Change in Victoria-area sewage treatment plans could save $185 million

By Kim Westad
Times Colonist
June 9, 2010 3:02 PM

The region’s sewage committee is recommending significant changes to its treatment plan that it says will trim at least $185 million from the budget.

The committee wants McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt as the sole treatment site for liquids for the region. The solid sludge would then be piped to either Hartland landfill, or a closer site on industrial land. The committee has asked staff to try and find a site closer to McLoughlin Point than Hartland.

Previously, the committee was looking into buying land in the Upper Inner Harbour where liquid and solid waste could be dealt with at one location. Sewage experts said that was the most efficient and cost-effective way to provide secondary sewage treatment.

The provincial government has ordered the region to provide secondary treatment by 2016. Currently, the region’s waste shoots into the ocean after going through 6 mm screens.

The recommended changes also remove a waste water treatment plant for Saanich East and North Oak Bay. Instead, the committee wants underground storage tanks. The Capital Regional District owns a chunk of land at Finnerty and Arbutus Roads that it bought for a treatment site. Many Saanich residents have vigorously protested the site, part of the Haro Woods, being used for a treatment site.

The committee also recommends that an alternative site be investigated for the tanks, which can be underground.

The changes go to the CRD board for approval June 23.