Letters

The RITE plan is a progressive approach

Re: RITE plan the wrong way to go (Letters Jan. 22).

It is a misnomer that the CRD sewage plan is centralized or contained. The CRD plan is for a three-plant model with a treatment plant at McLoughlin Point, a biosolids plant at Hartland and plans for a second treatment plant in the West Shore. How can a single plant be the lowest cost when the minister approved a CRD plan for two plants?

The RITE Plan is not advocating for a public or private model of ownership or operation and such a matter could be dealt with through a referendum process, although it must be understood that the province, in 2007, exempted sewage treatment projects from requiring the ascent of electors.

While the biosolids plant at Hartland will be a P3, the publicly operated wastewater plant itself will create only 12 jobs according to CRD documents. Imagine the number of jobs that could be saved or created by finding hundreds of millions in savings from a lower cost design? Even before you consider models of ownership, it’s clearly more than 12.

The RITE Plan is advocating for a decentralized model using off-the-shelf technologies that have been available for the past 10 years, examples of which are operating within Dockside Green’s treatment plant. It is a viable and cost effective alternative to the CRD’s sewage plan, which is already years out of date.

Dockside Green itself is a proven success and has shown that treatment can be made compatible with people and property values, placed underground and the end product can be used to recycle water and create or enhance water features. These are the literal downstream benefits that come after tertiary treatment is localized, yet are optional and can be developed over time.

This model is a practical and natural step towards the management of water which will make neighbourhoods and new developments attractive to home buyers.

In contrast, the CRD plan, at great cost, will simply flush all treated water out to sea after secondary treatment because it’s not safe enough to go anywhere else.

Once again, ocean dilution must be employed which is the system we already have in place.

Greater Victoria requires a progressive approach such as The RITE Plan, not a 20-year old design that offers little more than a large tax increase and a 50-year dependency on the old way of treating waste.

Richard Atwell

 

Director, The RITE Plan

 

 

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