Our Effluent Neighbor
Victoria Is Still Flushing Raw Sewage into Salish Sea
by Kasey Bell
Kasey Bell is a graduate of Western Washington University and teaches 6th grade, middle school science and environmental science in Mt. Vernon. He lives with his family in eastern Whatcom County near Deming.
“Twenty years ago, Washington lawmakers called for a tourism boycott and Victoria’s unofficial mascot became a brown-suited gent who calls himself Mr. Floatie. Pressure from this state and the provincial government finally produced a plan to bring a sewage-treatment plant online by 2018. Down here, the furor died away. Except that two months ago the Esquimalt City Council refused to issue a permit for the new $721 million (U.S. dollars) facility. The provincial environment minister refused to overrule the town. Now years of planning might go down the drain.” The Seattle Times, November 30, 2014.
One of my favorite scenes in one of my favorite movies is when K’K’K’Ken, in A Fish Called Wanda, is driving a steamroller at his nemesis, Otto, who has become stuck to his ankles in cement. As Ken bears down on Otto, he shouts in wild un-stuttered glee “revenge!”
After the latest news from Victoria BC about their continued inability to come up with a workable plan to treat the 34 million gallons of fresh sewage that is discharged into the Straits of Juan de Fuca every day, I realized they needed my help. My plan is to drive my underwater steamroller across our shared sea and start smashing and re-routing this infamous sewage pipe into the appropriate government offices.
Phase two for me will be to begin excavation for settling ponds on those perfectly located waterside green lawns of the Empress Hotel. While I am busy at this, I could really use some help from my fellow Bellinghamsters to encourage those poopy Victorian procrastinators to change their unsanitary ways. First of all, if Victoria is happy to keep sending its sewage our way by water, why don’t we start sending our untreated waste their way by air? Balloons might work, with a favorable wind, or with a slight modification all those outbound planes from the Bellingham Airport (full of Canadian Passengers, oh the irony!) could all detour a bit and release their blue room loads over Victoria. Better still would be a gigantic vaporizer at Post Point that could send a steady stream of brown clouds arcing over the San Juans in a westerly direction.
We could get our Federal Government to help out as it seems there is plenty of money to secure the border with high tech security, helicopters, etc. Why not a submarine that can intercept trespassing turds, wave over suspicious toxins, and detain undocumented pharmaceuticals? (I swear, I do not officially know of any secret border patrol submarines that may or may not already be patrolling our aquatic border).
Of course, we could just go rogue over here and start flushing our waste directly into the water too (poo unto others as they poo unto you) but as it seems our poor Salish Sea is already at a tipping point of toxicity, that would be environmentally immoral, unethical, selfish, shameful, disgusting, foul, a slap in the face of Mother Earth, a desecration of the divine creation…You get the point.
Maybe an easier solution would be to just head to Hardware Sales, pick up the appropriate size plug, strap it onto my steamroller and just put a stop to it. I will valiantly hold the plug in place as the pressure builds, shouting, without a stutter, “revenge!”