July 19, 2015

Sewage-site survey for Victoria, Saanich, Oak Bay closes Monday
Saanich to revisit Watkiss Way sewage site
Royal Colwood Golf Club Considered as Possible Wastewater Treatment Site
Saanich reconsiders sewage-treatment site suggestion
- Saanich Council debates Watkiss Way + 2 reports 20 July
Letter: Re: ‘Obstructionism has increased cost of sewage treatment,’ (Anderson)
- Obstructionism has increased cost of sewage treatment (Coburn)
All opposing sewage input neglected (Henry)
Sewage project requires careful forethought (Travers)
Sewage treatment should not be close to downtown (Wilson)
Sewage-site survey for Victoria, Saanich, Oak Bay closes Monday

JULY 10, 2015

The opportunity to weigh in on potential wastewater-treatment sites in Victoria, Oak Bay and Saanich is coming to a close Monday, bringing the region closer to identifying where sewage might be treated.

After public consultation wraps up, a report is expected Wednesday, narrowing the choices to two “option sets.”

Six option sets have already been identified. They include both centralized facilities and treatment across up to as many as five plants.

“We’re gettin’ ’er done,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, who chairs the eastside wastewater and resource recovery select committee.

In the spring, participating municipalities put forward a list of technically feasible sites that could host a plant. The committee collected public comment on the sites through surveys, workshops and other events.

An estimated 3,000 people have had a say, said Amanda Gibbs, a public engagement specialist at Public Assembly. The option sets are based on arrangements of sites with the most public support.

Westside Solutions — which is working to identify potential treatment sites for Esquimalt, Langford, Colwood, View Royal and the Songhees Nation — will consider an interim report Wednesday that’s based on public feedback, said Kristin Quayle, CRD communications co-ordinator.

The westside group is accepting letters of interest from private landowners interested in providing land for the project, until Monday. The group’s public survey is open online until July 22.

The eastside and westside committees will come together to present about two option sets each to the core area liquid waste management committee on July 29.

Detailed cost estimates will be released on those options in October.

“We’ll ask the public one again. Here’s apples-to-apples comparisons, here’s a range of options, now give us input one more time,” Helps said.


Have your say

For information about potential sewage-treatment sites, go to:

• Eastside — crd.bc.ca/project/eastside-community-dialogue

• Westside — crd.bc.ca/westside-solutions

To comment on site selection:

• Eastside, until Monday — eastside.ethelodecisions.com

• Westside, until July 22 — fluidsurveys.com/s/westsidesitespeak


Saanich to revisit Watkiss Way sewage site

Travis Paterson
Saanich News
Jul 16, 2015 at 3:36 PM

Mayor Richard Atwell is bringing the Watkiss Way property back to Council on Monday (July 20).

Atwell would like to see the 12-hectare property forwarded to the Capital Regional District sewage treatment plan for consideration. Council initially voted it down 5-4 on June 22, mostly arguing that sewage treatment facilities shouldn't be built on agricultural land outside Saanich's urban containment boundary. Others in the region voiced their displeasure with the result.

The urban containment boundary protects rural land from most forms of development and would require a public vote for an exception. The site, owned Allen Vandekerkove by is across the street from Victoria General Hospital.

"It just needs one vote, I don't know who that could be, but last time there was (clearly) a lack of public input and the public needs to weigh in," Atwell said.

The public isn’t going to have a chance to speak on it Monday but they can submit letters to Saanich.

A positive vote would allow the site to undergo technical analysis by the Eastside Select Committee, a regional group comprised of regional CRD directors and staff from Victoria, Oak Bay and Saanich who are responsible for evaluating the most acceptable sites for sewage treatment.

The Eastside and Westside committees have already shortlisted "technically feasible" sites across the CRD, but had asked private land owners to submit property for evaluation before June 24. The Eastside group required private landowners to get approval from their local council before forwarding land for consideration; no such restriction existed at the Westside Committee.

