CRD looking for new sewage sludge location

By Kim Westad
Times Colonist
June 23, 2010

Pumping sludge to Hartland landfill as part of its secondary sewage treatment plan is “a concern” for the region and finding an alternate site could save $30 million, said the project director for the plan.

“That’s why we want to look at a closer site. We’re fairly confident we can find another site,” Jack Hull said.

The Capital Regional District board is to decide today on a recommendation from the sewage committee that only one centralized plant be built to deal with liquid waste. That would be at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt, with the sludge piped to Hartland landfill in Saanich for processing. The CRD has been ordered by the province to provide secondary sewage treatment by 2016.

The Hartland piping alone is estimated to cost $65 million, Hull said.

While the CRD will continue to look for an alternate site to Hartland, it will not look for an alternate to McLoughlin Point, despite earlier criticism that it is too small.

“There is no question that the ideal situation would be to have a site where liquids and solids were treated on the same site. We have not been able to find a site to do that,” Hull said.

Negotiations on an upper harbour site large enough to deal with both liquids and solids weren’t successful, Hull said. That site would also have driven the overall cost up to $835 million, he said. Having only one treatment site at McLoughlin is estimated to cost $782 million.

McLoughlin Point will be difficult to build on, Hull said, but Stantec engineering is “quite confident it is doable.”

The sewage treatment project is to be cost-shared between the CRD, the province and the federal government. The CRD expects the province to go to Treasury Board for funding approval by mid-July.