Wastewater disposal plan unsatisfactory

Cowichan’s wastewater environmental challenge could become a significant local economy builder


Wastewater disposal plan unsatisfactory

Thank you for publishing Robert Barron’s article, “Possible routes identified for new Cowichan sewage pipe to carry effluent out to sea”, on page A9 of the Oct. 29, 2020 issue. It offered much insight to a sad situation in the Cowichan Valley. This is an opportunity for North Cowichan to take action on significant innovations vital to the difficult decisions we must make on wastewater disposal.

Cowichan Tribes have been very understanding since allowing a lagoon system on their land in the 1960s, but the agreement to cease discharge into the Cowichan River by 2021 will not be solved with a quick and dirty plan based on “dilution is the solution”! The long pipe is a bizarre and completely unsatisfactory outcome offered by Clay Reitsma. I wonder if a discharge pipe to Separation Channel will cheer residents of Maple Bay, Salt Spring Island and Crofton? Residents of the San Juan Islands and Seattle have sued Greater Victoria for a similar approach. The senior manager of Engineering is proposing an approach to disposing sewage effluent Greater Victoria is only now solving with a new plant at Mcloughlin Point. In 2021 when the Esquimalt plant goes into operation it will make the Cowichan Valley the worst water polluter on Canada’s west coast!

This catastrophe must be a call to action for our MLA and MP as well. Cowichan’s wastewater environmental challenge could become a significant local economy builder — a green solution with benefits! This is a chance for North Cowichan to explore federal and provincial support as we search for ways out of the COVID Depression. Building infrastructure for the Cowichan Valley is exactly what is required at this time. To suggest the lagoons are a “secondary/tertiary hybrid” is a dangerous exaggeration. Plan to build a proper tertiary plant able to separate dangerous and beneficial materials while producing recycled water. And if a pipe is to be built it should be directed out into our forests for irrigation and forest fire prevention — yes land irrigation will become more practical as global warming reduces flow in our rivers.

Please, stop this exploitation of our peoples and water courses and think big when it comes to wastewater disposal.

Bruce Clarke

Cowichan Bay


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

Just Posted

Flanked by CVOLC staff members Kevin van der Linden, Nate Boersen, Lisa Kellar and Neil Ellingson, Ryan Linehan receives his Student of the Month award from Rotary representatives Gregg Perry and Kim Barnard. 
(Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Valley Open Learning Collective ‘ambassador’ named Student of the Month

Ryan Linehan earns award for demonstrating natural leadership

Duncan Christian’s Grace George lines up a shot during the three-point portion of the BC School Sports Pandemic Basketball Challenge after taking a pass from Cam Stevens. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan Christian leads the way in pandemic basketball challenge

School tops participation numbers for second time this year

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

‘It was a great week for Jan Pullinger, MLA. She accompanied Andrew Petter, the new Minister of Health to Lake Cowichan. He credited her with saving the Youbou mill. Left to right, Jan, Petter and Sam Beldessi, president of the Cowichan Seniors. Pullinger and Petter were visiting the Seniors’ Centre.’ (Lake News, March 6, 1996)
Lake Flashback: A new library, Peewee sports, and a resignation

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Sarah Simpson has been combing through old… Continue reading

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: Pedestrians have rights to use highways

A highway is not the exclusive domain of drivers.

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered to a personal support worker at the Ottawa Hospital on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 in Ottawa. Doctors in Alberta have signed an open letter asking for prioritized vaccination of health-care staff who work directly with patients on dedicated COVID-19 units. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID vaccines for seniors in B.C.: Here’s how to sign up

Seniors 90+, Indigenous seniors 65+ and Indigenous Elders can book starting March 8

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

Most Read