On Oct. 13, nearby residents of the Hartland Landfill were informed that a pipe had failed, leaking residual solids, or sewage sludge, into Mount Work Regional Park.
The pipe is part of the Capital Regional District’s $775-million wastewater treatment project, currently in its testing phase of transferring residual solids and liquid removed from those solids between a wastewater treatment plant at the Hartland Landfill and McLoughlin Point.
Nearby resident Hugh Stephens, who has been opposing the proposed expansion of the Hartland Landfill, said he fears this leak is indicative of what could come if the expansion is approved.
The landfill expansion and wastewater treatment are two separate projects, but for Stephens they both affect his neighbourhood.
He is a member of the Mount Work Coalition, a not-for-profit comprised of concerned citizens pushing to ensure the CRD’s decisions don’t harm residents or the environment.
The CRD said it has had an environmental professional assess the leak and “there is no indication of public health or long-term environmental impacts, including to Durrance Lake.” The incident was reported to Emergency Management B.C.
|Crews arrived at Mount Work Regional Park on Oct. 14 to pump away the leaked sludge. (Hugh Stephens)|
Walking by the affected area Oct. 14, Stephens said he and a neighbour saw crews pumping the spilled sludge into a truck. The majority of the leak, however, was contained within the Hartland Landfill.
Andy Orr, the CRD senior manager of corporate communications, said they’ve had “minor issues” with the pipe that runs underwater between Macaulay Point and McLoughlin Point, but haven’t had any other leaks during their testing process.
He said they hope to have their testing phase complete by the end of the year.
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