KIM BELLEFONTAINE ON CRD BIOSOLIDS SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT SITE: ‘The biosolids plant will cost $228 million, yet its ultimate location is still a mystery’





The chairwoman of the CRD sewage waste treatment committee [Judy Brownoff] gave a lengthy and detailed account of the new sewage plan for the region (June 29).

A glaring omission is the lack of a definitive location for the biosolids facility.

The biosolids plant will cost $228 million, yet its ultimate location is still a mystery.

CRD documents indicate it might be located at the Capital Regional District’s Hartland landfill site.

However, it will cost more than $65 million to build the pipeline for the sludge from McLoughlin Point to Hartland.

Putting the biosolids and liquid waste facilities together would save a minimum of $65 million.

The small size of the McLoughlin Point site poses many design and construction challenges that would also drive up the costs compared to a larger site.

I fear that escalating costs will force the CRD to truck sludge from McLoughlin Point to the biosolids facility.

The CRD needs to step back and return with a better and more responsible plan.

Kim Bellefontaine



CCC BLOG reprint:

Victoria Times Colonist:

CRD must present a better sewage plan

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Page A15



3 Responses to KIM BELLEFONTAINE ON CRD BIOSOLIDS SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT SITE: ‘The biosolids plant will cost $228 million, yet its ultimate location is still a mystery’

  1. John Newcomb says:

    The location of a sewage sludge plant is only a part of the problem with land-based sewage plants. The impact of spreading sewage sludge on land may be considerable – organic farms won’t touch the stuff!

    Demanding that a sewage sludge plant go on the same site is Kim’s way of trying to halt the McLoughlin Point location, but if you look at a map of the site, its possible to build out in all directions – over the shoreline, up the rise to the West, and north into a neighbourhood. Its possible if the politics align – and so far, all political parties support this unnecessary sewage treatment project.

    However, with our current, marine-based, natural sewage treatment, we create NO sewage sludge, NO greenhouse gases, and NO significant environmental, social or economic impacts.

    For more information:

  2. goyodelarosa says:

    Thanks, John.

    I share your appreciation of the prudence of the principled precautionary arguments made by both these groups, Responsible Sewage Treatment Victoria ( , and the Association for Responsible and Environmentally Sustainable Sewage Treatment (

    Readers of the CCC BLOG can find these websites easily in the CCC BLOGROLL to the right.

  3. John Newcomb says:

    CRD study explores piping sewage under Victoria waterways

    Edward Hill
    Goldstream News Gazette
    Updated: December 02, 2010 6:45 AM

    The Capital Region’s wastewater treatment committee has released a report that contemplates piping effluent under the mouth of Esquimalt Harbour, potentially as a part of an alternative sewage treatment plan.

    The submarine pipeline study outlines cost estimates, routes and methods to pipe wastewater from Saxe Point in Esquimalt to the south end of the Coburg Peninsula in Colwood.

    It also outlines options for tunneling and piping waste across Victoria Harbour between Ogden Point and McLoughlin Point, part of the CRD’s current planning.

    The Royal Roads route, as the Colwood crossing is called, would cost anywhere from $70 million to $145 million, depending if a tunnel were drilled or if a trench were dredged in the sea floor.

    Tunneling beneath Victoria harbour is estimated at $24 million and could save the $790-million wastewater project $17 million if horizontal directional drilling is used, according to the report.

    Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins said she and other members of the wastewater committee pushed for the Royal Roads study to see if an alternative treatment plan was feasible for Colwood.

    The submarine pipeline study indicates the lowest cost option to pipe sewage to Colwood is still at least $44 million more than the existing plan.

    Desjardins, who vocally opposes the McLoughlin Point plan for a treatment plant, said she will push to have CRD staff conduct a cost-analysis between siting a plant in Esquimalt versus piping effluent to a plant in Colwood.

    The pipeline report is encouraging, she said, and showed that moving effluent across Esquimalt Harbour is possible.

    “There could be cost savings,” Desjardins said. “It makes the most sense siting (a treatment plant) in Colwood, now and in the future.”

    Last year a consultant report recommended the CRD build a major treatment plant in Royal Bay, which was roundly rejected by Colwood council. Thousands of potential Royal Bay households could be built to take advantage of an energy recovery plant, Desjardins said.

    Colwood Mayor Dave Saunders, who sits on the wastewater committee, said all options remain on the table, including piping wastewater to a treatment or energy recovery plant somewhere in Colwood.

    There are at least five sites on the West Shore that could take a plant, including public land near Royal Bay, near city hall and West Shore Parks and Recreation. Saunders said Colwood is willing to look at any plant that will generate no noise, no odour and has amenities that benefit the community.

    “Colwood is interested in looking at any innovation that makes the current plan by the CRD less expensive to citizens,” Saunders said.

    CRD wastewater committee chair Judy Brownoff said the piping report hasn’t changed anything — the project remains as a centralized sewage treatment plant at McLoughlin Point, storage tanks in Saanich and a biosolids facility at Hartland Landfill.

    The committee needed to understand tunneling options across Victoria Harbour, she said, and decided to include Royal Roads waterway in the study.

    Brownoff noted that the submarine piping report could be handy during the procurement stage of the wastewater treatment project.

    “For anyone who applies at the procurement stage, this document highlights the challenges to overcome of pipes on the ocean floor,” she said. “The topography of the ocean floor is challenging in certain areas.”

    Meanwhile, the CRD is still trying to find land closer to Esquimalt for the biosolids and energy capture facility, currently earmarked for Hartland. It is also waiting for the province to approve a governance model for wastewater treatment.

    “We are also waiting for money from both levels of government,” Brownoff said. “Hopefully there is good news in the new year.”

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