The CVRD and Project Partners Initiate Planning Phase for South Sewer Initiative

The south sewer project by the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD)—working  with the K'ómoks First Nation and the Village of Cumberland— has a project team in place to guide the initiative that will result in safe, reliable, and cost-effective sewer treatment for communities and properties in and around Royston, Union Bay and potentially the Village of Cumberland.

Since receiving a funding contribution of $17 million from the Government of Canada, via the Union of BC Municipalities through the Gas Tax Fund, project partners have been meeting regularly to move the project forward. The first stage of this multi-year, multi-partner project involves building a wastewater treatment plant and collection system to address failing septic systems in Union Bay and Royston and wastewater treatment issues in Cumberland.

“This is truly a joint initiative and it's important for the partners that the wheels are turning. The CVRD, with the K'ómoks First Nation and the Village of Cumberland, has been working to determine governance structure, funding and cost sharing agreements for the project,” said CVRD chair Edwin Grieve. “We share the common goal of providing safe, reliable, and cost-effective sewer treatment for the area, and we are moving ahead together to determine the best ways to achieve it.”

“Cumberland Council is committed to developing an environmentally sustainable method of treating the liquid waste that is produced by the village, which would, in turn, help clean up the Trent River,” said Cumberland Mayor Leslie Baird.  “We are continuing to work with the CVRD and the K’ómoks First Nation on this opportunity to treat our wastewater more effectively.”  

Overview of the Project Timeline

The south sewer project involves planning and building a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant and collection system to collect, treat, reclaim and re-use wastewater from Royston, Union Bay and potentially Cumberland. Properties in the planned project area will connect to the sewer system in stages.

Detailed planning and environmental assessment work will begin in 2014. As part of this, a liquid waste management plan will be developed that builds on sewer planning work already completed for Royston and Union Bay. Planning and environmental assessment work will continue into 2016 when a detailed engineering plan for the new plant and collection system will be finalized. Construction of the new plant and system will follow. Early estimates show that construction should be complete towards the end of 2018.

Current Activities

The south sewer project involves different components that will be of interest to property owners and the general public. The following offers a summary of what’s currently happening:

  • Establishing a project office: an office is being established for the south sewer project team at the former Royston Improvement District office, now owned by the CVRD. The public will be welcome to visit, view project materials, and speak with staff once operating hours are established.
  • Determining regulatory, operational and cost sharing: project partners are working together at the political and staff level through a select committee and a project advisory group that meet regularly to determine how the new plant and collection system will be funded, operated, owned, etc.
  • Sourcing local technical experts: local technical experts and area residents will be recruited to take part in a liquid waste advisory committee. This group will be responsible for sharing information with the community and bringing community concerns to the project team during the planning phase. Watch for notices in local papers and on the CVRD website.
  • Request for proposals: the liquid waste management planning process is a 24-30 month process. The CVRD will be issuing an RFP for consultants to manage and guide this process.

The south sewer project team is committed to keeping residents informed about the project and will be issuing a quarterly newsletter to property owners in Royston and Union Bay beginning this month. Anyone interested in project progress can subscribe to an e-mail version of the newsletter or visit the updated south sewer project pages at: www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/southsewer.

The Comox Valley Regional District is a federation of three electoral areas and three municipalities providing sustainable services for residents and visitors to the area. The members of the regional district work collaboratively on services for the benefit of the diverse urban and rural areas of the Comox Valley.

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Media contact:
Marc Rutten, senior manager of engineering services
Comox Valley Regional District
Tel:  250-334-6080