Toxic Sludge and the CRD

Toxic Sludge and the CRD – Part 2    

  – Walt McGinnis – Citizen Reporter Feb 16, 2018

 The un-elected Capital Regional District whose board is chosen by our local mayors is at it again putting lipstick on the pig that they have created. By deciding to use land based treatment of sewage at McLaughlin Point the toxins will be partially removed from the ocean but the CRD are now stuck with chemical laden sludge and with no safe place to put it.

Victoria’s local TV station, CHECK News, reported today with the assistance of the CRD public relations department, that our ocean waters near the sewage out flows were being contaminated by pharmaceuticals and that 95% of these chemical would be removed by the new sewage treatment plant due to open in 2020.  Sounds good doesn’t it?

However a not so little detail CHECK failed to report on is the fact that these pharmaceuticals will now be captured in the left over sludge from the sewage plant and that sludge would be stored permanently at Hartland Landfill. Why will the sludge have to be stored permanently you ask? The answer is because these chemicals will make the sludge toxic and unsafe to incinerate or to spread on farmers’ fields. The CRD appears to have fixed one problem for about 1 billion dollars while possibly creating an even greater threat to our environment.

In the Focus magazine article, Will sewage treatment in Victoria benefit the environment ,by Katherine Palmer Gordon, June , 2014, retired University of Victoria ocean physics professor Chris Garrett  is quoted as saying  “secondary treatment doesn’t destroy many contaminants. Some are still discharged into the sea, and others simply get concentrated in the leftover sludge instead of the liquid effluent.

Whether that’s worse for the environment or not depends on what you do with the sludge. If you dispose of it on land, it may contaminate surface and groundwater. If you incinerate it, it may produce dioxins. What’s the environmental impact compared to the contaminants being absorbed and buried in the sediments around the outfalls? We don’t know, because an objective comparison hasn’t been done.”

That is a very clear explanation of the situation. The CRD on the other hand will not say this. They have no solution for the problem they have created so instead they are attempting to manufacture a reality in which the problem does not exist. This is a message to the CRD. You can put lipstick on a pig but we all know it is still a pig.

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