June 23, 2015

Westside Solutions Announces Potential Wastewater Treatment Sites
Saanich land owner is ready, willing to solve CRD's sewage site quandary
Sites in Colwood, Langford lead potential sewage treatment options for west side
UPDATED WITH VIDEO: 20 Westside locations as possible sites for sewage treatment
Saanich rules out potential sewage-treatment site on ALR land
RITE plan supporters hardly a fringe group (Maler)
If tertiary treatment costs more, it’s worth it (Randerson)
Bullen Park does not qualify as sewage site (Robinson)
Chemicals, nanoparticles need to be treated (Whyte)


Westside Solutions Announces Potential Wastewater Treatment Sites

Jun 18, 2015

Victoria, BC– Westside Solutions (the Westside Wastewater Treatment and Resource Recovery Select Committee), today announced the location of 20 potential wastewater treatment sites in the westside communities. These sites represent the full list of potential sites developed through technical analysis.

“These are the locations that are technically possible given site size, proximity to infrastructure, resource recovery potential and other considerations,” said Westside Select Committee Co-Chair Barbara Desjardins. “We would like residents to review sites and give us their thoughts.”

The sites are grouped into six “nodes” across the westside, comprising:

two sites in Langford,
two sites in South Colwood,
four sites in Central Colwood,
five sites in North Colwood,
·one site in View Royal, and
four sites in Esquimalt with one site in Esquimalt Nation.

Westside Solution options for wastewater treatment and resource recovery could be any combination of 1 - 4 sites. The intent of providing these sites is to give the public a more comprehensive look at what possible opportunities there are for narrowing sites and scenarios.  Further public input will help the Westside Select Committee decide which sites and treatment scenarios to put forward for a more detailed technical and costing analysis over the summer.

“Community input will be a key consideration in determining which sites will be put forward for further technical analysis over the summer,” notes Westside Select Committee Co-Chair Carol Hamilton. “Community members can provide valuable local knowledge about what conditions they feel would need to be met for a facility to be acceptable on a given site.”

Profiles of the sites are available at www.westsidesolutions.ca. It is possible for each identified site – or a combination of sites when the profile indicates otherwise – to accommodate secondary or tertiary treatment and handling of solids for flows that are currently being pumped out the Macaulay outfall.

PDF of Site profiles: https://www.crd.bc.ca/docs/default-source/Wastewater-Planning-2014/150616-westside-site-profile-package.pdf?sfvrsn=6

The sites and scenarios will be presented at a public open house planned for June 24th at the Delta Ocean Point Hotel’s Harbour Room in Victoria. This will be a joint event with the Eastside Select Committee, who will also present their site groupings and scenarios.

A Westside Solutions online feedback form will be available at www.westsidesolutions.ca starting June 24. The public will be invited to review the sites and scenarios as well as the complete list of sites on the website to provide feedback at that time.

Throughout the summer months, Westside Solutions will continue to post news and events items to its website, and distribute information updates through municipal facilities and public events. For more information, visit www.westsidesolutions.ca.

For details on the Eastside Select Committee public feedback process, visit www.crd.bc.ca/eastside.

Colwood, Esquimalt, Langford, View Royal and Songhees Nation, with the support of the CRD, are working together to find a westside solution to wastewater treatment and resource recovery.

Saanich land owner is ready, willing to solve CRD's sewage site quandary

Daniel Palmer
Saanich News
Jun 19, 2015

The owner of a 30-acre Saanich property across from Victoria General Hospital says the site is ideal for the region’s sewage treatment plants, but if the proposal doesn’t clear an administrative hurdle at Saanich council before June 24, regional directors won’t be considering it.

The Watkiss Way property – owned by Allen Vandekerkove – is undeveloped and part of the Agricultural Land Reserve. Vanderkerkove also owns the surrounding properties and says he’s open to both selling or leasing the land to the Capital Regional District to house its wastewater treatment and biosolids processing facilities.

“From a common sense perspective, this is brilliant,” said Ray Parks, a consultant representing the interests of Vandekerkove.

