The majority of Colwood households (about 70% of the current population) are on septic systems. When properly maintained and situated, septic systems are an environmentally friendly and economical option. Properties with septic systems pay the Capital Regional District Onsite Sewage Parcel Tax which allows the CRD to monitor for safety of septic systems. Read more about Septic Systems in the CRD.
Municipal Sewer Service
Just 30% of existing Colwood households are currently hooked up to sewer service. These property owners pay a sewer user fee to help keep the almost 40,000 m of pipes and infrastructure. including 8 lift stations in safe working order. The City’s system also services commercial properties including, Royal Roads University, DND lands, two golf courses, schools, and the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre.
Connecting to Sewers in Colwood
Many properties in Colwood do not have sewer lines nearby, which is why the majority of homes are on septic service. For these property owners, connecting to sewers is currently only possible by petitioning neighbours to assess interest in paying for pipe extensions by establishing a Local Area Service.
Properties that are adjacent to existing sewer lines may choose to connect. The typical cost to have the City connect the sewer line to a property is approximately $9100. There is an additional cost of between $3000 - $5000 to bring the line to the home and decommission the septic system.
Read the Sewer Backgrounder page to learn more about the history of sewers in Colwood, how to connect and future plans for sewers in Colwood.
Central Sewer Extension 2016
In 2016, the City will undertake the expansion of the Central Sewer Local Area Service along a designated area between Hatley Park Mall on Sooke Road and a section of Metchosin Road. Property owners adjacent to the extended sewer will have the opportunity to connect to sewer service. Get all the details on the Central Sewer Extension.
Regional Sewage Treatment Plans
Determining the best long term sewage treatment solution for the City is one of Colwood's key strategic priorities.
Latest Regional Sewage Treatment News:
For the most up to date news and information, please visit www.coreareawastewater.ca.
CRD directors OK sewage plant for McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt (Times Colonist, Sept 14, 2016)
Regional sewage committee asked to take Rock Bay-Colwood option (Goldstream News, Feb 23, 2016)
CRD Board to consider Rock Bay as proposed wastewater treatment site (CFAX 1070, Feb 22, 2016)
Colwood Mayor urges residents to speak up about sewage information (Colwood, Jan 26, 2016)
Wastewater Treatment Option Sets approved (Colwood, Nov 5, 2015)
Westside Solutions announces potential wastewater treatment sites (CRD, Jun 18, 2015)
Westside identifies potential wastewater treatment and resource recovery sites (Colwood, May 1, 2015)
Westside Solutions Roundtables (Colwood, April 24, 2015)
- Municipalities to steer next steps in sewage treatment plan (Times Colonist, September 10, 2014)
- Westside communities move forward for better sewage treatment (Colwood, July 7, 2014)
West side mayors talk sewage treatment with Environment Minister (Colwood, June 13, 2014)
Colwood Mayor visits Sechelt for proven local sewage solutions (Colwood, June 9, 2014)
Local sewage treatment proposals revived by Minister's decision (Colwood, May 28, 2014)
Starting conversations about sewage treatment and resource recovery in Colwood (Colwood, April 30, 2014)
- CRD gives Colwood the green light on innovative sewage treatment (Mar 13, 2014)
Colwood sewage treatment proposal a good bet for taxpayers in the region (Colwood, March 4, 2014)
Colwood's sewage treatment request hits CRD Board table this week (Colwood, Feb 11, 2014)
The previous CRD plan from 2008 called for a $788 million sewage treatment facility (which would cost in the range of a $1billion in today's dollars) at McLoughlin Point that seven municipalities in the region were expected to contribute to. That plan envisioned an additional facility on the Westshore when McLoughlin Point reached capacity in about 2030. That option was rejected when the property could not be rezoned for a wastewater treatment facility.
The majority of residents in other municipalities are already connected to sewers, so the cost of treatment is distributed to users of the sewer system. But with only about 30% of Colwood homes currently connected to sewers, this plan means most Colwood residents would be paying for a service they will never use and then paying again when the Westshore plant is required.
Colwood's Plan for Local Sewage Treatment
In February 2014, Colwood received CRD support for an amendment to the Core Area Liquid Waste Management Plan to allow for the development of a small-scale treatment facility with resource recovery opportunities in Colwood.
Colwood represents a very small part of the regional sewage treatment plant (only 4.7%). Our plans would not have a negative impact on the CRD plans, and was estimated at the time to save taxpayers in core area municipalities about $245 per year in future taxes by relieving them of the cost of building the future plant.
A facility like this would provide water for nearby recreational facilities and draw heat energy from sewage pipes that could be distributed to businesses in the heart of Colwood and neighbouring facilities like West Shore Parks and Recreation and Royal Roads University. Check out "How district energy works" from Fortis BC.
Going to a local system that could start small and grow with our community, as well as being able to reclaim heat and water, would substantially reduce the tax burden on our community and our impact on the natural environment. It would also free up space for other municipalities in the larger CRD sewage treatment plant, extending the life of that facility.
What would a sewage treatment facility in Colwood look like?
On the surface, it would look like a simple residential and commercial building. The underground treatment operations would be virtually invisible and completely odourless. There would be no ocean outfall. Plus, the facility would provide energy to connected buildings as well as clean treated water for things like local irrigation.
- Read our Frequently Asked Questions about the Colwood Sewage Treatment Proposal
- Get all the details about Sewage Treatment and Resource Recovery in Colwood.
- Learn how the Colwood plan benefits taxpayers in other municipalities.
- Read the Colwood Notice of Motion for the March 12, 2014 meeting of the Core Area Liquid Waste Management Committee.
[An important correction: A recent article in the Times Colonist incorrectly stated that the City of Colwood had spent $700,000 on a 'sewage treatment pilot project'. In fact, it was a company called Ledcor who spent $700,000 in our community to conduct a very successful pilot of their equipment, which is now in use in Arizona.]