August 24, 2014


Audio-Visual News:
Oak Bay Mayor Jensen on CFAX 19 August
Justin Stephenson on CFAX
- The RITE Plan's Youtube Channel

News stories:
Why it's OK to pee beside the seaside
Oak Bay makes ‘Plan B’ for sewage
EcoJustice Letter to Esquimalt 

Let courts decide on sewage treatment (Dew-Jones)
CRD shouldn’t attempt political interference (Ferri)
We need leadership on sewage plant siting (Spence)
Saanich, Oak Bay need to get involved (Witter)



Audio-Visual News:

Oak Bay Mayor Jensen on CFAX 19 August

Richard says:

Nils Jensen, Mayor of Oak Bay was on CFAX 1070 this morning with Frank Stanford and talked up sewage after last night's council meeting:

Start from 7m08s.

Jensen announced that Oak Bay Council has started the process of looking for a "Plan B" and wants to join the Victoria in their study of an alternative. This is good news however Jensen is still of the opinion that the loss of $500m in funding is a great risk (this is despite all of the assurances from senior governments):

As a caretaker of taxpayers monies, I am grateful that he is concerned about this and not taking a cavalier attitude towards municipal spending and debt but we're been hearing this drumbeat since 2009 that we have to make decisions before the plan is finished or even rush into them:

Start from 1m24s.

Jensen highlighted the $19m the CRD has spent on studies but did they study the right thing? $700,000 alone spent on a distributed system study.

That sounds impressive but CRD didn't produce a Class C cost estimate for decentralized tertiary disinfected system.

CRD paid for a Class D (or lower) discussion paper of a distributed secondary system. That's apples vs. oranges.

Calling proposals like The RITE Plan, a magic solution, silver bullet, or asking "web surfers" to show us the engineering studies from Sweden is insulting to those who have come to the CRD, pleading with the Directors to update their knowledge from 2009.

Just look at Sechelt...they conceived of, designed and built a modern sewage treatment plant in a single election cycle. CRD has spend almost 3 election cycles with almost nothing to show for it.

A dream in 2008, like the building of Dockside Green is just how treatment plants are being build now: 21st century water reclamation facilities instead of last centuries sewage plants.

Justin Stephenson on CFAX

Candidate for Victoria Council and CRD Director, Justin Stephenson was on CFAX 1070 on Monday talking with Terry Moore about sewage and the Vancouver Island Community Investment Cooperative 2013.

On sewage, Justin is supportive of ideas like "The RITE Plan": a decentralized system of tertiary treatment plants.

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:

Why it's OK to pee beside the seaside

Why it's OK to pee beside the seaside: Urinating in the ocean is harmless and is actually GOOD for marine life, say scientists

20 August 2014

Ever 'had to go' while swimming in the ocean but felt guilty about polluting the water?

Well, feel guilty no more - according to the American Chemical Society (ACS) peeing in the ocean is not only harmless, it is actually good for marine life.

In a video, it says the components of urine pose no threat to life in the ocean, and if anything they can be beneficial - but they add peeing in enclosed areas like pools is a big no.

A lot of people will no doubt have encountered the problem of going for a swim in the sea before realising they need to go to the toilet.


Researchers have warned that urinating in swimming pools could lead to health problems.

Scientists found that compounds in urine mixed with chlorine can cause chemicals that have been linked to respiratory effects in swimmers to form.

They warned swimmers to stop the common practice after analysing samples.

'If swimmers avoided urinating in pools, then air and water quality would likely improve independent of other changes in water treatment or air circulation,' the scientists from China Agricultural University and Purdue University wrote in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

But rather than facing the daunting trek back to a bathroom on land, they choose to relieve themselves in the water unbeknown to others.

The ACS says it is ‘absolutely okay’ to go in the ocean in a video on Youtube for the channel

The first reason for this is that urine is mostly water, with the average human’s urine composed of 95 per cent water, while also containing sodium and chloride ions.

By comparison, sea water is about 96.5 per cent water and also contains sodium and chloride, albeit in a higher concentration.

Both also contain potassium, so all in all urine won’t dramatically alter sea water in its vicinity.

Another factor at play is urea, which is the main waste product in urine.

‘As our bodies break down proteins in food urea is the leftover compound that gets rid of the excess nitrogen in our bodies.’

But the amount of urea released, especially in proportion to an entire ocean, is tiny.

For example, the volume of the Atlantic Ocean is 350 quintillion (18 zeroes) litres.

Apparently even if everyone went to the toilet in the ocean, there would still be a miniscule 60 parts per trillion of urea in the water.

In addition, urea contains a lot of nitrogen, which combines with water to produce ammonium.

Ammonium, in turn, feeds ocean plant life - meaning it is actually beneficial.

And finally, the video points out that every animal in the ocean also pees in the water; a whale, for example, can let out 970 litres of urine per day.

