My husband and I live in Union Bay, are retired and on a fixed income, as a number of people are here. Also, like at least of 80 per cent of the population, we have an old septic system. We are alarmed at the misinformation that is circulating about the proposed new sewer system, and would like to point out some actual facts to those who may not be aware of them.
Many people believe that the status quo is going to remain, and they can just continue having their tanks pumped out and everything will be fine. That is wrong. If the referendum fails, the CVRD will likely move forward with implementing a bylaw to ensure that failing systems are replaced. This bylaw will mean that everyone in Union Bay and Royston would have to have their septic systems inspected on a regular basis. I know that ours will fail, as will probably about 80 per cent of the properties in Union Bay and Royston. We will then have to put in a brand new system and mortgage our house to do so, as we do not have that amount of money sitting in a bank account. If the inspection concludes that your system is failing, you will be ordered to put in a new system. Depending on the age of your system, at tax time you will have to demonstrate that you have had an inspection (at a cost), and that your system is compliant. Failure to demonstrate this will mean that you won’t be able to pay your taxes. There be penalties that will be levied, with interest accruing.
On top of all of this, it’s very likely that we are going to be mandated by the provincial government to put in a new sewer system. We will have lost the grant money from all the sources, and will have to pay three to four times as much for a system in the future. And that’s on top of the $20,000-$40,000 we’ve all had to pay for a new septic treatment plant. This is not fantasy, this is the truth. What we have to pay now pales in comparison to the monumental amount that we’re going to have to pay in the near future.
We urge everyone to think long and hard about this, and read the newsletters from the CVRD, which lay out very clearly what the cost is going to be. Don’t believe the scare tactics that are being circulated – they simply are not true. We are voting “yes” for the new sewer system because we simply can’t afford the alternative.
Bill & Anne Alcock