Did you know

 Victoria could reduce it's Greenhouse Gas emissions to 23% below 1990 levels, by integrated recovery of resources from sewage and organic solid waste.†

 Victoriaís sewage, with an average temperature of 17C, could be stripped of a further 2 million Joules per year, enough energy to heat 30,000 of the region's home.



Innovative approaches using old technologies are being used in Europe and elsewhere in Canada to recover energy and minerals from sewage. Methane (natural gas) from sewage treatment can be used to run our buses, giving us a cleaner city environment and reducing greenhouse gases.

Victoria has a great opportunity to go from being the worst ocean polluter in Canada to a showcase for sustainability. Sewage is a valuable resource. If we make the right choices, we can treat our sewage, protect our environment by reducing greenhouse gases and ocean pollution, increase revenue by selling captured resources and keep the value localótruly enhancing the local sustainability.


The traditional options for treatment are:

Primary treatment uses settling tanks or ponds to remove 25-40 percent of biological oxygen demand and 40-60 percent of suspended solids.

Secondary treatment is an additional process that uses natural micro-organisms to break down organic matter. Secondary treatment can reduce biological oxygen demand and suspended solids by 85-90 percent.

Tertiary treatment processes wastewater after secondary treatment, targeting specific harmful substances for removal through a variety of biological and chemical processes. Nitrogen, ammonia, phosphorus and some metals can be reduced using micro-strainers, sand filters, chemical precipitation or reverse osmosis.

By accident primary and secondary treatments remove many toxins with the solids. For example many heavy metals, endocrine disruptors and hydrocarbons are captured in these processes. Here are some removal rates from Metro Vancouver::







Recovering Resources from Waste

Study resources in sewage

 Resource from waste study

 Province releases study TC article

†Posted May 21, 2008

Resource recovery articles

The Times Colonist's Innovative Solutions article and Waste Not feature are available for download from their website.

Posted Jan 23, 2007

Victoria Sewage Treatment Alliance

Letís get on with it!