600 Comox Road
Courtenay, BC V9N 3P6
Toll free: 1- 800-331-6007
Water emergencies (including Sandwick residents starting January 1) - 1-877-999-2285
August 19, 2015
The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD), the Village of Cumberland (VOC) and TimberWest have agreed to work collaboratively on an options analysis study in response to receiving a hazard abatement or prevention order from Island Health’s medical health officer regarding the erosion along the banks of Perseverance Creek – which may have been a contributing factor to the boil water advisories issued last winter.
On December 11, 2014, a boil water advisory was issued for the Comox Valley water system due to high turbidity. The turbidity took a significant time to clear in Comox Lake which extended the length of the advisory to 47 days. A contributing factor to the cause and duration may have been the erosion along a gorge feeding Perseverance Creek – a stream that runs into Comox Lake. In places, the gorge has 30 metre high cliffs along one side of the river bank. In the summer the stream completely dried out and then when heavy rainfall followed, the water flow undercut the cliff, causing soil, silt and clay to fall into the stream and then settle into Comox Lake creating higher than normal turbidity - impacting the drinking water of over 41,000 people.
“Cumberland is committed to working with the Comox Valley Regional District and TimberWest to find ways to reduce the amount of sediment entering Perseverance Creek and the Comox Valley water system to help ensure that the residents of Courtenay, Comox and the regional district have safe, high quality drinking water,” said Leslie Baird, mayor of the Village of Cumberland.
"As the property owner around the Perseverance spillway, TimberWest looks forward to working closely with the Village of Cumberland and the CVRD to fully understand how the specific drinking water quality concerns with Perseverance Creek can be remedied,” said Domenico Iannidinardo, Vice-President, Sustainability & Chief Forester TimberWest Forest Corp. “There is no higher priority in watershed management than maintenance of water quality and we hope to see the best option implemented as soon as possible."
“We are pleased that all parties are working collaboratively on this study, which benefits the CVRD as it is one of several priority items for the CVRD’s water committee. The CVRD has had several meetings with regional and provincial stakeholders and participated in several tours of the affected area to get a better idea of the scope of this problem,” said Bob Wells, CVRD’s water committee chair. “We are also moving forward with the engineering study for water treatment options to comply with Island Health’s drinking water treatment policy - another critical step in determining needs related to long-term capital works.”
The option analysis study obtained through an independent engineering firm must be completed by September 16, 2015. To review the hazard abatement or prevention orders, visit www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/preventionorder.
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.
Comox Valley Regional District
General manager, engineering services branch
Village of Cumberland
Chief administrator officer
TimberWest Forest Corporation
Vice-president, sustainability & chief forester