- by Larry Powell
The vote to abandon the original site means the hunt is now on for another which does not need a $1.5 million liner to prevent leakage. (I reported earlier that the drill truck had struck water on at least one occasion at the original site. I have now learned that this actually happened more than once.)
Despite this rather damning evidence that a lagoon at that location would have been a mistake, two councillors are still said to have voted to proceed to build there!
In any event, my local government has now given up completely on the possibility of considering technology other than a hole in the ground in which to treat human waste. It will not be persuing a proposal by Blue Diamond Technologies, a Manitoba company which had asked council to consider its chemical treatment system, instead. The RM seems to have rejected the company's contention that it could do the job cheaper and better.
My application to require the RM to make the original soil test results available to the public, something it has refused to do from the outset , has now gone to the provincial Ombudsman. Despite this latest development, I intend to see this process through, because the public ought to know all the details. Secrecy and lack of accountability by this government are way too pervasive.
To me, this was never about the "NIMBY Syndrome" (not in my backyard), only. While nothing focuses the mind quite like the spectre of sewage odours wafting over one's own property, I can't understand why our politicians seem so stuck in the past they'd rather cling to the decades-old technology of lagoons, which often leak, contaminate groundwater or fail to meet pollution regulations.
Sadly, this project will be going ahead in someone else's backyard, somewhere else in this jurisdiction. And that's too bad.
Larry Powell, concerned citizen, resident and ratepayer/RM of Shell River and publisher of "Paths Less Traveled."
Please also read:
- "The RM of Shell River Will be Told About New Technology for Waste Disposal. Will it Listen?"
- "Will the Rural Municipality of Shell River Brush Aside Better Technology in Favour of Another Sewage Lagoon?"
- "A Local Manitoba Government Seems Set to Ignore Concerns Over a Planned Sewage Lagoon"
- "Local Paper Gives Editorial Support to Citizens in the Rural Municipality of Shell River"
- "A Rural Municipality in Manitoba Gets Served With Freedom of Information Papers"
- "A Rural Manitoba Municipality Makes Quiet Plans for a Sewage Lagoon - Does the Reeve Have a Conflict?"