The land sits on the north side of Watkiss Way, and its proximity to VGH means the heat and energy generated by biosolids processing could be piped across the street to one of the largest energy consumers in the region, Parks said.

Creative ideas from Vandekerkove include building 10 to 12 acres of greenhouses alongside the biosolids plant, which could make use of some of the heat energy being generated by sewage processing to help the site retain its ALR designation. Parks suggested greenhouses could even use greywater from the wastewater treatment process to grow ornamental plants.

“We’re wide open to ideas at this point. All we’re saying is give this a fair shake along with all these other properties. If you can put Beacon Hill Park on the list, why not include Watkiss Way,” Parks said.

Last week, a CRD working group known as the Eastside Committee – made up of Saanich, Victoria and Oak Bay directors – eliminated most of the 47 proposed sites for a wastewater treatment plant and biosolids facility within their municipal boundaries. The process was eventually launched after the CRD’s $788-million Seaterra program came to a halt in April 2014 after Esquimalt council rejected rezoning for a wastewater treatment facility at McLoughlin Point along the Inner Harbour entrance.

The Eastside’s top eight “publicly acceptable” sites include areas in Victoria’s Rock Bay, the University of Victoria and the Saanich public works yard. The committee has also asked willing private landowners outside of evaluated technically feasible areas to submit their proposals by June 24.

But unlike the Westside Committee, made up of Westshore communites and Esquimalt, private land needs to first be approved for submission by the relevant local council. That means Parks and Vanderkerkove have to convince Saanich council to say yes, which would then allow feasibility studies to go ahead for the site.

“There’s a fundamental problem with what’s set up here because council can’t decide what they’re going to do with the property before the public’s had a chance to weigh in,” said Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell. “For a property like this to come to Saanich and for us to say we’re potentially not interested before there’s been any public process may not even be legal.”

Atwell added there is precedent for sewage treatment on ALR land and cited the Saanich Peninsula wastewater treatment plant as an example.

Coun. Colin Plant, who sits as a director on the Eastside Committee at the CRD, said he was “hard-pressed” to find a reason not to forward the Watkiss Way site to the regional body for consideration.

“My view as a CRD director is we should be looking at every site that comes forward. We had a reset button pressed, and the East and Westsides may come back together, but this property potentially could serve both areas,” Plant said. “Let’s let the professionals look at it.”

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins said the Watkiss Way site may be able to serve the entire region, but that public process will help determine if that’s possible.

“By ensuring this proposal goes directly to the technical group for analysis, it allows us to get it into the hopper and it’s out there. Then the public process is allowed to occur on everything.”

Parks plans to present the proposal to council on June 22. Council would still have the authority to vote on rezoning following its evaluation at the CRD.

Sites in Colwood, Langford lead potential sewage treatment options for west side

Mike Davies
Goldstream News Gazette
Jun 18, 2015

Westside Select Committee co-chairs Barb Desjardins, left, and Carol Hamilton announce the 20 sites that have been determined to be 'technically feasible' for wastewater treatment on the West Shore on Thursday morning at the Songhees Wellness Centre. The majority of those sites are on the West Shore.
— Image Credit: Mike Davies/News Gazette Staff

Two sites in Langford, 12 in Colwood, one in View Royal and five in Esquimalt – all being considered as possible locations for a west side wastewater treatment solution.

The list, announced in a media conference Thursday at the Songhees Wellness Centre, includes well-used areas such as Colwood City Hall and West Shore Parks and Recreation. Others include such vacant properties as the Royal Bay development lands near the new high school and private land currently sitting empty at Veteran's Memorial Parkway and Kelly Road in Langford.

With the Capital Regional District moving away from the previous "one site" idea for wastewater treatment, the Westside Solutions group, including Colwood, Langford, View Royal, Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations and Esquimalt, has split the concept further.

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins, co-chair of the Westside Select Committee, said a westside system of wastewater treatment could include anywhere from one to four of the locations under consideration, depending on the sites chosen and how the system is designed. Various facets of treatment could be spread between different locations, depending on how the public consultation plays out over the summer.

"The future of wastewater treatment affects every citizen throughout out region," added committee co-chair and Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton. "In order to come to a successful solution, community members need to be invited into the conversation."

