February 22, 2015

- CRD to form public input group for sewage treatment plans
CRD sewage committee directors question accuracy of staff report 
Victoria homeowners get a break on summer water tab
Video: Core Area Liquid Waste Management Committee Special Meeting 18 Feb
- Reminder: ARESST AGM 25 Feb, 7pm
Sewage committee for Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria seeks members


I was going to comment on the importance of technology assessment, based on the experience in the Health Care system where there is continued pressure from industry to use the new and latest technology. However I find in to-day’s staff report, released yesterday, and the updated report from Stantec the kind of technical review that is important for any technology. This report with its helpful summary in Appendix D emphasises that Anaerobic Digestion is the best technology for dealing with the sewage sludge if land based treatment plants are to be built in the Capital Region.

I notice one vague statement in the staff report “Biosolids will be utilised in a beneficial manner on Vancouver Island”.

You will have noted in the Ministers letter giving conditional approval of Amendment 9 of the Liquid Waste Management Plan that the Province allows application of sewage sludge to land, with strict conditions, as a fertiliser.  There would be benefits both economic and to the farmland if you revisited your policy and allowed the residual biosolids to by spread on farmland on the Saanich Peninsular as allowed by Provincial policy.

Another issue that concerns me is the East side and West side consultations. Are these social marketing exercises or are they really going to help find a solution to the problem you are trying to address – to come up with a plan that complies with the Federal regulation?

Surely whatever is planned has to fit into the current sewerage piping systems – the West side and North West Trunks that feed into the Macaulay point outfall and the East Coast Interceptor and catchment area that feeds into the Clover Point outfall. I do not understand how you can agree to the Anaerobic Digestion facility at Hartland (and its 3P funding), as described in to-days report, without firstly identifying the land for the other treatment plants (which might include a sludge or bio-solids facility) and secondly figuring out how the sewerage piping would feed into these sites.

To decide on the technologies to be used and the use of the Harland site, before deciding the layout of the system does not make sense. I realise you want to secure 3P funding. If it includes an option just to build the proposed sludge treatment plant at Hartland and hope that later you can figure out how to pump the sludge there would be “the march of folly”.  

My final point that you have heard before. I am concerned that the CRD has already spent $69.4 Million on planning including land acquisition.

This is a huge project that you are involved in planning – it is ten times the cost of the Blue Bridge project in Victoria, whose problems we are all well aware of.

I feel a responsibility to remind you, as I mentioned last week, it may still be worth challenging the Federal Regulation such as by as a Judicial Review of the scientific basis for taking a “one size fits all” approach in the regulation. I urge you to have this option as a Plan B if it appears that the present planning results in an unaffordable burden on tax payers for no clear benefit to the overall environment (land, marine and global).

It would be a great benefit to the taxpayers and the environment if the CRD obtained a waiver based on the many studies of showing the present practice has a minimal impact on our unique marine environment.

Thank you,
Dr Shaun Peck, Public Health Consultant.
Medical Health Officer for the CRD 1989-1995
Member of Responsible Sewage Treatment Victoria www.rstv.ca


CRD to form public input group for sewage treatment plans: http://www.cfax1070.com/News/Top-Stories/CRD-to-form-advisory-group-for-sewage-treatment-pl

CRD sewage committee directors question accuracy of staff report 

Victoria homeowners get a break on summer water tab

FEBRUARY 14, 2015 10:29 PM

Victorians who water their lawns and gardens are about to get a 30 per cent break on summer sewer rates.   Photograph By LYLE STAFFORD, Times Colonist

After years of absorbing a water conservation message, Victoria homeowners who like to water their lawns and gardens are about to get a 30 per cent break on summer sewer rates.

City staff say they receive complaints from residents who say sewer rates, which are based 100 per cent on water consumption, are unfair — especially in the summer, when much of the water is going on lawns and gardens instead of down the drain.

“Consumption will go up significantly [in summer] and they feel it’s unfair their sewer charge increases as a result because no additional sewage is being discharged,” Christopher Paine, city manager revenue, told councillors last week.

