After several years of deliberation and much community debate, the Capital Region District of Victoria has come one step closer to making a decision about where to build a new tertiary treatment of wastewater system.

The Core Area Wastewater Treatment Project Board released its recommendations for a plan to build a 108 megalitre/day plant for the tertiary treatment of wastewater at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt that includes:

  • construction laydown area at Rock Bay in Victoria
  • commitment to advance studies for a wastewater treatment proposal for Colwood
  • conveyancing system for the residual solids to be transported by pipe to the Hartland landfill in Saanich
  • and plant for the treatment of residual solids at Hartland landfill to produce Class A biosolids and interim storage of biosolids that includes an integrated resource management plan.   

Two years ago, the District (CRD) board came close to constructing a facility at McLoughlin Point, but the township rejected the plan, citing concerns with the size of the facility and the environmental impact.

CRD directors will ultimately have the final say on where a facility should be located. They have until Sept. 30 to submit its plans for wastewater treatment to the federal government or risk losing federal funding. 

Project Board chair Jane Bird said, “We worked hard to find a solution that minimizes costs to taxpayers, meets the regulatory and timing criteria, and responds to the interests of the surrounding community and neighbourhoods. The plant design has a smaller footprint and larger setbacks. It is significantly revised to provide better public access to the shoreline, extensive landscaping, and a budget for further refinements to align with existing zoning guidelines and respond to concerns expressed by the residents of Esquimalt.”

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The capital cost of the recommended proposal is approximately $765 million, significantly less expensive than previous plans.

Assuming the senior government contributions are in place, based on the methodology used by the CRD to allocate costs, the cost per CRD household ranges from about $146 per year per household in Colwood to $344 per year per household in Oak Bay. The business case describes the proposal and implementation strategy and includes a detailed project budget. On September 14, 2016 the Project Board will ask the CRD to consider this report; receive it for information, and approve the business case. If approved, the provincial and federal governments will consider confirmation of their funding by September 30, 2016.

The final report and recommendations can be accessed online.

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