Sewage outfall move heads to public meeting

Members of the public will have a chance to learn more about how much it will cost and other aspects of the plan to move a sewage outfall from the Cowichan River to another location.

The event, hosted by the Cowichan Valley Regional District, is being held on June 2 from 7-9 p.m. in the Mesachie Room at the Island Savings Centre in Duncan.

There will be a presentation about what’s been done on the project to date and the estimated costs of the move, then there will be an open question and answer session.

The CVRD, in partnership with Cowichan Tribes, the Municipality of North Cowichan and the City of Duncan is looking to move the Joint Utilities Board treated effluent outfall out of the river for a number of reasons.

First, it is a condition of their lease agreement with Cowichan Tribes. Second, low river flows during increasingly dry summers threaten the outfall, as do high flows during other times of the year that can cause damage.

"There has been a lot of discussion about the best outfall location and the necessary research required to create the strongest plan moving forward – but we know the rubber hits the road for people when we talk about cost, which is why we’re reaching out to the community to get them involved in the consultation on this project," said CVRD Board Chair Jon Lefebure. "Now is the time for us to hear from them about the proposed plan and estimated costs."

A location in Satellite Channel has been identified as the best spot to move the outfall to, at an estimated cost of $26.5 million.

The project team has applied for funding to help pay the cost of the project, which could run homeowners between $29 and $125 per year depending on where you live.

The amendment to the Central Sector Liquid Waste Management Plan necessary for the project to go forward is expected to be drafted by the end of June, when it will go to the province for consideration.

To find out more about the project, go to www.cvrd.bc.ca/lwmp or call 250-746-2530.