Wastewater Planning

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The District of Sooke (the District) is undertaking a process to establish a new sewer service for the Whiffin Spit and Kaltasin Areas. Improving this area’s underground services has been identified by the District’s Liquid Waste Management Plan since 2010 to help protect our community’s natural environment and assist property owners with a sustainable wastewater management solution.

Earlier this year, the District began a process to review opportunities for extending Sooke’s sewer system to areas of Whiffin Spit and Kaltasin currently operating on septic systems. This process is being pursued on the behalf of Sooke residents for the following reasons:

The District of Sooke (the District) is undertaking a process to establish a new sewer service for the Whiffin Spit and Kaltasin Areas. Improving this area’s underground services has been identified by the District’s Liquid Waste Management Plan since 2010 to help protect our community’s natural environment and assist property owners with a sustainable wastewater management solution.

Earlier this year, the District began a process to review opportunities for extending Sooke’s sewer system to areas of Whiffin Spit and Kaltasin currently operating on septic systems. This process is being pursued on the behalf of Sooke residents for the following reasons:

  • To reduce potential environmental impacts of failing septic systems on the Sooke Basin and Sooke River.
    • The wastewater treatment system removes over 95% of the total suspended solids and high levels of other contaminants.
    • The treated effluent is discharged via a 1.7km long, 30 m deep marine outfall to the Juan de Fuca Strait.
  • To support continued efforts to improve the environmental quality of the harbour, recognizing this significance to both the T’Sou-ke First Nation, whose heritage is derived from a land of natural abundance, and District residents.
  • To provide area property owners with a sustainable wastewater management system.

The project team is in the process of pursuing grant funding in coordination with the T’Sou-ke First Nation from senior governments to support the proposed sewer expansion for the Whiffin Spit and Kaltasin areas. The proposed grant application has the potential to cover between 60% - 73% of the total project costs up to a project cost of $16 million.

Even with grant funding, borrowing will still be required to meet the remaining costs of the project. If a grant is secured, the remaining 27% - 40% of the project costs would be borrowed then recovered from existing and future property owners in the newly serviced area. If no grant money is received, the project costs (approx. $16 million) would have to be funded entirely by property owners in the newly serviced area. If there were to be an enlargement to the system to support future additional development this would be paid for by developers through development cost charges (DCCs).

As we prepare for the upcoming grant application and do our best to maximize funding opportunities, we need to hear from affected property owners.

Please take a moment to complete the neighbourhood-specific survey for the area where you reside.

Keep in mind:

  • This is the first time the District has proposed the sewer expansion project to property owners and there will be further engagement as this initiative progresses, including Q & A sessions planned through 2022 (details to follow).
  • Property owner survey responses are required by January 10th, 2022, to meet the upcoming grant application deadline.
  • We request that residents provide any additional questions to the District in writing through the survey, by email to wwplanning@sooke.ca or through this portal in advance of the Q & A sessions in 2022. The District will not be facilitating individual discussions at this time.
  • By providing input through this survey, the District can better understand the position of current property owners and work to respond appropriately, e.g., prioritization of District infrastructure projects.
  • Open House Meeting Information, including Virtual Meeting Links

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    Please find the links below for the virtual open house sessions (on potential wastewater service expansion in the District of Sooke) next week.

    Virtual Sessions:

    Area

    Date

    Time

    Link

    Whiffin Spit

    Tuesday, September 13th

    10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88557144939

    Kaltasin/Billings Spit

    Thursday, September 15th

    10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83038854624


    For those who prefer to attend in-person, a reminder that the following sessions are scheduled at Municipal Hall, 2205 Otter Point Road:

    Area

    Date

    Time

    Presentation Time(s)

    Whiffin Spit

    Thursday, September 15th

    5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

    • 6:00 p.m.
    • 7:15 p.m.

    Kaltasin/Billings Spit

    Tuesday, September 13th

    6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

    • 7:00 p.m.


    What to Expect at the Open House Events

    Virtual Sessions:

    • Each virtual session will start with an overview presentation, followed by a discussion period/breakout session (depending on group size) on theme areas – noted below.
    • Participants will be able to ask a question via the chat box or queue a question to ask verbally by posting their name in the chat and waiting for the facilitator to call their name.
    • Questions can be submitted in advance by emailing wwplanning@sooke.ca.
    • The last call for questions will be made at 11:15 a.m. Questions asked/answered during the session and any questions remaining unanswered will be shared in a follow-up email to participants.

    The virtual sessions will be recorded and posted at letstalk.sooke.ca/wwplanning after the event.

    In-Person Sessions:

    • Each in-person session will include scheduled presentation(s) in Council Chambers and tabletop discussion stations in the adjacent Fire Fighter Lounge.
    • Questions will be answered at the tabletop stations to best respond to topics of interest and unique scenarios.

    Theme Areas

    Theme areas for the virtual presentations and tabletop discussions include:

    • Administrative Process (timelines and legislation);
    • Costs/Financing;
    • Environment and Community Planning; and
    • Construction and Connections, including Septic versus Wastewater.

    What else should I know before attending?

    All of your questions might not be answered, just yet. Further research and geotechnical studies are required to answer some questions. You may have noticed technicians conducting this work in your neighbourhood recently. This work is required to understand earthworks and further refine potential costs as we work to support you in making an informed decision should the District receive the grant.

