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Comment: Wheels are turning on sewage-treatment plant

The wastewater-treatment project team is moving forward to build a new, modern treatment system for the Capital Regional District’s core-area municipalities.

The wastewater-treatment project team is moving forward to build a new, modern treatment system for the Capital Regional District’s core-area municipalities. With funding, approvals and permitting in place, construction will begin this spring to meet the end-of-2020 delivery deadline, comply with the law and meet our commitments to senior governments.

The treatment project has three main elements:

• The McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt. The plant will provide tertiary treatment to the core area’s wastewater.

• The residuals-treatment facility at Hartland Landfill in Saanich. Residual solids from the wastewater treatment plant will be piped to this treatment facility to be turned into “Class A” biosolids, a high-quality byproduct treated so it is safe for further use.

• A conveyance system, the network of “pumps and pipes” that will carry wastewater from across the core area to the treatment plant, and residual solids to the treatment facility.

The approved McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant design is significantly revised from earlier plans to respond to the interests of the community. It is further set back from the shoreline, has extensive landscaping and a multi-level green roof irrigated with treated water, and will go beyond secondary treatment to include tertiary treatment, better protecting the marine environment.

The plant will have one of the highest levels of odour capture and treatment in the industry. There will be no detectable odour in the surrounding community. All treatment processing tanks will be covered, all air will be captured and treated, and an odour-control monitoring system will ensure odour requirements are met or exceeded.

This month, residents will see the start of construction for the McLoughlin Point plant in Esquimalt, which includes the building of an undersea pipe between McLoughlin Point and Ogden Point.

We understand that residents are eager to understand how they may be affected by the project. Since finalizing the funding agreements and the agreement with the contractor for the construction of the McLoughlin Point plant and undersea pipe in March, we have been working hard to finalize construction plans with the contractor to ensure the information we are sharing with residents and businesses is complete and accurate.

Community information meetings are being held to keep residents informed of updated project information and construction activities, share plans for mitigating impacts, and receive and respond to questions and concerns raised by the community. The rest of the project construction activities will be staged to the end of 2020, and additional communications and engagement will take place in advance of project construction beginning in each area.

On behalf of the Core Area Wastewater Treatment Project Board, I look forward to delivering a modern, reliable wastewater treatment system that meets federal requirements while adding value to the surrounding community. For more information, please visit wastewaterproject.ca.

 

Jane Bird chairs the Core Area Wastewater Treatment Project Board.