RDN ignores Bowser sewer outflow concerns

RDN ignores Bowser sewer outflow concerns

After attending a meeting arranged with my First Nation, I remain disappointed as to how the RDN is handling the sewage outfall at Nile Creek. When I asked why is it necessary to have the outfall into the ocean, the response is that it is safe and not harmful to the environment and that ground disposal would be too expensive and would take a lot of real estate, which they obviously want to be able to develop.

What are the cost differences between outfall and ground disposal? Who benefits from the sewage treatment and outfall? Is it just the developers, the people in the development area, or Bowser and surrounding lands as a whole?

I also asked if the surrounding area had a possibility of being developed and added into the system; the answer was that they would have to apply to connect to the system. When I asked if the system would handle the new applications, I was told the system would handle whatever development happens in the surrounding area. I take that to mean they are already planning to expand the system and therefore put more effluent into the ocean.

An outfall of sewage has risks to the surrounding ecosystem and I have never been shown any information as to how these risks would be mitigated. Our ocean and its resources need to be protected. If there is not a big benefit to many people, not just the developers, there should never be consideration of dumping sewage into it. If these people have the money to pay for the treatment plant they should have the money to purchase land that would be able to handle ground disposal. Then the risk belongs to those who are a part of the development, not to thousands of other people and to the resources of the surrounding ocean.

I have to wonder if the community as a whole would have liked the plan? The band members who attended the meeting all had concerns similar to mine, with the question why was there no consultation with our First Nation before this all began? The lack of respect for the land, the ocean and the resources it offers, and the people of the surrounding communities, is absolutely disheartening! This issue cannot be allowed to simply come down to money and profit for a few.

Seewit (C. Doug Reid)

Qualicum First Nation