RICKTER SCALE: Waste water and wasted dollars

"I think we should all be flushed with pride and give ourselves a pat on the tush."

With every twist and turn in the never-ending saga of how the rest of the region will deal with its sewage, I say a silent prayer of gratitude mixed with a sense of smugness because I live in Sooke.

By the time Mr. Floatie first surfaced on our shores, Sooke was well on its way to its own cost-effective sewage treatment plant. That has spared us the excruciating pain of trying to wrap your head around how the Capital Regional District managed to waste millions of our tax dollars on studies, reports, plans, land purchases and a CEO that  appears to have accomplished as close as you can get to nothing.

Whether the representatives we sarcastically refer to as the CRD brain trust can come up with a plan that actually works, those of us in Sooke are so freaking fortunate to be far removed from that particular stench.

Fortunately for us, the aforementioned Floatie’s brand of effluence peddling never made it into the discussion when our leaders were hammering away at our own plans for dealing with our sewage.

Although it hurt our strata a little to cough up the cash to pay for sewers and hookup, it was more like tearing the Band-Aid off in one fell swoop, rather than the death by a thousand cuts our neighbours in other parts of the region are sure to face.

I usually dole out praise to our former councils with the world’s tiniest eyedropper, but they should be applauded for getting it right the first time and sparing us what ails them elsewhere.

Now the Mirror’s crack crew is reporting that we may have to deal with a decision on whether to continue trucking our unmentionables to the landfill, or to jump on the tertiary bandwagon if that’s what comes to pass as the CRD plods along inexorably towards its final solution.

Reading that no matter what happens, we’re only paying about $20,000 a year to truck it off to Hartland brought on another happy dance.

The CRD probably spent twice that much covering coffee and parking during the latest round of meetings. We can all breathe a little easier that the worst case scenario is nothing like the problems that plague the big city folks down the road. Twenty grand? It’s hard to fathom that’s all it cost to transport our yearly yield of sludge all the way from Sooke to Saanich. More reason to count our blessings or do praise the sewage gods, depending on your religious leanings.

Personally, I think we should all be flushed with pride and give ourselves a pat on the tush for how quickly we have evolved into such poop-thrifty creatures. It looks like we came out smelling like roses in the end.

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Rick Stiebel is a semi-retired journalist and Sooke resident.