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Sewage Outfall Favoured

By Mitch Moneo, Sooke News Mirror, October 18, 2000

As expected, the option of discharging treated sewage into the Strait of Juan de Fuca is rising to the top of a District of Sooke sewage system study.

The study's steering committee, based on public input and technical information, has all but ruled out alternate means of disposing of sewage collected by a proposed system in the Sooke core.

Committee chair John Farmer said one alternative, disposing highly treated effluent into fresh water creeks, streams and rivers, is no longer an option.

A mail-out survey which garnered only 106 responses, indicated that 53 per cent of respondents were opposed to a discharge into fresh water and only 9.5 per cent approved.

Two other options, in-ground disposal of treated effluent and forest irrigation are still up for discussion, but are unlikely to be adopted.

"If you want to throw enough money at them, anything is possible," Stantec Engineering project manager Anne Pool said.

Forty-three per cent of survey respondents favored ground disposal and w1 percent were opposed.

However Pool, who has been contracted by the District of Sooke to conduct the $41,500 study, said ground and irrigation disposal methods are proving to be "economically unsuitable and demand large areas of land with suitable features.

An in-ground disposal system would require a tract of land 35 hectares. In addition, a huge retention pond of approximately 25 hectares by five metres would be needed to store the effluent during winter months to prevent run-off from heavy rains. Pool said the cost of conveying effluent to the Otter forest area from the town core would require pump stations and significantly add to costs.

Forty-four per cent of respondents to the survey favored discharge of treated effluent into the strait, 36 per cent were opposed.

WRATH Commentary:
  • The 106 responses to the survey do not represent a significant portion of the population.
  • The public could not make an informed response to the survey at that time because the study results were not available to the public until March, on the same day that the council unanimously passed the 3 motions to approve the sewer system and outfall in Sooke.
  • Stantec Consultants does not have marine biology expertise on staff in house, and Stantec also specializes in designing and building sewage treatment systems just like the system they are recommending.

More articles to come. If you know of a relevant article, please contact WRATH and we will post it on this website.



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