Untreated sewage spills from an underwater outfall near Victoria, while politicians debate the merits of a proposed wastewater treatment plant in Esquimalt and a second biosolids plant at the Hartland Landfill, which will convert solid waste into energy. (CBC)

A controversial secondary sewage treatment plan in Victoria has become a key issue in an upcoming byelection.

Just one candidate — the NDP's Murray Rankin — has expressed support for the proposed $783-million sewage treatment plan, saying it's time for the city to act.

Green Party candidate Donald Galloway is holding out for a better plan, while Conservative Dale Gann says his issue is the timing. Liberal Paul Summerville called the proposal a make-work project and wants it put on hold until 2040.

The byelection, slated for Monday, was triggered when MP Denise Savoie retired in August because of health issues.