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The chlorine problem

The chlorine problem

(Addressed to Sechelt council and copied to the Local)

Chlorinated wastewater effluents were added to the list of toxic substances in the Canadian Environmental Protection Act in 1999.  This is the reason why all new sewage plants in Canada are required to disinfect the effluent by other means such as ultra violet light.  Chlorination is no longer permitted.

However, in order to reclaim the effluent from Sechelt’s wastewater treatment facility for irrigation, it must be further treated by chlorination to protect the public from disease. The toxic by-products of chlorine based disinfection would then be sprinkled on our parks and playgrounds.  This is not a win for the environment if one looks at the big picture.

In addition, the effluent from the chemical-assisted cleaning of the membrane filters with concentrated sodium hypochlorite and citric acid is clearly not being considered when looking at the environmental footprint of the sewer treatment in Sechelt.  Where does this toxic cocktail of backwash effluent wind up?

The engineering reports to the District Council have twice now suggested that they investigate the upgrade to plastic carrier media called Organica Biomodules in the batch reactors.  It seems our “state of the art” sewer plant was already outdated when it was built as the Organica Biomodules are described to be “at the heart of the Organica Food Chain Reactor” and “results in 30 per cent or greater energy savings” and these were clearly available in 2012 or earlier.

Organica has offered to come and present the upgrade features at no charge to the taxpayers.  Why does the District of Sechelt continue to do nothing about this?

Marc Nixon, Sechelt

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