Vandekerkove said he's willing to sell or lease the undeveloped land, which falls in the Agricultural Land Reserve. He also owns the surrounding properties, such as 1947 Burnside Rd., which was rejected by the CRD previously.

The site would house new wastewater treatment and biosolids processing facilities.



Royal Colwood Golf Club Considered as Possible Wastewater Treatment Site

Westside Solutions
Press Release
Jul 16, 2015

Victoria, BC– The Westside Wastewater Treatment and Resource Recovery Select Committee (Westside Select Commitee) has received a letter from the Royal Colwood Golf Club offering a three-acre parcel of land for consideration as a possible wastewater treatment site.

“We wanted to ensure that we didn’t miss any opportunities so we asked for private landowners who were interested in providing land for the wastewater treatment project to come forward,” said Westside Select Committee Co-Chair Carol Hamilton. “We are very pleased with this offer from the Royal Colwood Golf Club and will consider this site along with the 20 others that were previously identified.”

Members of the public are encouraged to provide feedback on all sites including the Royal Colwood Golf Club. Westside SiteSpeak is an online feedback form which asks members of the public for their input on the sites and solution sets. An addendum to this feedback form will be created to add the Royal Colwood Golf Club as an option. Those who have already completed the feedback form may return and adjust their response if they are interested in providing additional input into the Royal Colwood Golf Club site.

“We want to hear from as many individuals as possible before we make our decision on which sites and treatment scenarios are studied as part of the detailed technical and costing analysis so we strongly encourage everybody to participate in Westside SiteSpeak,” said Co-Chair Barbara Desjardins. “Adding an additional site to the public consultation at this stage has its challenges but it is important that we don’t close ourselves off to options if they come forward.”

The Westside SiteSpeak feedback form will be available until July 22 and can be found at http://fluidsurveys.com/s/WestsideSiteSpeak/.

Saanich reconsiders sewage-treatment site suggestion

JULY 18, 2015 

Saanich will reconsider a resolution that a 12-hectare property on Watkiss Way be sent to the Capital Regional District for consideration as a sewage-treatment site.

Council voted 5-4 against the resolution on June 22, but Mayor Richard Atwell has brought forth the resolution for a second time, to be dealt with at Monday’s council meeting.

The property, adjacent to Victoria General Hospital, is privately owned by Allen Vandekerhove and is part of the Agricultural Land Reserve. The proposal calls for about five hectares of the land to be used for sewage treatment.

The CRD’s Eastside select committee is considering potential sewage treatment sites for Saanich, Victoria and Oak Bay.

The public will have a chance to speak on the issue at the council meeting at 7 p.m. at Saanich Municipal Hall. If approved, the site would still undergo technical analysis by the Eastside select committee.

The Eastside and Westside committees have shortlisted “technically feasible” sites within the CRD. Private land owners were given a deadline of June 24 to submit proposals.

Private landowners had to get approval from their local council before forwarding land for consideration by the Eastside group. That was not the case with the Westside select committee.

The Westside committee, which includes Colwood, Esquimalt, Langford, View Royal, Songhees Nation and Esquimalt Nation, has received a letter from the Royal Colwood Golf Club offering a three-acre parcel of land for consideration as a possible wastewater treatment site.

That site will be considered along with 20 other locations that were previously identified.

The public can provide feedback on all Westside sites through an online feedback form. The form is available until Wednesday at http://fluidsurveys.com/s/WestsideSiteSpeak/.


Saanich Council debates Watkiss Way + 2 reports 20 July

Monday night's Saanich Council meeting include 3 resolutions related to Saanich's evaluation of potential sites:

1. Watkiss Way Sewage Treatment Strategy
2. Publicly Owned Sewage Treatment Strategy
3. Privately Owned Sewage Treatment Strategy

Agenda includes reports and letters for those resolutions:


Letter: Re: ‘Obstructionism has increased cost of sewage treatment,’ (Anderson)

Saanich News
Jul 16, 2015

Re: ‘Obstructionism has increased cost of sewage treatment,’ Saanich News July 10

I had to read his letter a second time and I’m still not sure I understand  his meaning other than his feelings have been hurt by an event that is really not out of the ordinary.

