The B.C. government has approved a wastewater management strategy proposed by the Capital Regional District (CRD) that will for the first time treat up to 40 billion litres of sewage per year before it is discharged into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Environment Minister Barry Penner announced this week. Penner first directed the CRD to come up with a plan for sewage treatment on July 21, 2006.

Penner approved Amendment number eight of the CRD’s Core Area Liquid Waste Management Plan (LWMP) that will see a reduction of contaminants through outfalls and allow the regional district to meet the provincial treatment requirements.

The strategy incorporates resource recovery, conservation and innovation and allows the regional district to start the implementation phase of the wastewater management strategy and to meet its commitment to provide sewage treatment by 2016.

The CRD plans to treat its current sewage flows at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt. After 2030, incremental sewage flows would be treated at a separate facility, potentially on the Westshore. The Saanich East sewage treatment facility has been replaced with storage tanks to equalize peak storm sewage flows. A biosolids processing facility (energy centre) will be constructed at the Hartland landfill.

The CRD will be required to monitor quality and volumes of wastewater discharged through the outfalls and must continue to assess the impact of the discharge to the ocean to determine the need for further treatment in the future. Penner is also encouraging the regional district to continue to consult with the public and First Nations to ensure they are fully informed of the wastewater strategy.

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