Comox No.2 Pump Station

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About the Comox No. 2 Pump Station Project

Upgrades to the Comox Valley sewer system are critical to the long-term viability of the Comox Valley sewer system and to remove an environmental risk posed by aging pipes along Willemar Bluffs.

A new pump station on Beech Street has been proposed, however, progress on this site is now on hold as alternative solutions are reviewed

Why is the CVRD considering the Comox No. 2 Pump Station?

There are two key reasons why the Comox No. 2 pump station has been proposed:

  1. The existing forcemain installed along the Willemar bluff has deteriorated due to coastal wave action and it now poses an environmental risk. Over the past 10 years, temporary measures have been put into place to protect the forcemain, however a permanent solution is required.  
  2. Continued growth in the Comox Valley has led to the need for additional capacity that will supplement the two pump stations already in operation on the Comox Valley sewer system. To meet the needs of increasing demand, a new pump station was identified as a priority in the sewer master plan drafted in 2005.

As a result, the project has also been identified as important to the Comox Valley sewage service. This is an important project for the Comox Valley as a whole.

What’s Happening Now?

The Comox Valley Regional District’s sewage commission has agreed to put the proposed Comox No. 2 pump station on hold until analysis of alternative options for re-routing an aging forcemain from Balmoral Beach can be completed.

To continue moving forward with this critical project, further investigation is required to ensure the best planning decisions are made.

During the spring/summer of 2017, three red flags are were under investigation. These include:

  1. The results of an analysis into the condition of the forcemain, along the foreshore, including between Courtenay and Jane Place and along Willemar Bluffs

  2. Update of total project costs

  3. Further hydrological studies to better understand any potential risks to the quality or quantity of groundwater in the area

At their October 2017 meeting the sewage commission were provided these important updates:

  • Cost estimates for a pump station on Beech Street are significantly (70%) higher than budgeted, due to challenges such as a difficult tie-in at the beach below Beech Street, extra measures to protect against possible risks, and the constraints of the small property size.
  • The forcemain along Balmoral Beach (Willemar Bluffs) is in better condition than expected, and – thanks also to some repair work on protective structures done this winter – the risk of failure has been reassessed as lower than previously understood.
  • There may be other options which are more cost effective over the lifecycle of the infrastructure. Early review by the project’s engineer consultants suggest other routes – though presenting their own challenges – could potentially be a better financial decision.

Because of these results, progress on the Comox No. 2 Pump Station proposed for Beech Street has been paused while alternative options are investigated.

Informing the Community

Work to inform residents about the project has been ongoing. This includes a public open house in November 2017 (click here to view *poster boards [PDF - 2.5 MB]), a public open house in June 2016 and design workshops held in March, April and May 2017 that provided an opportunity for area residents to engage with the CVRD on the design and aesthetics of the proposed pump station.

*Please note: Following feedback at the November 9 open house, the "Alternative Alignments" board has been amended for clarity. Please contact the project team to request a copy of the original if required.

Frequently Asked Questions

Definitions of key project terms can be found in this glossary [PDF - 83 KB].