First of all, if he was able to understand the Victoria sewage treatment plant is only a concession to political correctness by the Federal and Provincial governments as an appeasement to the environmentalists, he may feel better about the whole thing.

However, now that we have the mess to deal with, he has by his own admission, admitted that the CRD did bungle the sewage treatment fiasco, democratically or not, by the fact they didn’t get it done in any length of time ... all costing the taxpayer more and more money.

As to Richard Atwell, if memory serves me correctly, he was elected democratically. Mr. Coburn does not, in my humble opinion, understand democracy. Opinions and the events of government do in fact change, unlike his stance that a small group has undermined the whole of democracy because they have looked for change, in this case most likely for the betterment of the sewage question.

Lastly, he has this misplaced idea of obstructionism. All he has to do is look at this tree-hugger province we live in to see that obstructionism is a weekly occurrence. The protests against Kinder Morgan and Enbridge are fine examples of obstructionism by a “very small” group, his words, that don’t necessarily fit with the majority, hence not in a democratic fashion. Have a look at ‘sumofus’ and ‘engage canada’ for more examples of obstructionism.

I guess the bottom line is it depends which side of the road that you walk on.

Jim Anderson


Obstructionism has increased cost of sewage treatment (Coburn)

Saanich News
Jul 9, 2015

In a recent editorial the Saanich News decries the lack of progress on sewage treatment, attacks the CRD for supposedly bungling sewage treatment, and lauds the democracy and openness of those currently searching for sewage plant sites.

Unfortunately, I believe this editorial totally distorts what actually happened in the sewage treatment wars. The facts are that sewage treatment was democratically approved through representatives elected in various municipal elections. In my opinion, the CRD was far too democratic in permitting a small, unelected minority of sewage treatment opponents to continually harangue public representatives and public servants whenever frequent public meetings and consultations were held.

Over and over again the likes of Richard Atwell and his little crowd of supporters virulently attacked and attempted, successfully, to discredit decisions democratically made. A number of local politicians gained power partially through their anti-sewage publicity. Never mind that they had little expertise in sewage treatment. With time, total opposition to any sewage treatment in a few cases turned into calls for even more treatment than that proposed by the CRD – this, of course, left unexplained and unexpensed with technologies yet to be developed.

Having successfully derailed the existing treatment plan we are now left at the tender mercies of some who opposed the plan entirely, others who simply want to delay it until 2040 or so, and those who now are converted to treatment but promise much better, and much cheaper, technologies than those proposed by the CRD. The best of luck to them. If they succeed I will be the first to congratulate them, however, current processes give little promise of success.

First, some are still trying to halt sewage treatment and bypass the democratic process by appealing to the federal government to give exemptions or delays to Victoria.

Second, the process of choosing a site is far from advanced but simply repeats actions already taken years ago. I attended one of the Eastside selection/aim projects earlier this year. It was almost exactly like one held by the CRD eight years earlier, only the CRD one was much more informative. It seems to me the process is one in which the organizers can take citizens’ input and afterwards do whatever the organizers wanted to do in the first place, while claiming democratic legitimacy.

The truth is democracy was undermined, not advanced, by small, organized groups frustrating the intent of democratically elected decision-making. This obstructionism has been going on almost for the total adult lifespan of some of the deniers and delayers. That is, we could have had cheaper sewage treatment 20 years ago but for the vociferous few. The perpetrators are now faced with the consequences of their own obstructionism.

When the time comes, let them own up to their responsibilities and not escape judgment through a false rewriting of recent history.

David Coburn

All opposing sewage input neglected (Henry)

JULY 19, 2015

Re: “Many chances for sewage input,” editorial, July 15.

