Board Decides Against Proposed Location for Core Area Wastewater Treatment Plant and Biosolids Energy Centre on Agricultural Land

May 10, 2013

Victoria, BC - The Capital Regional District (CRD) Board endorsed the Core Area Waste Management Committee’s recommendation to not consider locating a combined liquid wastewater treatment plant and Biosolids Energy Center (BEC) at 1947 Burnside Road (Burnside).

On May 8, 2013 the CRD Board, in a closed meeting, considered a motion brought forward by Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins to consider locating both the liquid wastewater treatment plant and BEC at Burnside. Mayor Desjardins was approached by the landowner who was willing to consider selling the land to the CRD. Because of the CRD’s longstanding position of protecting farmland and land in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), the proposed properties were not considered further. ALR land has been excluded from consideration since the beginning of the planning process in 2006. A preliminary cost estimate for the Burnside location indicated a total capital cost of $962.7 million, a 23% increase in the Program budget and an increase in annual operating costs of $734,000, a significant increase which would have to be covered by local taxpayers. Given the public interest on this issue the Board decided to publically report this decision.

To co-locate the liquids and biosolids treatment at Burnside, sewage currently being discharged at Clover Point and Macaulay Point outfalls would have to be pumped to Burnside. This would entail at least two large pump stations and two 1.8 metre (71 inch) diameter pipes to convey the raw sewage to Burnside for treatment and back to a new outfall at McLoughlin Point or Macaulay Point. Finding suitable routes to construct two pipelines of this magnitude would be challenging given the services in existing road rights of way.

In 2006, the CRD began the planning for wastewater treatment facilities 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. All of the Program facilities are expected to be in operation by the spring of 2018.

For information on the CRD’s Core Area Wastewater Treatment Program, please visit here.

Additional Resources
Core Area Liquid Waste Management Committee Notice of Motion
Redacted Staff Report


For media inquiries, please contact:
Carla Wormald, Manager
CRD Corporate Communications
Office: 250.360.3225
Cell: 250.507.7657