The sewer rate is calculated in addition to the water rate, which is also based on water consumption. The water rate is $3.45 per unit. For both rates, a unit is 100 cubic feet or 2,832 litres.

Under the recommendation, approved by council last week, the sewer rate will decrease to $1.61 per unit during June, July, August and September. That’s about 30 per cent less than the rate for the rest of the year, which will increase to $2.33 per unit. The rate is currently $2.06 per unit year-round.

As water use varies wildly, Paine couldn’t say what the impact of the change would be on the average household.

While councillors endorsed the recommendation, some wondered about the impact on water conservation.

“If we didn’t have any lawn watering or garden watering, the entire water production system that we have would be enormously smaller,” Coun. Geoff Young said, adding he hopes summer water will cost consumers more in the future.

Coun. Marianne Alto could only “reluctantly” support the change, noting the staff report repeatedly warns: “This will result in a reduced incentive to conserve water.”

“I understand the practicality and the equity issues around shifting who pays for what and why, but I think this is really counterintuitive to so much that is in our official community plan,” she said.

Coun. Pam Madoff hoped not everyone’s water use would be dictated by the lower rate.

“There will be some folks who will be totally motivated by cost and there’s nothing we can do about that. But I think it means that we and the [Capital Regional District] have to redouble our efforts when it comes to education about the importance of water … and we need to value it in how we use it.”

Councillors decided to review the rates again in a year.

The rate changes won’t change the fact that sewer fees overall will be going up, accounting for 55 per cent of a resident’s utility bills by 2017. The CRD charge will go up an additional $1.8 million to $2 million every year up to and including 2017 to pay for Victoria’s share of sewage treatment.

And the city has looming sewer bills of its own. A 2007 study of the section of pipe that drains directly to Clover Point identified an estimated $30 million in needed upgrades, says a staff report.


Video: Core Area Liquid Waste Management Committee Special Meeting 18 Feb

Reminder: ARESST AGM 25 Feb, 7pm

The Association for Responsible and Environmentally Sustainable Sewage Treatment (ARESST)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015,  7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

Denson Lounge, St. John’s Church

1611 Quadra Street

Open to all interested persons.

ARESST welcomes suggestions for potential actions to get Victoria correctly re-classified by the federal regulators from ‘high risk’ to ‘low risk’.

And suggestions for potential actions to have a cost benefit analysis done that compares proposed treatment systems with our present treatment system.

A new ARESST Executive will be elected (up to 9 Directors).  Any member may be nominated before or during nominations at the AGM (Agenda item 6). Please reply to this email with any nomination, or if you are interested to be nominated.  Standing for nomination so far are: Brian Burchill, Don Monsour, John Motherwell, John Newcomb,  Elizabeth Woodworth. and Paul Scrimger.

Voting by paid-up members only.  Membership will be available at the meeting. Membership fee is $20.

 AGM Agenda

1. Call to Order at 7:00 p.m.

2. Introduction of the 2014 Executive

3. Adoption of the Agenda

4. Chairman’s Annual Report

5. Treasurer’s Report

6. Election of the 2015 Executive
7. Adjournment

Sewage committee for Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria seeks members

Times Colonist
February 20, 2015

The Capital Regional District is looking for members of the public to sit on the east-side sewage group’s public advisory committee.

The committee will offer advice to the Eastside Wastewater and Resource Recovery Select Committee on the public consultation process required to develop a wastewater and resource recovery plan for Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria.

The Eastside Public Advisory Committee will include 10 individuals selected from the three participating municipalities. Representation is based on population, with one member from Oak Bay, five members from Saanich and four members from Victoria.

To apply

Interested individuals are invited to submit a one-page summary including the following information:

Contact information (name, phone number, email address, municipality of residence and mailing address)
Areas of expertise
Description of previous citizen engagement experience
Reason for wishing to serve on the committee
Any other information the applicant thinks is relevant

Applications can be mailed, emailed, or faxed to:

Eastside Public Advisory Committee

Capital Regional District

625 Fisgard St., Victoria, B.C. V8W 2S6

Email: eastside@crd.bc.ca

Fax: 250-360-3226

The deadline for applications is March 3.

To see the terms of reference, go to the CRD website.