CRD position on sewage treatment clarified by committee chair

Denise Blackwell offers up information about government stipulations

The Core Area Wastewater Treatment Project will bring the Capital Regional District into compliance with two sets of legislation which apply to wastewater discharges: the B.C. municipal sewage regulation under the Environmental Management Act, and the federal wastewater system effluent regulations under the Fisheries Act.

Without moving forward with the Core Area Wastewater Treatment Project, the CRD would not be in compliance with the new standards, and would face penalties, including fines.

To be in compliance with both the provincial directives and federal regulations concerning the discharge of wastewater effluent, the CRD is required to have secondary sewage treatment in place by 2020.

The new facilities will be designed to meet these requirements and will be a significant benefit to the residents of the region and our receiving marine environment.

The CRD has a commitment to meet regulations. We are fortunate to have a funding commitment from our provincial and federal government partners. Many other communities are now wondering how they will fund treatment projects to comply with the new federal standards.

The CRD and the core area municipalities of Colwood, Esquimalt, Langford, Oak Bay, Saanich, Victoria and View Royal have been working on the cost allocation for the wastewater treatment program for the last two years, to arrive at a fair and equitable approach that has incentives and is understandable, stable and straightforward to administer.

The CRD will allocate costs to the municipalities and each jurisdiction will decide how best to recover costs from their residents. Cost allocation will be based on each municipality’s required treatment capacity.

The regional district’s analysis to date shows that the highest average household cost by municipality is less than $500 annually and the lowest average cost is slightly more than $200.

Denise Blackwell, Langford councillor

Chair, CRD Core Area Liquid Waste

Management Committee