For immediate release
November 7, 2005
Three Communities in the Regional District of Comox-Strathcona Step Up
Their Liquid Waste Management Planning
The three communities of Royston/Union Bay, Saratoga/Miracle Beach and a portion of Electoral Area ‘D’ (north of the Oyster River and west to Strathcona Park), are currently taking part in public discussions that will shape new sewerage systems proposed for each area.
These discussions, which take the form of public meetings from November to January, will help prepare residents and landowners for one referendum that will be held in each community during February and April, 2006. Each community will vote on whether they are willing to have a new public sewer system put in place to replace their current septic systems. A referendum will allow area residents an opportunity to choose an environmentally sound alternative to on-site systems
Graeme Faris, General Manager of Operational Services for the Regional District of Comox-Strathcona (RDCS) explains the thinking behind the referendums: “These communities face similar factors that make it prudent to consider a new system right now: a history of failing septic systems, the likelihood of future growth, proximity to sensitive environments and the probability of rising building costs in the future.”
“We are thinking regionally about solutions for wastewater treatment and have reached the point in the planning process where we need to seek the community’s endorsement of the plan,” adds Faris.
The RDCS, on behalf of each community, will apply for infrastructure funding grants from the provincial and federal governments that would cover up to two-thirds of the costs of the new sewerage infrastructure. Landowners will be asked in the referendum if they are willing to contribute their share of the capital costs of creating a new system in their area. Landowners will also be responsible for annual operating and maintenance costs, and for the cost of connecting to the system.
The advanced wastewater treatment systems being considered by each community have been selected for various reasons, primarily because they deliver a high standard of water for re-use with a low impact on the environment. This level of treatment involves the use of membrane filtration and ultraviolet disinfection. It offers the ability to discharge clean water into streams or retain water for beneficial community use such as irrigating parks and golf courses.
Residents and landowners in these communities recently received newsletters with an overview of the proposed systems and information on the referendum. (Newsletters can be viewed at www.rdcs.bc.ca)
The Regional District of Comox-Strathcona is a partnership of nine electoral areas and eight municipalities providing nearly 100,000 residents with over 140 services–from parks to full-service sports facilities to regional solid waste systems.
Manager Operational Communications
Regional District of Comox-Strathcona
Tel: (250) 334-6037