Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The Cost of Sewage

Just recently the powers to be here in Victoria have finally decided that yes, there will be sewage treatment here. The estimated cost is some stupid number that will be translating into about $400 a year on my property tax - hmmm, didn't I say something about that yesterday? Currently, our sewage is pumped out Constance Banks after being screened for large chunks of stuff. The plan, as it stands now, is to build a treatment plant about 2 blocks down the road from my office, screen out all solids and then pump them up to  our landfill to further process it there. The liquids will be treated and then pumped out onto Constance Banks.

What is the right thing to do?

On one side we have those who say it isn't needed. At the discharge site, as it currently stands, a huge ecosystem lives off of our sewage. This system feeds the salmon that return every year, the pods of killer whales that live in our area, and a whole multitude of other marine life. That sewage is driving a large part of our economy forward. If we remove that  sewage outfall, what happens to that economic engine, what happens to all of that marine wildlife?

On the other side we have those who believe that it is imperative this sewage treatment must happen, and happen now. According to them, we are pumping garbage into our ecosystem, causing great harm to it. The treatment must happen, it must be paid for, there is nothing to discuss. Damn the torpedo (and the price tag of it), full speed ahead!

At one time I was completely on the build the treatment plant but then was shown exactly what was happening at the outflow pipe. Now I am not so sure. I can see what life is supported at the end of the pipe but I have to wonder what will happen to that life as the sewage we pump out becomes more and more toxic, just as our bodies are becoming.

Do we continue to change our environment to suit ourselves, or are we able to change ourselves so that we can suit our environment.

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