Editorial: Time to weigh in on sewage debate

More ideas and new technology continue to emerge, however after years of talk, difficult decisions must be made

Much discussion continues to swirl around the issue of sewage treatment in the Capital Region as decision makers wrestle with where to put the mandated treatment plant(s) and in what configuration.

More ideas and new technology continue to emerge, however after years of talk, difficult decisions must be made.

In reality, they should have been made long ago, but we must deal with the reality of  where we are now.

So, now it’s your turn.

The Capital Regional District Core Area Liquid Waste Management Committee is asking for public feedback, asking your opinion via online surveys and emailed comments about the different approaches to wastewater treatment and resource recovery.

At this point, the committee is considering five wastewater treatment options, some with various subsidiary options. Members deferred going out to the public last month, asking staff to gather more information to present online at the CRD website.

Still, CRD director and Saanich Coun. Vic Derman questions the wisdom of going out to the public with limited details, and we agree more information is better than less. Others question the public’s inability to comment on options not included, such as the “deep shaft” treatment recently investigated by the Technical Oversight Panel (see page 3).

However the waiting, changing of potential sites and related administrative costs – not to mention the rapidly approaching federal grant deadline – means we’re at risk of flushing good money after bad.

“We’ll never have perfect information but we have enough information. I think it’s time we ask the public,” said committee chair and Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, adding that the public expects to be consulted but the final stages will be “a hard political decision.”

That hard decision will have significant impact on taxpayers as well, so best let your voice be heard.