Sewage leak at new Residuals Treatment Facility has residents concerned about Hartland Landfill

CHEK
WatchLiquid waste leaked into Mount Work Regional Park on Tuesday from the Residuals Treatment Facility at the Hartland Landfill has residents worried.

 

Crews worked to clean up sewage on Willis Point Road on Friday following a leak earlier this week.

“A couple of days ago there was a leak of sewage effluent,” said nearby resident and director of the Mount Work Coalition (MWC) Hugh Stephens.

The Residuals Treatment Facility, part of the CRD’s Wastewater Treatment Project, is nearly complete at the Hartland Landfill, currently in its testing phase.

READ MORE: From sewage to a pellet: A look at the CRD’s new residual treatment facility

On Tuesday, a temporary pipe failed, spilling out the sewage contents.

The CRD says some of the waste was contained at the site, but some travelled downhill, collecting in part of Mount Work Regional Park.

Stephens says this incident is just the latest worry the group has had about the landfill.

“We have several concerns that affect Mount Work Park, the biggest long term concern is the plan, still not yet approved, to expand the size of the landfill, to take out 73 acres of forest and make a bigger quarry,” said Stephens.

He also worries about the idea of a new traffic change to bring the Hartland Landfill traffic down Willis Point Road instead of the current Hartland Avenue.

His biggest concern though is the proposed idea to spread processed solid waste at Hartland.

“There’s lots of evidence to indicate that even after treatment this stuff has toxic possibilities. The problem is, once it’s down, it’s down. No one will be on their hands and knees to collect it if something goes wrong,” said Stephens.

Stephens says this latest spill could be foreshadowing other problems down the road if the solid waste project goes ahead.

The CRD says although this incident is unfortunate, the spilled liquid waste has nothing to do with the possible expansion of the Hartland Landfill, which is proposed to deal with solid waste, not liquid waste. CRD and that they’re two completely separate projects.

At the site of the spill in Mount Work Regional Park, signs have been put up, advising visitors to avoid the area.

The CRD said in a statement, “An environmental professional has assessed the affected area, and is overseeing the remediation activities and advising on the appropriate monitoring and testing protocols.  There is no indication of public health or long-term environmental impacts, including to Durrance Lake.”

The CRD is investigating the cause of the spill to help prevent anything like this from happening again.

Rebecca LawrenceRebecca Lawrence

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