West Shore residents asked to weigh in on sewage options

Latest online survey on seven Greater Victoria treatment options is unveiled

Public consultations on potential wastewater treatment options are now underway, with the launch of an online survey by the Capital Regional District.

The Core Area wastewater survey gives residents the opportunity to give feedback and educate those who are learning the information for the first time.

There are seven options on the table for treating the region’s liquid waste. Information provided in the survey includes locations, levels of service for treated effluent, piping and conveyancing, infrastructure opportunities for water reuse and heat recovery, and preliminary estimates on costing and revenues.

There are also two possible methods of treating solids including potential locations and forms of treatment.

“We are now at the stage where it is important to connect with the public and get their feedback,” said Lisa Helps, chair of the core area liquid waste management committee. “We may not have 100 per cent of the information, but we have made significant progress and now have enough material to get meaningful input from the public.”

In addition to the survey, information will also be provided at municipal halls, band offices, the CRD storefront at 625 Fisgard St., and community and public events, where project engineers will be on hand to explain technical information.

The region currently filters its waste and pumps it untreated into Juan de Fuca Strait. In 2012, the federal government passed a law requiring cities such as Victoria to provide secondary sewage treatment by 2020.

Construction on a plant was set to begin two years ago at McLoughlin Point, but the proposal died in the spring of 2014 when Esquimalt council rejected the significant zoning variances that would have been required under the existing plant design.

Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen recently suggested taking another look at McLoughlin Point as part of the overall system, after learning the cost of the new plans.

The original cost for placing a single treatment plant on the site was pegged at $788 million, while initial estimates for current proposals being considered are more than $1 billion each.

The CRD needs to have a site selected and zoned by the end of March to meet the deadline for at least $83 million in federal funding.

To take the survey visit CoreAreaWastewater.ca.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

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