Diluted sewage spills into Mt. Work park from Hartland Landfill

The Capital Regional District (CRD) is cleaning up on Friday after diluted sewage spilled out of the Residual Treatment Facility at the Hartland Landfill.

Approximately 130-cubic-metres of diluted sewage has settled in Mount Work Regional Park after a temporary pipe at the facility failed on Tuesday.

The spill began on the site of the new treatment plant. Some of the sewage was contained to the property but some did escape through a culvert pipe running under Willis Point Road which then settled in the regional park.

“There are environmental professionals on site to assess the affected areas and they are overseeing the remediation activities and providing advice on appropriate monitoring and testing protocols,” said Elizabeth Scott – deputy program director for the CRD’s core area wastewater treatment project – in a statement to CTV News.

“In accordance with the spill reporting regulation, Emergency Management BC has been notified,” she said.

Joni Olsen is a councillor with the Tsartlip First Nation. She did a site walk-through this morning, assessing the damage.

“They were very lucky,” said Olsen. “The effluent was actually contained within the natural environment and had no way to get out into Durance Creek or Durance Lake. That gave me great relief.”

She is happy with the CRD’s response to the spill but wishes that the facility had all of its permanent infrastructure in place and that the CRD’s retention basins were finished before the project began functioning.

“I think this was really just an accident,” said Olsen. “Maybe they could have waited until those ponds were in place because new systems can have accidents.”

“We should be able to foresee these things but the CRD did act very quickly and we’re very lucky in this circumstance,” she said.

The CRD is currently planning an expansion of the Hartland dump site, which has sparked protests in the area by local residents.

The Mount Work Coalition is calling on the CRD to rethink its decision to expand the dump, stating that it will cause increased traffic at Willis Point Road.

The CRD says there is no indication that the spill has had any impact on Durance Lake. The regional district is currently investigating the root cause of the spill to ensure that it does not happen again.  

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