Potential capital region sewage-treatment ‘zones’ unveiled

Potential sewage-treatment locations in the capital region have been divided into possible groupings that include single or multiple sites.

The zones or “solution sets” — which often overlap — were unveiled at a Thursday open house that drew a crowd of about 400. Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. is chairwoman of the Eastside Select Committee, which is looking at sites in Saanich, Victoria and Oak Bay.

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There are six zones on the eastside, she said, including two with centralized plants and one each with two, three, four and five plants. In the west — Colwood, Esquimalt, Langford, View Royal and the Songhees First Nation — nine groupings have been presented.

“It really is giving the public an opportunity to weigh in on a range of options,” Helps said.

The zones provide a new way of looking at possible sites, said Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins, who co-chairs the effort to choose sites in the west through a committee called Westside Solutions. The process puts existing site options into logical groupings, she said.

“What it’s doing is starting to talk about ‘Here’s a configuration that may be possible,’ ” Desjardins said. “It’s trying to help people realize that it’s not necessarily the specific site, but it’s how the sewage flows and how we have to connect the dots.”

Westside Solutions identified 20 “technically feasible” sewage-treatment sites on June 18 — two in Langford, 12 in Colwood, one in View Royal, four in Esquimalt and one on Esquimalt First Nations property. On the eastside, Helps said, 27 sites remain “in play” within the six zones.

Of the combinations in the eastside, a single-plant option is suggested in the Rock Bay area, along with a three-plant option that combines Rock Bay, Ogden Point and Gordon Head.

On the westside, options range from a single plant in the vicinity of Esquimalt’s village area to a five-plant setup linking Colwood, Esquimalt and Langford.

Desjardins said the public is being encouraged to take advantage of opportunities for online input about site issues.

“We need to hear from people about their thoughts and concerns about sites, so that as … these things start to narrow down, we know we’ve heard from the community,” she said.

Once input is compiled, two choices will be put forward from both the west and east for further study on cost and engineering matters, Helps said.

jwbell@timescolonist.com

Sewage sites

For information about potential sewage-treatment locations, go to:

• Westside — crd.bc.ca/westside-solutions

• Eastside — crd.bc.ca/project/eastside-community-dialogue

Public input

To comment on site selection, go to:

• Eastside, until July 13 — eastside.ethelodecisions.com

• Westside, until July 22 — fluidsurveys.com/s/westsidesitespeak

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