Letters: In response to critics of outfall

SookePoint developer explains his wastewater treatment plans

ighly treated wastewater was part of the plan when Silver Spray was re-zoned in 2002, well before we joined the municipality of Sooke. For years many East Sooke residents have enjoyed an unlimited water supply,  and vastly improved fire protection, because we paid to pipe water across the harbour as part of that deal.

Environmental studies that began in 2004 prove there will be no harm to the receiving environment. Since then technology has only improved. We will now be using what the United Nations Industrial Development Organization calls “State-of-the-art… an important environmental process revolution.” The California Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering rates it as “the highest ranked biological treatment system out of almost seventy technologies reviewed.”

This new wastewater treatment utility is subject to legally binding regulations, financial security and regular monitoring oversight to ensure it meets or exceeds environmental controls. The finished product is filtered so clear it looks like window glass, and we plan to re-cycle much of it for landscape irrigation in the future.

This small outfall has already been approved by the Ministry of Environment, after exhaustive study that commenced 10 years ago. All we are seeking now is a crown lease to lay the pipe along the seabed, out 1,000 feet to a pre-approved location 120’ deep. Here the flow of ocean currents is so strong that one of the study teams had a hard time keeping up with drogue floats being tracked with GPS.

This facility is required to properly serve an eco-tourism destination resort that can provide an assortment of accommodation, jobs and amenities. In addition, the US-based Center for Whale Research is opening an office at SookePoint. They care about protecting the Southern Resident Killer Whale habitat, and plan to affix hydrophones along part of the pipe to monitor whale activity and broadcast whale-song via local wifi.

The SookePoint Resort is on the SW Tip of Canada. SookePoint will attract a great number of visitors and guests. With an emphasis on a front-row oceanfront experience, eco-tourism activities and “yacht suite” accommodations, it is obviously in our best interest to vigorously protect all the sea and wildlife that surrounds us. We will do all we can to preserve it. We also have the right to live and work here.

The municipality of Sooke already has a much larger outfall in place. A 2008 report confirmed that “video footage taken where the outfall pipe terminates illustrates an environment which looks pristine.” While it may be possible to run a raw sewage line across the harbour to plug in there, why not use science and technology to eliminate that risk? On the other side of us, the Beecher Bay First Nation has a far bigger outfall already in place, presumably to serve 800 homes in the proposed new town of Spirit Bay.

Both of the marine outfalls that flank us are designed for substantially greater capacity than the SookePoint Destination Resort. And the Destination Resort will not be exposed to the same kind of risk from commercial contaminants, chemicals and storm drains that sometimes create problems for larger facilities.

It has been proven that today’s wastewater treatment plants offer a superior solution. Is there really any reason why the residents of Sooke and East Sooke’s Spirit Bay can connect to large ocean outfall pipes, while SookePoint shouldn’t have a small one?

Michael Thornton

SookePoint at

Silver Spray

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

Just Posted

Caroline Sousa, Bela Spick and her son Mateo marched along Prospect Lake Road in November 2019 to bring attention to the unsafe conditions on the road. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich reduces Prospect Lake Road speed limit to 30 km/h

New speed limit in effect as of Dec. 1 from Goward Road to Estelline Road

Royal Bay Secondary’s leadership class, comprised of Grade 9 through 12 students, is part of the student team organizing this year’s 10,000 Tonight event that shifts entirely online for 2020. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
West Shore student food drive shifts entirely online

Drive-thru option removed from 10,000 Tonight in light of COVID-19 restrictions

Colwood resident, Geoffrey Irwin, has been missing since Sep. 27. His vehicle was found in Vancouver on Nov. 25. (Courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
Police search for Colwood man last seen in September

Geoffrey Irwin’s vehicle was found in Vancouver Nov. 25

BC Transit confirmed on Dec. 1 that a Langford employee has tested positive for COVID-19. (Courtesy of BC Transit)
Langford transit worker tests positive for COVID-19

Island Health is conducting contact tracing for the case

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

Most Read