CRD Core Area Liquid Waste Management Committee Selects Lower Cost Configuration for Wastewater Treatment

Jun 09, 2010

Victoria, BC – The Capital Regional District Core Area Liquid Waste Management Committee has selected a revised configuration for wastewater treatment which will be substantially less costly than previous system designs, and which will allow for continued resource recovery opportunities as well as future system flexibility. The new option will be included in the Liquid Waste Management Plan’s Amendment 8, to be submitted for approval to the CRD Board on June 23 before submission to the British Columbia Minister of Environment.

The system configuration will include a centralized, liquids only treatment facility at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt and a separate biosolids digestion facility, located either at the Hartland Landfill or another suitable location. Underground storage tanks will be constructed in Saanich East instead of a wastewater treatment plant; alternatives sites to the Finnerty-Arbutus property will be investigated for the tanks. The system will also see the deferral of the West Shore wastewater treatment plant. The proposed Clover Point wet weather facility has been eliminated pending the Minster of Environment’s approval. The Clover and Macaulay facilities will be upgraded to pump wastewater to McLoughlin, and grit removal facilities will be added to the existing screening facilities at both locations. The Craigflower pump station will also be upgraded.

“A benefit of a centralized plant is the decreased cost; total capital costs are now estimated at $782 million and yearly operating costs will be $14.5 million, considerably less than first projected,” said CALWMC Chair Judy Brownoff. “The McLoughlin Option will create a wastewater treatment system for the Core Area and West Shore that will have a negative carbon footprint that takes advantage of resource recovery opportunities, meets our current needs and provides for future flexibility.” In comparison to the system configuration proposed in Amendment 7, the Amendment 8 system will cost $185 million less in capital costs; yearly operating costs will drop by $5.3 million. The yearly CRD charge to municipalities will drop to $210-$500 per average household, depending on the municipality and structure of cost sharing agreements.

Opportunities exist for resource recovery at every wastewater facility, and will include bio-methane production, heat recovery, phosphorous recovery and dried biosolids as a fuel substitute, as well as providing future opportunities through the development of distributed treatment facilities and integration with CRD’s strategic goals and initiatives. Heat recovery will occur at the central facility and there will be an opportunity to explore district heating for areas surrounding McLoughlin Point, including DND and the downtown core. Heat recovery from stored effluent in the University of Victoria area is also a possibility from the Saanich East site. The system includes the potential for more than 18,500 tonnes of carbon offsets per year. Annual resource recovery revenues are estimated at $3.1 million by 2030.

“The investigation of an Upper Harbour site for a wastewater treatment facility has not currently proved successful, said CRD Board Chair Geoff Young, “However, we will continue to investigate opportunities to refine components that will improve the economic performance of the system and reduce any negative environmental or neighbourhood impacts.”

Future work will include the continued development of partnerships in research, learning and public education centres, which will work toward the further reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Public consultation will be scheduled for early July for Esquimalt neighbourhoods, in order to engage residents on details of the McLoughlin Point facility, mitigation and community amenity options.

In 2006 the CRD began planning to upgrade its wastewater treatment at the request of the Minister of Environment for British Columbia. The Core Area includes the municipalities of Colwood, Esquimalt, Langford, Oak Bay, Saanich, Victoria and View Royal. Planning and construction of the wastewater treatment system is expected to take 10 years to complete.

For information on the CRD’s Wastewater Treatment Project.

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For more information please contact:
Andy Orr, Senior Manager, CRD Corporate Communications
Tel: 250.360.3229
Cell: 250.216.5492