From the outset, the new sewage-treatment plan promoters have ignored all evidence that the current sewage-treatment system is what it is — perfect. Further, they ignore that the proposed system will not be as efficient as the existing one.

It’s my opinion that the reasons for the proposed alternative method are political, not environmental. I agree that building the alternative system will put us in a better light in the eyes of those who ignore all the evidence that the current system is the best for the environment and that the proposed system will fall far short of the current method. That environmental study done 10 or so years ago found no negative impact from our current system other than what still exists today — a negative public opinion. All scientists whom I have heard weigh in support the current system, too.

It’s ironic that the public condemns Prime Minster Stephen Harper for censoring scientists when the public refuses to accept the scientists’ opinion that the current system is the best system. Also, former environment minister Barry Penner did not consult the public nor the scientific community on whether they wanted this land-based system in the first place.

For not asking the public, ignoring the sewage-study findings, disregarding the scientific community and for forging ahead with no reason, I give this entire effort a zero on the democratic-process scale. And then I ask: “Why vote?”

Mark Henry

Sewage project requires careful forethought (Travers)

JULY 18, 2015  

Re: “Many chances for sewage input,” editorial, July 15.

I agree with the editorial that “we have to get it right” on sewage treatment. A good decision requires sound information, can be successfully implemented and will have a positive impact.

To get it right means, first, that taxpayers must be heard. Since the current consultation began in May, a positive difference is occurring. Working through the issues will take time. The original Capital Regional District June 30 deadline was wishful thinking.

From the consultation, we know there is considerable talent in the public domain and wide support for tertiary treatment. Big challenges lie ahead.

While it is important to identify potential sites, it is equally important that detailed up-front planning occurs to minimize financial “surprises” such as those plaguing replacement of the Blue Bridge. Competent engineers know that to bring a project in on time and within budget, especially a large complex project, it requires a front-end engineering design (FEED) document, defined as “the stage of a project beyond conceptual design, but before detailed design.”

Knowing that a certain design feature is not feasible in the early planning stage means an easy solution. When the design flaw, however, is not noticed until significant financial commitments have been made, the solution is typically more expensive, time-consuming and a major source of budget overruns.

Intensive forethought is needed. The CRD will soon be deliberating on sewage-treatment location options. Is the planning to inform this decision-making of sufficient quality and depth to support a plus-or-minus-10 per cent project cost estimate? Has detailed (e.g. FEED) planning occurred?

Ray Travers

Sewage treatment should not be close to downtown (Wilson)

Times Colonist
10 July 2015

Re: “Potential sewage ‘zones’ unveiled,” July 2.

Maintain the David Foster Harbour Pathway, not the David Foster Sewage Treatment Plant Pathway.

James Bay is a gateway and right hand to downtown Victoria. A residential sewage plant would close the gateway to downtown and isolate our community.

Environmental concerns include: • Strong southwest ocean winds blow into the legislature district and harbour, and will carry biosolids liquefaction odour residue. • Traffic emissions, noise and pedestrian concerns with increased biosolids truck traffic. • Seismic and tsunami factors are less secure at Ogden Point compared to other sites.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps incorrectly referred to Vienna’s treatment plant as “smack dab in the middle of town.” The Austrian city’s sewage-recovery plant is 10 kilometres from the city centre, among farmland, airport and industrial lands and close to highways for reduced environmental impact for solids shipping.

Let us not reinvent the wheel. The Vienna sewage-recovery-plant features are equivalent to our Hartland Landfill site, which is 16 kilometres from city hall, in farmland/light industrial area, with low population density for reduced social impact and better future development planning.

A sewage plant is not a good city residential neighbour. This service is best planned outside dense city population and tourist/pedestrian walkways, as Vienna and others have shown.

This site would allow development of support industries and informed communities around them.

We need a sewage plant, but not on the David Foster Harbour Pathway.

Patricia Wilson
James Bay

GVPL PressReader version