Monday, July 10, 2017

Update on the Wastewater Treatment Project in Saanich South

MLA Popham received a briefing from the Wastewater Treatment Project team on 6 July 2017.

Subsequent to that a flyer titled “Project Update #3 – July 2017” was sent out to most residents in the CRD with additional information. Copies of this flyer are available at the Constituency Office.

One of the central issues Popham raised was the importance of engaging the affected communities on a schedule which would allow their input and concerns to be taken into consideration. This is consistent with her article on this matter in the Saanich News. (Link here) This article also raises a number of concerns with the project and the process.

Popham was told that the Project Team wanted to do community consultations after they had enough of the plan put together so that they could meaningfully answer questions such as likely route of the pipeline. However, there was agreement that the consultations should be held early enough so that input from the community could inform the plan itself.

At the meeting, Popham requested that no less than two public consultations be held in Saanich South this Fall. Other public meetings have already been held in Victoria and Esquimalt as the plan for those areas is being implemented first and in fact is already well underway. Popham was also told that the WTP meets regularly with Saanich.

Popham specified that at least two public meetings in Saanich South were required because there would be general concerns regarding the pipeline in the Strawberry Vale/Marigold area and additional specific concerns in the Willis Point and Prospect Lake areas regarding the biosolid storage and eventual treatment at Hartland. She suggested one meeting be held at Spectrum School and another at the Prospect Lake Hall.

Regarding Hartland. The CRD is currently developing a plan for what to do with the biosolids. It is our understanding that they are planning to use anaerobic digestion in steel tanks or “biocell reactors” Biocells are a ‘closed loop cell’. Resources, including gas and material can be recovered. There would be an end product of Class A biosolids and that would need to be removed from Hartland at some point and in some form. The CRD reports that the facility must have the capacity to treat 32,000kg/day of residual solids.

At this meeting Popham raised concerns including the proposed cost of the project, the uncertainty of how the waste will be treated, the risks to waterways, contamination of well water, air quality and traffic disturbances.

The WTP gave Popham an informational binder which they committed to keep updated. It is at the Constituency Office and available for public inspection.

We are happy to continue working with concerned residents on any issues they have with this project. Please feel free to contact the office at any time.

Finally, it may be of interest to note that the WTP Board has a public meeting on the last Thursday of each month and visitors are able to ask questions.