‘So if they’re not harming things, you certainly aren’t as well,’ the video says.

They add, however: ‘Don’t pee in protected areas like reefs or smaller bodies of water, especially swimming pools.’
Oak Bay makes ‘Plan B’ for sewage

Oak Bay News
Aug 22, 2014

The district of Oak Bay is searching for a “Plan B” when it comes to sewage treatment.

At its meeting Monday night, council asked staff to begin discussions with the municipality of Saanich and City of Victoria to collectively come up with an alternate plan to the one currently on the Capital Regional District’s table.

“It pains me to start to fracture with the CRD this way, but we’re obligated to prepare with backup plans. This is very preliminary at this point,” said mayor Nils Jensen.

He pointed out that West Shore communities are doing the same thing.

“I’m sure it will evolve over the next few months and years. It’s a very significant expenditure, for not only Oak Bay, but for the CRD generally. It’s something we have to monitor.”

If the three communities come up with their own alternative plan to the one the CRD has in the works, it would still need CRD approval, said Jensen.

“The core Liquid Waste Management Plan includes seven communities, it’s possible for the CRD to divide it into three and four – it gives us all something to think about,” he said.

EcoJustice Letter to Esquimalt 

July 9, 2014

Mayor Barbara Desjardins and Council
Township of Esquimalt
1229 Esquimalt Road
Esquimalt, BC V9A 3P1
Sent Via email to

Dear Mayor and Council:

Re: Municipal Resolution re Mcloughlin sewage treatment site

We write on behalf of our clients Georgia Strait Alliance ("GSA") and
the T-Buck Suzuki Environmental Foundation ("TBS") and the David
Suzuki Foundation ("DSF"). As you are aware, these organizations
have a long-standing interest in protecting BC's marine environment
and coastal waters from pollution. To that end, they have worked for
decades to advocate for modern, advanced sewage treatment in the
Capital Regional District ("CRD"). It is their position that the plan for
implementing such sewage treatment must be implemented at the
earliest opportunity.

Our clients' efforts include marshalling scientific evidence and analysis
which demonstrated that the sewage outfalls at Macaulay and Clover
Points constitute contaminated sites under provincial law. Their
assessment was independently validated by the provincial government
in 2006.

It has come to their attention that yet again plans to finally implement
the plan for advanced sewage treatment in the CRD may be in
jeopardy due to the motion of Esquimalt Councillors Brame and
Morrison, so far supported by Council, to rezone the proposed
Mcloughlin site for the CRD sewage treatment facility to prohibit
"Wastewater Treatment Plant" as a use of the land.As you know this
motion will have significant repercussions for the timely
implementation of effective sewage treatment for the CRD as well as
potential consequences for tax payers.

1 See Corporation of the Township of Esquimalt, Motion regarding Bylaws No.
2829 and No. 2830, Staff Report No. DEV-14-030, Minutes of Regular Meeting of
Municipal Council, (5 May 2014); les/PDF/Agendas and Minutes/2014/2014 05 05 
Council Minutes.pdf
Page 2:
Our clients have requested that we provide the Mayor and Council
with a summary of legal information relevant to the motions. For the
reasons set out below, we strongly encourage Mayor and Council to
vote to defeat the motions.

Recent factual developments

We are advised that despite Esquimalt's earlier suggestion of the
Mcloughlin site for development of the sewage treatment facility,
Council recently refused a request for a minor zoning amendment to
allow the project to proceed and further proposed to change the official
community plan and zoning by-law to preclude the project from going
ahead at this site.

Provincial legal requirements Contaminated Sites Regulation and
the Environmental Management Act Order

In 2005, GSA and TBS, along with Ecojustice, undertook a scientific
assessment of contamination at the Macaulay and Clover Points
sewage outfalls. This assessment confirmed that the areas around the
outfalls legally qualified as contaminated sites under the Contaminated
Sites Regulation.2

Consequently, they asked the provincial government to apply the
Contaminated Sites Regulation to the outfall areas, and to issue a
clean-up order. Our assessment was later validated in a study
commissioned by the Ministry of the Environment.

In July 2006, the Minister of the Environment issued a legally binding
Order under section 24(3)(a) of the provincial Environmental
Management Act ("the Order").

The Order did not require the CRD to remediate already contaminated
soils. However, the Order did direct the CRD to present a plan by 2007
detailing a fixed schedule for the provision of sewage treatment.
After years of difficult debate and exhaustive public consultation, in
2010, the CRD finally obtained provincial government approval for the
Liquid Waste Management Plan (LWMP) as required under the Order.
Subsequently, the Minister has approved amendments to the LWMP,
B.C. Reg 375/96.
S.B.C. 2003, c 53, Part 3. See also July 21, 2006 letter from Minister Barry
Penner to Mayor Alan Lowe and CRD Directors.

