Letter leaves out important details

Letter from Jack Hull overlooks integral issues to the debate over Greater Victoria sewage

Re: Add truth to sewage treatment, Oct 31, 2014.

Jack Hull makes a very good point about bringing truth to the sewage treatment debate. Unfortunately he fails to follow his own advice in much of his commentary, spinning out tired clichés and half-truths.

His statement that “multiple plants cost more than a single plant” does not state there are significant capital and operating costs for the additional pipelines and pump stations necessary to convey all the sewage to a single plant.

His statement that “costs of tertiary treatment are greater than for secondary treatment” fails to mention that the quality of the effluent from a tertiary plant is far superior to that for a secondary plant, nor that tertiary effluent can be reused for beneficial uses without need for disposal to the sea via additional long and expensive outfalls.

His statement that “the Dockside Green model is not applicable to our low-density neighbourhoods” does not explain that we already have an extensive existing network of pipes that collect and convey the sewage from our low-density neighbourhoods to larger trunk mains where treatment plants of appropriate capacity similar in concept to Dockside Green (compact site, unobtrusive green design, resource recovery) could be constructed.

His statement that “bids received for the Craigflower Pump Station and McLoughlin Wastewater Treatment Plant both came in under budget” does not offer the equivalent assessment that the budget estimates were higher than the bids, notwithstanding that millions of dollars have been expended on studies to prepare them.

He admonishes us to “not give undue credibility to people whose only qualification is their ability to explore the internet,” neglecting to admit that the only place many people can find access to the myriad of reports produced by and for the sewage treatment project is on the CRD website. Fortunately for all of us, other concerned residents with personal expertise in many relevant professions have reviewed these documents on their own initiative and posted their comments on the internet for all to see.

Had he “thought outside the box” during his tenure as interim program director on the sewage treatment project, would we now be faced with the delays and increased costs that he speaks of?

Oscar Regier

Victoria