The McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant is set to be fully operational by Dec. 31, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)

Wastewater treatment project less than six months from completion

Tertiary treatment and conveyance system South Vancouver Island’s largest infrastructure project

A $775-million Greater Victoria wastewater treatment project in the works for more than a decade is less than six months from completion.

Testing has already begun on the Capital Regional District’s new wastewater treatment project and infrastructure is on track to meet the provincial and federal deadlines to have the system operating by the last day of 2020, said CRD board chair Colin Plant.

The new sewage treatment process will bring the region in line with the majority of coastal cities that have long abandoned the practice of dumping untreated wastewater into the ocean. Currently, Greater Victoria’s wastewater – which includes water from washing dishes, doing laundry and flushing the toilet – is discharged into the sea roughly one kilometre from shore.

READ ALSO: A new decade: Some of Greater Victoria’s biggest projects slated for completion in 2020

Plant says change was slow in Victoria because a belief in the power of the ocean’s currents and oxygen levels promoted the idea that the region could discharge waste without harming the environment.

“We are one of the last, if not the last, coastal communities that discharges wastewater into the ocean untreated,” Plant said. “That’s not something we are particularly proud of.

“It may have been acceptable 50 years ago … but in 2020 we are concerned with respecting and being stewards of the ocean.”

With the new system, the water will be treated at the new McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant. There, it will receive tertiary treatment – one of the highest levels of contaminant reduction processes – before it’s discharged into the ocean about two kilometres from shore and 60 metres below the surface. Since it started, the project has gone $10 million over budget – only 1.6 per cent of the budgeted cost, Plant noted.

Fisheries, wildlife, recreation and public health will benefit, but it isn’t just what’s removed – there’s also something gained –a dark, dry granular pellet classified as the highest standard of biosolid.

For now, the CRD is smoothing out a plan to have the biosolids sent to a cement manufacturer in Vancouver. In the long-term though, Plant hopes they will be put to use much closer to home.

“The moment we have finalized our deal with the cement factories … we will then turn our attention, almost immediately, to how this can benefit our region,” he said.

READ ALSO: CRD plans to use processed human feces from new wastewater treatment plant as fuel, fertilizer


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:nina.grossman@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Capital Regional DistrictWastewater treatment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Feeding ducks bread crumbs is a harmful habit

Wild Arc suggests to never feed wildlife in general

Greater Victoria Public Library offers new online resource service to cardholders

Friends of the Library provided funding for the service

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Avoid giving dogs ice cubes, says Greater Victoria vet

Tips for keeping dogs cool and safe this summer

Hungry Hearts Gala goes virtual with new mac and cheese competition

Results will be announced on Facebook live stream event

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

Most Read