Oak Bay wades into Uplands sewage issue

Council investigates options to separate septic and storm water in Uplands

Council won’t outright dismiss working on easements and will concentrate on appropriate public engagement as it slogs through the ongoing work to separate septic and storm water in Uplands.

To achieve the legislated task of separating the currently combined wastewater system, Oak Bay engaged Jack Hull for the project and he summarized work to date, along with making some recommendations to council during the committee of the whole meeting Feb. 16.

Council, sitting as committee which means decisions are only recommendations to council, agreed to a number Hull’s recommendations. If the recommendations are ratified by council, Oak Bay would develop a request for proposals (RFP) for a pre-design study to examine options for sewer separation in Uplands.

Hull outlined options for consideration: Options to be considered include a gravity sanitary sewer system, the existing combined sewer would convey storm water; a gravity system for storm sewers, the existing sewer would convey wastewater; a low-pressure system for wastewater; a low-pressure system for storm water; a combination of gravity and pressure systems, and any other innovative approach envisaged by the consultant.

Hull also suggested design concepts should exclude construction on easements on private property which would disrupt mature trees, gardens and other landscaping.

Council was wary of outright denying any potentially required options for construction, stating that design concepts should attempt to minimize non-trenchless construction and easements on private property which would involve destruction of fences, hedges and, in particular, healthy, mature trees.

All options should be analyzed and compared on an economic, social and environmental basis, Hull said. Concepts should include life cycle costs and be developed to a level that would allow council to apply for government funding and move on to detailed design.

A critical component, council and Hull seem to agree, is to develop a communication and public engagement program. Some recalled 2010 when a low pressure system project that included pumps on private property and had some government funding in place, was abandoned due to public opposition.

At that time one of the questions was whether the pumps would work during a power outage, cited as a regular occurrence in Uplands. Hull noted BC Hydro would be asked for statistics from the past few years on frequency and length of outages as well as determining how long pumps can run during an outage.

Hull also offered some history, pointing out that the provincial government, through its master sewer regulation, mandated long ago that all combined sewer and storm water overflows in the province must be eliminated. The system in Uplands is the original and dates back more than a century.

The estimated cost for the RFP process is $10,000 to $12,000, which will come from the sewer fund budget and be funded by a combination of sewer user fees and property taxes.

All decisions made as a committee are crafted as recommendations for council to approve or alter at an official council meeting.

 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

 

 

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

Just Posted

Royal Roads University president Philip Steenkamp said they are aware of hateful graffiti spray-painted in an area of the forest surrounding the campus. The graffiti in question includes anti-Semitic content and a racial slur towards Black people. (Facebook/Royal Roads University)
Anti-Semitic, hateful graffiti spotted in forest near Royal Roads University

Royal Roads working with West Shore RCMP to remove graffiti “as soon as possible”

A cougar was spotted at Royal Roads University on Sunday, Jan. 24. The sighting was reported on the western edge of the campus. (File photo)
Cougar spotted at Royal Roads University Sunday afternoon

Animal reported on western side of campus near Colwood Fire Department

Saanich-based St. Luke’s Players community theatre company has been making the most of their opportunities to keep busy during the pandemic, including staging a Christmastime panto of Alice in Wonderland on Zoom. (Courtesy St. Luke’s Players)
Saanich’s St. Luke’s Players: Bringing the stage to the people

Community theatre company holding online auditions Jan. 23-24 for March production

Frank Bourree was awarded the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce’s first Governors’ Award of Distinction for his leadership in the business community. (Courtesy of Frank Bourree)
Frank Bourree receives award of distinction from Victoria chamber

Award recognizes positive role model in business community

The Habitat for Humanity Meaning of Home contest is open to students in Grades 5 to 6. (Screenshot/Habitat for Humanity video)
Habitat for Humanity launches national writing contest

Entries accepted from students in Grades 4 to 6 until Feb. 19

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo mountain with flares during icy rope rescue

Rescuers got injured hiker down Mt. Benson to a waiting ambulance Saturday night

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

Most Read