Page 3:
including the most recent Amendment No. 8, which commits to
secondary sewage treatment in operation by 2016.4

All levels of Government have committed to fund the sewage
treatment at this site. Such commitments greatly reduce the burden
on the taxpayers of Esquimalt. These financial commitments we
understand are in jeopardy as a result of Mayor and Council's actions.
In our view, if Mayor and Council approve the motions before them,
effectively blocking the implementation of the sewage treatment plan,
they would effectively announce to the Province a clear intention to not
comply with the Order. It is our understanding that the Province
continues to expect compliance with the Order. If the CRD does not
meet its approved commitment to implement secondary sewage
treatment by 2016, this could constitute an offence under s.120( 11) of
the Environmental Management Act and impose a large fine that could
further burden taxpayers.

To date our clients have seen the implementation of a plan for sewage
treatment as a reasonable means to address ongoing pollution at
Macaulay and Clover Points - however sewage treatment alone will
not necessarily address the historical contamination. Should the
Mayor and Counsel continue to delay implementation of the sewage
treatment plan, our clients fully intend to press the government to also
require remediation of past contamination at Macaulay and Clover
Points. The cost of any such remediation would likely be the
responsibility of the municipalities.

4 Capital Regional District, Core Area Liquid Waste Management Plan,
Amendment No. 8, as approved by the Minister on August 25, 2010, at p.1.2.
available at:
plans/201 0 lwmp amendmentno8 june201 O.pdf?sfvrsn=2

Page 4:
Thank you for considering our views and taking responsible action in
the public interest.

Margot Venton
Barrister and Solicitor

cc. Jim Mcisaac, T Buck Suzuki Foundation
Christianne Wilhelmson, Georgia Strait Alliance
John Werring, David Suzuki Foundation

- Extracted from pdf in:

Township of Esquimalt 
Regular Council Meeting August 25, 2014, 
Agenda page 3, 
10 Communications:

3) Letter from Margot Venton, ecojustice, dated July 9, 2014, Re:
Municipal Resolution Re McLoughlin Sewage Treatment Site, page 160-163



Let courts decide on sewage treatment (Dew-Jones)

AUGUST 20, 2014

Medical health officers, biologists and oceanographers who have been involved in monitoring our long outfall discharges are those who know best if we need land-based treatment — and over 40 years, not one of them has advocated that we do.

To anybody who understands the subject that is obvious.

The Capital Regional District should challenge in court the rule of our federal Minister of Environment that we must have secondary treatment.

With witnesses on oath, that rule would be revealed as ridiculous — as has already been demonstrated in an identical case in the United States.

J.E. (Ted) Dew-Jones, P.Eng.

CRD shouldn’t attempt political interference (Ferri)

AUGUST 20, 2014

Re: “McLoughlin sewage plant dead? Politicians all over the map,” Aug. 15.

The attempted $19-million offer to the citizens of Esquimalt smacked of political interference, coming so close to municipal elections in November.

This was plainly reinforced by the recent comments by the chairman of the Capital Regional District’s Core Area Liquid Waste Management Committee when he suggested that the mayor of Esquimalt did not want the letter sent to citizens because it may force someone to run against her who would support the offer.

When did the CRD acquire the mandate to undermine the political authority of a mayor and council of a municipality that has followed due process and responded to the wishes of its citizens?

It is time to stop acting in a way that debases the integrity of the CRD and start working together for a solution to the current sewage impasse that is equitable and acceptable to all municipalities.

Time is running out and too much money has been wasted on questionable endeavours.

Filippo Ferri

We need leadership on sewage plant siting (Spence)

22 Aug 2014
Times Colonist

Re: “McLoughlin sewage plant dead?,” Aug. 15.

Why on earth would municipalities think that just because Esquimalt has an open parcel of land that that is where the sewage treatment plant should go?

Why is this asset seen as anything less than Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park, or Oak Bay’s Victoria Golf Course? Both, in my eyes, are equal alternatives for a plant.

This whole scenario can easily be seen as the biggest form of municipal bullying that I’ve seen. How about one of the other municipal mayors stepping up to the plate and offering up some land?

Oh I forgot, that would require leadership and would be in no means politic, kind of like the simple case of dealing with the deer over the last five years. People in high places should be ashamed! 

John Spence 
Oak Bay
GVPL PressReader
Saanich, Oak Bay need to get involved (Witter)

AUGUST 20, 2014

A newly formed West Shore mayors group including Langford, Colwood, View Royal and Esquimalt is working, along with technical staff from their municipalities and the City of Victoria, in pursuit of regional sewage treatment options that use modern technologies.

Five of the seven core municipalities are on course with a focus to map out a collaborative solution that does not include McLoughlin Point.

It’s time for Saanich and Oak Bay to get on board.

Carole Witter