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Iain hunter: in the sludge of despond over sewage - times colonist

Iain Hunter: In the sludge of despond over sewage - Times Colonist Iain Hunter: In the sludge of despond over sewage
A scientist asked a good question as reported in the July 1896 issue of Scientific Ameri-can: Why would people bring into their homes “a most deadly enemy” in the form of awater closet instead of being content to use an outdoor privy? The enemy has come out of the closet, so to speak, but nobody has answered that ques-tion to my satisfaction.
Today, while modern toilets can be found centre-stage in designer bathrooms, what isflushed down them is far more disagreeable to everything and everybody, near and far,than it was 117 years ago. So is what goes down drains.
The waste we discharge contains organic compounds, metals, phosphates, nitrates, col-loidal and suspended solids as well as human pathogens — and detergent compoundsthat make fish wonder what sex they are.
Scientists did a study of sewage-receiving waters in the Great Lakes in 2000-2002 andfound identifiable quantities of drugs such as caffeine, carbamazepine (an anti-epilepticdrug), cotinine (a metabolic of nicotine), the anti-depressant fluoxetine and atorvastatin,the drug prescribed to lower cholesterol.
What to do with all this stuff has seized today’s Greater Victorians by the throat andpocketbook. What a century ago could be regarded as a personal or family concern orinconvenience has become a major issue involving neighbourhoods and communities,towns and cities, regions and provinces and all the levels of government and bureaucra-cy that presumably are needed to make them function as somebody thinks they’re sup-posed to.
The factotums set over us have decided for us that using the strait as our waste recepta-cle is no longer to be tolerated. They’ve demanded levels of treatment without scientificjustification or without any concern that the cures they demand will cause other prob-lems.
The beadles have set unjustified and unfathomable deadlines.
http://www.timescolonist.com/iain-hunter-in-the-sludge-of-despond-over-sewage-1.115250 Iain Hunter: In the sludge of despond over sewage - Times Colonist So we, the taxpayers, find ourselves on the hook for a project that seems arse-backwardsfrom the start. Property is acquired for “facilities” that haven’t been designed yet. Pipe-lines are ordered for routes not determined yet.
And nobody is told what method of treating the sludge will be used — because nobodyseems to think it’s of interest at this stage or the business of those who’ll foot a large partof a whopping bill.
The information about the process that has leached out, despite the apparent determina-tion of the Capital Regional District panjandrums not to commit themselves to anythinguntil after the fact, is that it probably will involve “anaerobic digesters” to treat thesludge.
This sounds to me as if bacteria will be working on the stuff in the dark, without oxy-gen, to turn it into useful gases and soils and squeeze out a liquor that will be pumpedback to the sewage treatment plant at McLoughlin Point, thence to be returned to theocean without the nutrients we used to provide.
You know what’s coming next: We’ll be urged to use the methane produced to cookwith, farmers will be urged to broadcast the solids over their fields and recycling willtake on a new meaning.
Those elected to look after our several interests find that a big problem calls for a big so-lution, a sewage mega-project, about as far from the privies of old as one can get.
Chris Corp, a champion of green building, told a public forum in Victoria last week thatbig is not necessarily better.
He wrote a report for the provincial government in 2007 that advocated using smallsewage treatment plants at scattered sites to produce marketable water, heat and fuelfrom sewage.
The stink would be less concentrated and the damage from possible malfunctions re-duced, he said.
Such a common-sense solution, though, isn’t to be entertained by the CRD.
http://www.timescolonist.com/iain-hunter-in-the-sludge-of-despond-over-sewage-1.115250 Iain Hunter: In the sludge of despond over sewage - Times Colonist Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardin reported that staff “suggested” multiple smaller plantsweren’t economically viable. Upon a suggestion unsupported by anything, officialminds are closed.
What, I wonder, is economically viable about a project that’s going to make homeown-ers start paying before anything is built and with no assurance that we, the environmentor the fish will benefit? I’m descending into the sludge of despond.
http://www.timescolonist.com/iain-hunter-in-the-sludge-of-despond-over-sewage-1.115250

Source: http://stopabadplan.ca/print/130421_TC_In_the_sludge_of_despond_over_sewage.pdf

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