Untreated wastewater discharged seven times since launch of CRD treatment facilities

crd plant

VICTORIA -- The Capital region continues to struggle with wastewater treatment despite new facilities coming into service in December of 2020.

According to the CRD, there's been a total of fourteen reports made to regulators between January and June, with seven of those cases involving unauthorized discharges. Ted Robbins -- General Manager of Integrated Water Services -- says the test levels show that they failed to meet provincial standards.

"The June monthly average results for cBOD and TSS were 14.8 and 12.5," said Robbins. "So just a slight exceedance over the provincial limit."

The B.C. government is notified immediately whenever effluent quality criteria are not met, and compliance reports for all seven of the CRD’s wastewater facilities are submitted on a monthly basis. Robbins ensures that no adverse impacts to health or environment were observed due to the seven discharges between January and June.

"Despite the exceedances during this initial period, these events have had no significant impact due to the generally low level of exceedance," Robbins said. "Of course the goal is to operate the plant in full compliance as soon as possible."

Robbins also notes the region's new residuals treatment facility is mostly to blame for the ongoing issues, as they cite the clogging of disk filters and the underutilization of fine screening equipment as reasons for not meeting the provincial standards. In addition, several components of the CRD's Conveyance Pump Stations have also been cited as sources of concern due to problems with treatment equipment, screens and pumps.

The new wastewater treatment facilities came into service in December after more than five years of planning and construction.