CRD Folly. Old School vs New School

The RITE Plan has articulated all the difficulties with the CRD’ “Old School” plan for improving Victoria’s sewage treatment.

Recently, after completing a study and prototype, Colwood has decided to go it alone and build its own New School plant: without the large federal and provincial subsidies the CRD centralized plant will require.

The Township of Esquimalt is demanding the depth of information that Oak Bay, Saanich, Victoria and the other members of the CRD seem content to exist without. Perhaps that is because they are being saddled (on McLoughlin Point) with the main primary treatment plant. The general public is using the Esquimalt Hearings to get the answers they can’t get from their own elected officials.

The Times Colonist is defending the Old School Project, (which is spending ten of thousands advertising in its pages), but the people are raising red flags and Esquimalt is holding the line. None of these citizens are opposed to treatment; they just want the best treatment that their $800,000,000  million can buy.

Art Bickerton makes all the key points.

I really cannot understand why the Capital Regional District directors are still supporting the Seaterra secondary sewage treatment plan when it is obvious that it is a costly mistake.

McLoughlin Point is too small and is in a dangerous tsunami zone. The Seaterra plan has an expanding billion-dollar price tag that will still be polluting the Juan de Fuca Strait upon completion.

Using proven new technology, the CRD can build a dozen modular tertiary treatment plants and place them near hospitals, colleges and other high-density buildings on higher ground before 2018.

In Victoria, a few tertiary plants could be hidden underground with affordable city parking above. The heat used in purification could supply warmth for temporary homeless shelters during the winter.

Bike and rapid transit lanes could follow the pipeline path as it weaves its way to connect with the West Shore.

If it really is costing a million dollars a month to delay, pay Seaterra a million to go away.

Use a plan that has a financial return and much of the costs can be reclaimed from the byproduct process.

The municipalities should own the computerized plants and staff them with trained personnel who can adapt, modify and rectify errors immediately.

Taxpayers are being forced to spend their money and senior governments are paying two-thirds of the bill.

It is the CRD’s responsibility to insist on a tertiary treatment plan that has the very best return. Art Bickerton .

Tony Rose deals with the redundancy of pumping sludge for 18 km.

It seems to me that once a decision is taken to incinerate the waste, this obviates any transfer to the Hartland landfill and makes the 18-kilometre pipeline redundant.

There are really only two choices these days for treatment: filtering, drying and incineration, or tertiary treatment with molecular filters.

The initial Capital Regional District option of spreading on the land is long recognized as unacceptable; the only choice they have at this stage is incineration.

The incinerator must be located as close as possible to the primary treatment, whether it is Esquimalt or not, to minimize cost and the risk associated with a pressurized pipe of biohazardous material.

Ideally, the whole treatment plant from raw sewage to treated water and compacted solids should be on one site. Colwood has taken the appropriate course, and this could well be followed by the various municipalities taking ownership of their waste and treating it in local modular plants within their own boundaries.

Environmental constraints will be the same for incineration regardless of the site; Hartland offers no advantages. What little ash is left over can be shipped to a secure landfill or completely destroyed. The pipeline is not needed.

Tony Rose Victoria –

David Stocks makes the case for redundancy across the board.

The article states: “The province might also require Colwood to retain a connection to the CRD sewer infrastructure as a redundancy in the event of an emergency.” Many Capital Regional District residents are concerned about the lack of redundancy in the Seaterra design.

The CRD has investigated redundant systems and concluded that redundancy would require “significantly higher capital and operating costs.” If redundancy would be a bad idea for Seaterra, why would it be a good idea for Colwood?

On the other hand, if redundancy would be required for Colwood, why should it not be required for Seaterra? Redundancy costs money, but it can save enormous amounts of money and environmental damage when the inevitable problems occur.

Just ask the people of Halifax about the extra costs when their monolithic sewage treatment plant was knocked out of commission.

If Halifax had built two plants that could back each other up, the city would have saved millions of dollars and months of pumping raw sewage into its harbour. The only way the CRD can claim that the Seaterra design is cheaper is by ignoring the financial and environmental costs of an emergency.

The CRD needs at least two treatment plants that are connected, so they can continue to operate when an emergency arises. David Stocks Colwood

And Dennis Robinson makes the case for a full plant Trial Island.

Re: “Colwood gets ‘go’ for own sewage plant,” March 13. With Colwood going alone with its own sewage treatment plant, isn’t it time to look at further options for the rest of us?

Trial Island is only 500 metres off the Oak Bay shoreline, and even though part of the island is an ecological reserve, there is still a large tract that could accommodate both a wastewater treatment plant as well as a resource-recovery centre.

With a Trial Island location, everything is together as it should be, with no need to run an 18.5-kilometre pipeline from McLoughlin Point to the Hartland landfill. And then there would be no need to run a 600-metre sewer line under the entrance to the harbour from Ogden Point to a proposed treatment plant at McLoughlin Point.

In some cases, the direction of sewage flow would be reversed, and it could be piped under the harbour at Bay Street until that bridge is upgraded or replaced. Then the pipeline could be suspended under the Bay Street Bridge, just as they are proposing to do at Tillicum over the Gorge, and send it on its way to Trial Island.

After treatment is completed, the water could be discharged from the south end of the island.

Dennis Robinson Victoria –


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