A proposal for a joint sewage plant for Colwood and Langford passed a major hurdle on Tuesday night when Colwood city council unanimously agreed to endorse it.
That means the plan to further investigate the proposal will have Colwood’s stamp of approval when Patrick Lucey of Aqua-Tex Scientific Consulting delivers the same presentation to Langford council, and the CRD’s sewage treatment board later this month.
Colwood council also moved to commit to establishing an appropriate site for a sewage treatment plant as discussed in the presentation.
“I think that what has been proposed in [Lucey’s] presentation certainly offers a viable solution to be considered by the project board,” said Mayor Carol Hamilton.
Lucey told council that a joint venture between Langford and Colwood could mean significant savings for taxpayers.
The plant would have a smaller capacity, but would leave room for expansion if needed. Lucey estimates that it would cost $58 million and meet the goals of both communities, considerably less than the $204 million estimated price tag in the original CRD plan.
The savings come from building a smaller plant with lower flow requirements, as well as avoiding the construction of a new outfall due to Colwood and Langford’s location on sands and gravels.
“We have an alternative option that no one else in the region has. We can take the water from the treatment plant and literally put it into the ground … that’s a very important option, because it means that’s how you avoid an outfall,” Lucey noted.
Previous discussions at the CRD around treatment for the West Shore have included an outfall to fulfill federal regulations for the disposal of teated waste water.
Proponents believe that the inevitable expansion costs could be recouped via development fees.
“I think tonight was extremely important, because in order to have a domino effect, this was the beginning of the first domino,” said Bill Beadle, a West Shore businessman and a member of Langford’s sewage treatment committee, following the presentation. “It fell properly and I believe the next domino will be Langford council … Now that they know that Colwood endorses the concept, they can look at it fairly and squarely.”
Beadle personally hired a third-party company to review the group’s numbers and plan. Results from that review are expected on Aug. 24.
The group hopes to deliver their presentation to Langford council next week and has an appointment with the CRD project board on Aug. 25.