free’ plant an insult, Esquimalt mayor says,” June 19.

The sewage debacle reminds me of the Laurel and Hardy movies, where when they were in a pickle, Stan Laurel would turn, in tears, to his partner and say: “We are in a right mess now, Ollie!”

How can the provincial government that ordered us into this fiasco now back off and leave it to the Capital Regional District, which has spent $48 million with nothing to show?

Obviously, the CRD cannot manage it efficiently. Amalgamation would be a start.

Victoria threatens to go it alone, but surely we cannot have 13 separate sewage systems. What defecates in Saanich stays in Saanich? How ridiculous is this?

Ian Buckingham


Astounding facts surround sewage plan (Ferguson)

JUNE 24, 2014

Re: “ ‘Astounding’ hit lurks in sewage mess,” June 22.

Astounding is a good word for the sewage mess. It’s astounding how the Capital Regional District’s wastewater committee, with its focus on deadlines and funding, has glossed over the lack of cost-benefit analysis to this plan. Why spend anything at all, if it will only be a billion-dollar Band-Aid? If we accept that we must do this, why not achieve something for the cost?

It’s astounding how stubborn committee directors have been to the concept of innovation, including water recovery, better resource and energy capture, ideas that many other jurisdictions have already implemented.

It’s astounding that most committee directors have not taken any responsibility for the mismanagement that has led us to this predictable situation.

If these short-sighted politicians continue to ignore the long-term opportunities available to us now, then what we really need is an “astounding” political revolution in the municipal elections this fall.

Dave Ferguson

Offer to Esquimalt an attempt to break logjam (Jensen): 

Sewage-plant offer is not an insult (Jones)

Looking for outcome that makes sense (Pietraszek)

JUNE 24, 2014

Re: “ ‘Astounding’ hit lurks in sewage mess,” June 22

If the residents of the Capital Regional District have to pay the full cost of the proposed sewage plant, rather than sharing it with taxpayers in the rest of B.C. and Canada, more people will ask why so much money is being spent to build a project that scientists, medical health officers and engineers say is unnecessary.

This might lead to an outcome that actually makes sense.

Ed Pietraszek


CRD plan will meet region’s sewage needs (Sweetnam)

Mayors should offer land for sewage plant (Volet)

JUNE 24, 2014

Re: “ ‘Astounding’ hit lurks in sewage mess,” June 22.

Since the Capital Regional District and mayors (other than Esquimalt’s) are so worried about the sewage-treatment plan delay and costs, I suggest they offer some land in their municipalities for the plant and solve the problem.

Why not Ten Mile Point, Deep Cove or Foul Bay? Perfect locations, very few people affected by the “quite attractive” (Geoff Young) new sewage plant.

Richard Volet