Stop Ocean Sewage in Bowser, British Columbia
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Al Gore recently said in the Inconvenient sequel "It is wrong to pollute this Earth". He also said, "If our Governments won't lead then Citizens will lead".
We are concerned citizens who are leading by opposing the dumping of a NEW source of minimally treated effluent that will pollute the pristine fishery and ecologically diverse public beach-side communities of Eastern Vancouver Island,
The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) is using a BC/Canada Clean Water and Wastewater grant to promote the 'sustainable development' of Bowser BC, population 1,729. (We note here that only 107 people got to vote on the Sewer Service establishment bylaw, breaching the RDN grant application commitment to a referendum, as well as the Local Government Act that requires impacted community approval for services).
The proposed sewage plant providing secondary and UV treatment with the resulting effluent pumped into the Salish Sea (between an existing Shellfish Farm and the estuary of Nile Creek - a salmon bearing stream) will cause harmful effects over time. Beaches in the area are used extensively for sport and commercial fishing, harvesting of clams and oysters, tourism and recreational activities (like swimming, kayaking, winter wind surfing). They are also an important eel grass habitat and food source for birds, aquatic animals, clams and juvenile salmon.
Is it not hypocrisy for Government to fund 'so-called sustainable development' on the one hand but on the other 'cause environmental harm'?
This special area of BC coastline needs full protection! We are not opposed to real sustainable development or sewer services but are deeply concerned about the cumulative environmental impact of residual pharmaceuticals and toxins found in wastewater. Why settle for “Same Old Technology” when Green on-land disposal alternatives which avoid ocean pollution have been confirmed as feasible in two 2011 professional studies near Bowser. (See Green Alternatives Download at www.SOSBowser.ca
Deleterious Cumulative Environmental Health Effects
Recent studies such as the one at Carlton University (2017) show that secondary treatment with UV light disinfection fails to kill human pathogens, which can then re-grow to levels higher than in treated effluent!
In fact UV disinfection would need to be several orders of magnitude more intense to kill human disease causing viruses, bacteria and protozoan parasites. Even if disinfection could protect human health the selected archaic sequential batch reactor treatment technology does not use filtration to remove emerging pollutants such as micro-plastics and it cannot remove the eco-toxic effects of a slew of pharmaceuticals and bio-accumulative chemical residuals. (see: Hidden Killer at http://www.bucksuzuki.org/publications/ for more on this deadly brew).
How many more hundreds of people need to get sick from eating Norovirus contaminated shellfish before Canadian Governments' clean up their Act? Will international diseases such as the recent BC Cholera outbreak in herring eggs begin to show up more frequently in our marine waters?
It is time to draw a line in the sand and stop using the ocean as a toilet! Support Green On-land Effluent Disposal on Eastern Vancouver Island.
British Columbia Minister has Authority to Make Change!
In signing this petition we strongly urge the British Columbia Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Strategy to direct The Regional District of Nanaimo pursuant to Municipal Wastewater Regulations 8(1)(a), as a permit condition, to dispose of Bowser sewage effluent on-land to avoid ocean pollution!
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