    During the sessions next week, the team will share what is known and what is underway. We also look forward to receiving more questions. Participants can expect to receive a follow-up Q + A resulting from the open house events by October 7, 2022.

    Will there be any more information sessions?

    If we are successful with the grant, yes, we anticipate offering additional information sessions to provide specific details on costs (maximum borrowing) and dates for the local area service petition.

  • Potential Wastewater Service Expansion Open House Events Scheduled for September

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    Potential Wastewater Service Expansion Open House Events have been scheduled for September 13th and 15th:

    • Virtual Open House for Whiffin Spit Property Owners: Tuesday, September 13, 2022, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
    • In-Person Open House for Kaltasin Property Owners: Tuesday, September 13, 2022, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
      • Presentation at 7:00 p.m.
    • Virtual Open House for Kaltasin Property Owners: Thursday, September 15, 2022, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
    • In-Person Open House for Whiffin Spit Property Owners: Thursday, September 15, 2022, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
      • Presentations at 6:00 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.

    In-person sessions will take place at the District of Sooke Municipal Hall, Council Chamber and Fire Training Lounge, 2225 Otter Point Road. Links for the virtual meeting will be available as the events approach.

    While a response is not required, it would be helpful for the project team to better understand the number of attendees participating in each session. Please let us know which session you plan to attend here:

    Please mark your calendar to save the date and share this information with your neighbours in Whiffin Spit and Kaltasin. More to come, including a mail out to all property owners later this month.

  • What We Heard (Kaltasin and Whiffin Spit) Report Available

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    The district had a tremendous response to the December 9, 2021 to January 10, 2022 engagement; thank you for your active participation.

    The intent of public engagement at this phase of the project was to:

    • Inform residents of the potential wastewater expansion in their area;
    • Obtain preliminary data in conjunction with an upcoming funding opportunity and;
    • Receive resident questions to ensure the project team can provide fulsome responses, in particular given the extensive technical consideration of such a project.

    The data collected during this engagement period is available in the What We Heard Report.

    An excerpt from this report is presented in a Q + A Information Package as we start to respond to the many questions asked.

    Please note that not all questions submitted earlier this year have been answered in this report. They will be answered. Some questions require further technical work and would benefit from discussion, which is why this summer the project team will be offering two open houses for each neighbourhood (one virtual and one in person for both Kaltasin and Whiffin Spit). It is the goal of the project team to work with you to answer your questions before the local area petition process takes place (likely early 2023).

    Property owners will be notified as soon as dates for the open houses are known.

  • Survey Closed January 10, 2022; Next Steps

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    Thank you for your active participation to inform potential wastewater expansion in Sooke, specific to the Kaltasin and Whiffin Spit Areas.

    Staff are reviewing the nearly 300 survey responses and theming questions to provide property owners with more information while continuing to prepare the grant application.

    We hope to provide property owners with a follow-up information sheet in the spring and will prepare property owner Q & A sessions for spring-summer 2022. Your submission of questions helps to ensure the project team is able to provide fulsome responses, in particular given the extensive technical considerations of such a project.

    We will continue to keep you informed as new information becomes available through the contact information provided on your response forms.

    Thank you, again, for taking the time to provide input and sharing your perspective on potential sewer expansion in your neighbourhood. Your involvement during this early stage of the project is critical; we are grateful for your participation.

  • Residents in Whiffin Spit and Kaltasin Neighbourhoods Asked to Complete Potential Wastewater Services Expansion Survey

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    The District of Sooke is undertaking a process to establish a new sewer service for the Whiffin Spit and Kaltasin Areas. Improving this area’s underground services has been identified by the District’s Liquid Waste Management Plan since 2010 to help protect our community’s natural environment and assist property owners with a sustainable wastewater management solution.

    Earlier this year, the District began a process to review opportunities for extending Sooke’s sewer system to areas of Whiffin Spit and Kaltasin currently operating on septic systems. This process is being pursued on the behalf of Sooke residents for the following reasons:

    • To reduce potential environmental impacts of failing septic systems on the Sooke Basin and Sooke River.
      • The wastewater treatment system removes over 95% of the total suspended solids and high levels of other contaminants.
      • The treated effluent is discharged via a 1.7km long, 30 m deep marine outfall to the Juan de Fuca Strait.
    • To support continued efforts to improve the environmental quality of the harbour, recognizing this significance to both the T’Sou-ke First Nation, whose heritage is derived from a land of natural abundance, and District residents.
    • To provide area property owners with a sustainable wastewater management system.

    The project team is seeking grant funding in coordination with the T’Sou-ke First Nation from senior governments to support the proposed sewer expansion for the Whiffin Spit and Kaltasin areas. The proposed grant application has the potential to cover between 60% – 73% of the total project costs up to a project cost of $16 million.

    As we prepare for the upcoming grant application and do our best to maximize funding opportunities, we need to hear from affected property owners.

    Property owners are asked to take a moment to complete the neighbourhood-specific survey for the area where they reside. Information packages and surveys are being mailed to potentially impacted residents this week. Please return completed surveys in person, by mail, email to wwplanning[at]sooke.ca or by phone at 250.642.1634 by January 10, 2022. Surveys can also be completed online at letstalk.sooke.ca/wwplanning.

    Learn more:


Page last updated: 16 Sep 2022, 03:21 PM