There are "unique community values that need to be considered" when considering plans for treatment, she said, which is why the public consultation process is so important. So far, that process "has provided insight into what citizens value most about their communities, and want to protect when considering plans for wastewater treatment," Hamilton said.

A public open house is planned for next Wednesday (June 24) at the Delta Ocean Pointe Hotel in Victoria to continue the dialogue and discuss the Westside and Eastside proposed locations and plans.

There is also an online tool being created, Desjardins said, "that will be available for community members to provide input on the proposed sites throughout the summer … and allow (them) to share their valuable local knowledge about what conditions would need to be met for a facility to be acceptable on a given site."

That input, she said, will be a key consideration in determining which sites are put forward for further technical analysis.

"In my mind, the most important thing here is that we don't do the missteps that we may have done in the past; that we ensure that the public is always part of the process," Desjardins said.

She called the public engagement thus far in the process "extremely encouraging," adding that it needs to continue.

"This is all about hearing from the public. At every one of these events, we want new people; we want those who have been following us; we need you to participate. You have the opportunity to voice your thoughts."

But that doesn't mean the discussion can take forever.

By late fall, Desjardins said, "we really need to have narrowed things down such that we've got both east and westside coming together and moving forward on a municipal process."

Part of that timeline is dictated by the looming deadline related to federal funding for the project. But Desjardins said she's not concerned with the money being available, as long as they keep the pedal down on developing the plan.

"We are well aware of the funding deadlines, and we're working with both the federal and provincial people, keeping them aware of our process," Desjardins said, adding that she's confident that if they continue to work towards a plan, they will have one to present by March 2016 and the funding will still be available when they need it.

Hamilton said she's not only unconcerned that the majority of the sites chosen at this phase of the project are within her municipality, she's actually happy about it.

"Colwood stepped forward about three years ago saying we'd happily take a site," she said. "It was going to be in conjunction with the Capital City Centre project. That has stopped, but it hasn't stopped the optimism of Colwood," in the possibility having a treatment site within its borders.

View the full list of proposed sites, including the analysis that went into choosing them, at westsidesolutions.ca.


UPDATED WITH VIDEO: 20 Westside locations as possible sites for sewage treatment

Mary Griffin
June 18, 2015

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins announces the list of potential sites for the Westside.

“This is an important day we’re finally here. And we’re today presenting 20 sites that are technically feasible.”

After months of debate, 20 potential sites for sewage on the Westside of Greater Victoria are finally revealed.

13 are in Colwood, including City Centre. Reaction is not overwhelming.

“If I had to choose I would have to choose the spot they spent millions on deciding the first place.”

Also, on the list four sites in Esquimalt, including the town’s centre. Reaction here is mixed.

“I think the best spot originally picked was where the old Esso site was.”

“I think they are making too much fuss before they get down to business.”

On the list are properties publicly and privately owned.

Meaning some sites may wind up costing money if the land has to be purchased.

“Maybe it’s not a purchase, may be it’s a lease. We don’t know what the ultimate terms will be on those situations.”

“Yes, and you know, all of those things are taken into consideration as we go forward.”

Each site can accommodate all the facilities necessary for full sewage treatment, including wastewater and bio-solids.

Now it’s just a matter of deciding who wants it and where.

“It still has to go through still about three layers of public process.

So, we’ll be able to hear from the public and understand which sites are OK to go forward and which sites aren’t.”

The public will have an opportunity to see the plans for the westside and eastside sites June 24th at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe from five to seven.

For more information on all Westside locations, go to: www.westsidesolutions.ca

For details on the Eastside Select Committee public feedback process, visitwww.crd.bc.ca/eastside.


Saanich rules out potential sewage-treatment site on ALR land

JUNE 23, 2015

A 12-hectare property on Watkiss Way adjacent to Victoria General Hospital won’t be sent to the Capital Regional District for consideration as a sewage-treatment site, despite the urging of proponents who say it has strong potential.

The privately owned forested rural property, part of the Agricultural Land Reserve, had to be vetted by Saanich council to be placed on the CRD’s list of possible sites, said Ray Parks, representing owner Allen Vandekerhove. Council voted 5-4 Monday night not to send the proposal to the CRD.

