Comox Valley Water Committee Approves Water Filtration Project

The Comox Valley water committee is moving forward with the next step towards water filtration for the Comox Valley water supply system, which provides water to more than 45,000 customers in the City of Courtenay, Town of Comox and in the Arden, England Road, Greaves Crescent, Marsden/Camco and Comox Valley water service areas.

Filtration is a requirement by the Vancouver Island Health Authority under the Comox Valley Regional District’s (CVRD) permit to operate the water system, which requires that construction of a water filtration plant to be completed by September 2019. The water committee’s decision to approve filtration allows the CVRD to proceed with property acquisition, permits and approvals, detailed design, and grant funding applications. The proposed water filtration plant will reduce vulnerability associated with the water system, including avoidance of potential boil water notices and will ensure a consistent, safe supply of potable water to residents connected to the Comox Valley water supply system.

“After years of planning, research and consulting with the public we are finally ready to move forward with a water filtration project,” states Comox Valley Water Committee Chair Bob Wells. “A new filtration system will reduce boil water notices and risk to the residents serviced by the Comox Valley water supply system. As we move forward, safe, clean, cost effective drinking water is of the utmost importance.”

The CVRD engaged Opus DaytonKnight, an engineering firm that specializes in water treatment projects and infrastructure, to study the range of options for meeting the Island Health requirements. Opus DaytonKnight worked closely with the CVRD, City of Courtenay, Town of Comox and many other stakeholders to understand interests, limitations and opportunities associated with the water supply system. The project team also held three public workshops to present information, review options and solicit feedback from interested members of the public. Opus DaytonKnight recommended a deep water intake and direct filtration as the preferred approach for the Comox Valley water supply system.

The cost estimate for the project is $105 million and includes these components:

Project Component Estimated Cost*
Deep water lake intake near the existing deep water sampling station sized for full system buildout to 2069 $ 11.0M
Raw water pumping station located on the lake shore sized for easy expandability for full system buildout to 2069 $ 10.7M

Conveyance of raw water from the pump station to water treatment plant (WTP) located on or near Site A near the intersection of Bevan Road and Lake Trail Road

$ 11.8M
Direct filteration and UV disinfection of the raw lake water and discharge to a clear well on the WTP site, located at the optimal elevation to maximize gravity distribution of water throughout the CVWS $ 47.1M
Conveyance of treated water down the BC Hydro penstock right out of way to tie into the CVWS near the existing chlorination station $ 25.2M
Total Project Costs $105M
*Cost estimates developed to Class B or +/- 20% accuracy  

To minimize the financial impact of this project on system users, grant funding opportunities are being identified and pursued. The extent of senior government funding received will determine the magnitude of rate increases to users. Increases to the annual user rates would vary across jurisdictions and are more fully explained on the CVRD website.

For more information about this project, including all background reports, open house summaries and the final report from Opus DaytonKnight visit: www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/watertreatment.

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, Senior manager of water & wastewater services
Comox Valley Regional District
Tel: 250-334-6083