CVRD Open House Updates Residents on South Sewer Project

The latest information on the south sewer project—a joint initiative between the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD), the K'ómoks First Nation and the Village of Cumberland—was shared with residents today at an open house in Royston at the new south sewer project office—located on Livingstone Road at the previous Royston Improvement District office.

The CVRD has a project team in place to guide the initiative to develop a water resource recovery system to collect and treat wastewater from the south region. The project also aims to create opportunities for water re-use for communities and properties in and around Royston, Union Bay and potentially the Village of Cumberland.

Over 70 residents attended to view the latest maps and information boards, and ask questions of south sewer project staff, consulting engineers from Associated Engineering, and members of the south sewer select committee. Present from the select committee to welcome attendees were chair Bruce Jolliffe, CVRD’s director for Baynes Sound-Denman Hornby Islands (Area ‘A’), Chief Rob Everson of the K'ómoks First Nation and Cumberland Mayor Leslie Baird.

“Baynes Sounds is an ecologically important area, not just for aquaculture but for all of us who live in and around it,” said Jolliffe. “Today literally ‘opens the doors’ to this effort and provides an outline of how community members can be involved in the next stage of planning.”

“We know with technical projects like this there can be a lot of questions in the community,” said Baird. “Information sessions like this allow residents to speak directly to representatives and to the project team and to have their questions answered. It also allows us to identify any areas of concern or confusion that we may need to address as we move forward.”

The open house was a chance to unveil the new project office at 3843 Livingstone Road in Royston, which will remain open and running for the duration of project. The office will hold public visiting hours each week on Thursdays from NOON to 4pm, staff levels permitting. The public is welcome to visit during these times, view project materials, and speak with staff about the project.

“This is a complex project and we are committed to keeping residents up to date,” said Kris La Rose, manager of liquid waste planning at the CVRD. “We’ve done a lot of work looking at solutions for this area and now, with the launch of the liquid waste management planning process, we will be weighing new ideas and innovative water resource recovery approaches. Being present in the community and opening this office means we can encourage people to understand the options and how they can take part in the planning process.”

The south sewer project is aimed at addressing the impact of failing septic systems in Royston and Union Bay, and the impact of Cumberland’s treated lagoon effluent on the receiving waters of Baynes Sound. A Gas Tax funding contribution of $15 million was received from the Government of Canada, via the Union of BC Municipalities in 2013 to construct a water resource recovery system for these communities. The next step for the project involves the development of a liquid waste management plan to authorize construction of a water resource recovery facility for the south region. The liquid waste management planning process includes completing an environmental impact study and significant public consultation. This planning phase commences now, runs for approximately 24 months, and will build on planning work already completed for Royston and Union Bay.

The CVRD has set up project information pages online and is publishing quarterly newsletters about the south sewer project. Those interested in receiving the newsletter can sign up by contacting the project team at 250-871-6100 or emailing southsewer@comoxvalleyrd.ca. For more information on the project, residents can visit: 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:
Kris La Rose, manager of liquid waste planning
Comox Valley Regional District
Tel:  250-871-6102