Posted by: Editor | October 20, 2009

Let’s Flush a Bad Idea Down the Toilet!

Let’s Flush a Bad Idea Down the Toilet!

It’s time for the CRD to flush the MacLaughlin Point sewage treatment plan down the toilet.

Instead, we need to embrace the emerging, innovative, common sense, cost-saving, environmentally-progressive Integrated Resource Recovery alternative.

Think of it this way. If you were asked: do you care about the environment and care about minimizing taxes? You would certainly say “YES” to both.

If you were told that the Capital Regional District is rapidly moving towards a solution to our region’s sewage treatment that is both one of the most expensive and one of the least environmentally progressive, you would be quite upset.

Then, if you further learned that the CRD was about to completely ignore an alternative option that would be the most environmentally responsible and at a significantly cheaper cost, you would likely be very upset.

And, if that wasn’t enough to raise your opposition, what if you were told that the more costly, more environmentally short-sighted option would result in a major sewage plant at McLaughlin Point right here along our treasured Esquimalt waterfront?

Finally, if you knew that that the cheaper and greener option would negate the need for a sewage plant in Esquimalt, but was not getting the full consideration of the CRD that it deserves, then you probably would be quite outraged.

Well, that is exactly what is happening. The CRD refer to this outrageously expensive, narrow-minded policy direction as “Option 1a”.  This rather innocuous moniker, however, is a lot more damaging than its name suggests.

To review, Option 1a means a big sewage waste plant in Esquimalt, a cost to taxpayers of as much as $700 per household per year for a longtime into the future, and an irrevocable lost opportunity to become one of the most environmentally innovative, greenest regions of North America.

The newly emerging alternative would keep sewage plants out of Esquimalt, save CRD taxpayers as much as $100 million, and open the door to integrating sewage, garbage, and compost waste management that could be converted into profitable, green energy through water recovery, heat recovery, recycling, energy savings, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

As Mayor Barb Desjardins stated in a Victoria Times-Colonist editorial, there are already identified sites that “give me a sense of optimism that we can move ahead to better, less costly solutions.” That means that the Integrated Resource Recovery alternative is still a possibility.

This positive approach is fully endorsed by Sewage Treatment Action Group (STAG) Chair Kim Bellefontaine.

Both Bellefontaine and Desjardins urge residents to take action and express their opposition to the  MacLaughlin Point sewage plan (the CRD’s Option 1a) while, at the same time, provide support for fully exploring the new, more logical concepts of Integrated Resource Recovery sites at either Victoria’s Upper Harbour or the University of Victoria.

It’s up to you. Record your feedback electronically with the CRD as soon as possible at:
Or, write to:
Wastewater Treatment
625 Fisgard Street, PO Box 1000
Victoria BC V8W 2S6

Esquimalt residents, it’s time to make your voices heard! Our community and our future depend on it.

Read the news story on this topic in the Esquimalt Review News section at:



  1. Sewage treatment is not the worst idea of all time, but doing it anywhere near the shoreline is a ludicrous waste. Even landlocked cities manage sewage.

    If (and I do not agree with the premise at all) we actually need to do anything different from the currently safe and healthy liquid waste disposal we have now, at least we can do it on already-contaminated land, small and local like former gas station properties…and leave out the stupid, expensive ‘obvious’ solution of centralizing in such a wacky terrain.

    You realize that doing it at the waterfront means pumping a LOT of it over hills –sometimes several, just to get it ‘down’ to the water?

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