The proposal calls for about five hectares of the land to be used for sewage treatment.

The plan is new, but the site had previously been turned down at the CRD level. Coun. Vicki Sanders said the land’s ALR status was raised as a concern, and a number of councillors raised the issue again Monday.

Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell said the site should be forwarded to the CRD so the public can decide if it has merit. Not to do so would be “a grand disservice” to residents, he said.

The CRD’s Eastside Select Committee — looking for sewage-treatment sites for Saanich, Victoria and Oak Bay — has asked to be informed about potential privately owned sites by Wednesday, since a technical analysis of options begins this summer. The committee has already shortlisted eight possible sites for sewage treatment, while Westside Solutions — its counterpart in Colwood, Esquimalt, Langford, View Royal and the Songhees First Nation — announced last week that it had identified 20 “technically feasible” sites.

Those 20 sites will be pared down to top options.

Parks, president of BIM (Business in Motion) Consulting, said he went to Saanich council because site possibilities have to be looked at by the municipality involved.

“Saanich needs to firstly be aware of the site and accept it as a possible site. All we’re asking is that it be considered.”

The property has a number of compelling features, Parks said.

“It is precisely the centre of the region geographically, so you could, in theory, serve the entire region.”

The nearby hospital could benefit from heat generated at the plant, he said.

Parks said the parcel is large enough that the plant would not be readily visible, and other uses could be put in place.

“We’re proposing an additional 10 acres, maybe more, of greenhouses. The greenhouses would be heated with the ambient heat from the plant, and that’s the heat that would normally just escape into the atmosphere.”

He said Vandekerhove is willing to sell or lease the land, or to trade for other sites purchased by the CRD at McLoughlin Point or on Viewfield Road. He said he did not have an estimate of the value of the Watkiss Way land.




RITE plan supporters hardly a fringe group (Maler)

If tertiary treatment costs more, it’s worth it (Randerson)

JUNE 20, 2015

Re: “Toss sewage time-bomb back to the province,” June 14.

Lawrie McFarlane’s column disappointed in being reactionary and irresponsible.

The idea that the province should bully a municipality into reversing its sovereign decision is anti-democratic. Esquimalt spoke for all of Greater Victoria in telling the Capital Regional District to think again about the concept of sewage disposal.

McFarlane correctly explains that the region’s public health officers maintain that the Juan de Fuca Strait does an excellent job of secondary treatment of Victoria’s effluent, using the sweep of the Fraser River to oxidize the organics at great depth to feed the many seawater organisms. These denizens will be deprived of feedstock when our land-based system is implemented. Spending nearly a billion dollars on secondary treatment might mollify our Washington neighbours but is nothing more than a subsidy to Tourism Canada.

The more localized treatment plants should, and probably will, be more expensive but will include tertiary treatment. This is essential to reduce heavy metal and complex organic pollutants with which we soil the sea bottom. If the eastside consortium decides the tertiary treatment plant is best located in Oak Bay, I would be ready to welcome it into my community, but would be as unwilling as an Esquimalt resident to see the white elephant previously considered by the CRD diverted to Oak Bay or anywhere else.

To ignore the benefits of tertiary sewage treatment and urge a return to CRD myopic proposals is irresponsible. If we have to have sewage treatment, then let it be somewhat more expensive, but effective.

Michael Randerson
Oak Bay


Bullen Park does not qualify as sewage site (Robinson)

JUNE 20, 2015

Re: “Now the westside: 20 potential sewage sites selected,” June 19.

I would like to remind the mayor and all others involved with choosing sewage treatment sites in Esquimalt that Bullen Park — correct name, Fitzherbert Bullen Memorial Park — was given to the residents of Esquimalt by the Bullen family in perpetuity.

In accepting this gift of parkland in 1924, Esquimalt council agreed “the lands conveyed were to be held forever for the purposes of a public park and pleasure ground.”

A sewage treatment site does not qualify.

Sherri Robinson

Chemicals, nanoparticles need to be treated (Whyte)