CRD Board Approves McLoughlin Option for Wastewater Treatment

Jun 23, 2010

Victoria, BC – With the adoption of Amendment 8 to its wastewater plan today, the CRD is moving closer to construction on its largest ever capital project. Completion of this project will allow the region to meet the Provincial requirement for treatment and newly mandated Federal wastewater effluent targets as well as taking advantage of both federal and provincial funding contributions.

Recent alterations to the wastewater system configuration resulted from a key decision by the Provincial government concerning water reuse. CRD residents, with assistance from the CRD’s demand management programs, are demonstrating exemplary water conservation efforts. With the purchase of the Leech watershed lands, water resources are now extensive enough to accommodate projected growth in the region.

Based on the CRD’s successes, the Province removed the requirement that water reuse be included in a wastewater treatment system for the Core Area. The removal of this requirement allowed the CRD to consider the consolidation of sites; without water reuse facilities, the McLoughlin site became feasible for a centralized, liquids only facility. This new configuration also allowed the replacement of a Saanich East treatment facility with attenuation tanks and the elimination of the immediate need for a West Shore facility.

“With every amendment submitted to the BC Minister of Environment, the CRD has managed to reduce costs to the taxpayer, refine resource recovery opportunities and better accommodate the communities in which wastewater treatment facilities were considered,” said CRD Board Chair Geoff Young. “The reductions in costs are significant to taxpayers and will make the wastewater system far more sustainable for future generations. With the adoption of the McLoughlin Option, the largest reduction yet in cost has been made possible.”

The Board-approved McLoughlin Option will save taxpayers close to $200 million from previous system configurations, while keeping many of the important resource recovery benefits of earlier configurations. The simpler, more compact design also responds to community concerns around siting and truck traffic.

Benefits of the new system include the following highlights:

  • Capital costs have decreased to $782 million; yearly operating costs are now $14.5 million
  • Average yearly household tax increase will range from $210 - $500
  • The McLoughlin Point facility is removed from dense residential neighbourhoods, meaning facilities will have less impact on surrounding communities
  • A centralized facility will mean less truck traffic and affect fewer neighbourhoods; wastewater sludge will be pumped, not trucked from McLoughlin to the biosolids facility
  • Outfalls have been reduced to one continuously operating outfall at Macaulay Point, meaning fewer impacts on marine species and fisheries, and the elimination of shellfish closures in Saanich East
  • Saanich East wet weather overflows up to five times average dry weather will be eliminated in this area
  • Resource recovery opportunities will include the production of bio-methane, heat recovery, phosphorus recovery and the use of dried biosolids as a fuel substitute
  • Resource recovery revenues will provide $3.1 million in revenues by 2030 and include 18,500 tonnes of carbon offsets

Under the McLoughlin Option, a centralized, liquids-only treatment facility will be located at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt and a separate biosolids digestion facility will be located either at Hartland Landfill or another suitable location. Underground storage tanks, to be used during storm events, will be constructed in Saanich East instead of a treatment plant; alternative sites to the Finnerty-Arbutus property will be investigated for the tanks.

The West Shore treatment plant will be deferred until at least 2030; the Clover Point wet weather facility has been eliminated, pending approval by the provincial Minister of Environment. Clover Point and Macaulay Point pump stations will be upgraded to pump wastewater to the McLoughlin site and grit removal facilities will be added to existing screening facilities at both locations. The Craigflower pump station will also be upgraded.

“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,” said CALWMC Chair Judy Brownoff. Public engagement is scheduled for early July for Esquimalt neighbourhoods, in order to engage residents on details of the McLoughlin Point facility, mitigation and community benefit 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.

Additional Information
Map of the McLoughlin Option

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