About the Comox Valley Sewer Service Liquid Waste Management Plan
The Comox Valley Sewer Service treats raw sewage (wastewater) from homes and businesses in Courtenay, Comox and K’ómoks First Nation. More than 14,000 cubic metres of wastewater from these communities flows daily through a pipe located along the Willemar Bluffs. This is an exposed section of beach that is vulnerable to damage by waves, rocks and logs and poses an environmental risk to beaches and waters throughout the Comox Estuary, Point Holmes and Goose Spit coastline, as well as Baynes Sound.
In 2018, the CVRD started work on a Liquid Waste Management Plan for the Comox Valley Sewer System to ensure our system will contnue to operate safely and grow with our community. This process is used by local governments in BC to develop strategies for managing sewer services. It includes the collection/review of existing information, development of options for future services, identification of a preferred option, completion of required studies and assessments and development of financial and implementation plans. The plan involves public consultation at all steps in the process and is ultimately submitted to the provincial government for review and consideration for approval. To see how input has been collected and used throughout this process, please click the Public Engagement drop-down menu below.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this process- including the many members of the general public who participated in workshops, open houses, online surveys and online information sessions. In particular, thank you to the members of the public and technical advisory committee for their ongoing commitment over the three-year process.
The project team is now preparing the draft plan which will be submitted to the province as the second phase of this three step process. The plan will be submitted to the province for review in fall 2021 and review will take about one year. Based on feedback from the province, the plan will be revised, shared with the community and then submitted for final approval, which is likely to occur in Spring 2024.
Latest Project Updates
The LWMP identified a preferred conveyance route for new/upgraded sewer pipes and pump stations, which was approved by the Comox Valley Sewage Commission in February 2021. Borrowing was approved through an Alternative Approval Process in July 2021 and this critical work is now moving forward as a seperate project due to its urgent nature. This new system will route sewer pipes further inland where they will no longer be vulnerable to damage by waves, rocks and logs. The construction of this new line will start in Spring 2023 and will protect the beaches and waters throughout the Comox Estuary, Point Holmes, Goose Spit coastline, as well as Baynes Sound.
Visit the Comox Valley Sewer Conveyance project page to learn more.
Coming Up Next
- Fall 2021: Draft Stage 2 LWMP submitted to province.
- Winter 2021/2022: Scope for Conveyance Project and wrap-up for LWMP process to be presented to the community via public events. Timing/details to come.
- Fall 2022: Provincial approval of Stage 2 plan.
- Winter 2022/23: Drafting Stage 3 LWMP plan and share it with the community.
- Spring 2023: Stage 3 LWMP submitted to province.
- Spring 2024: Provincial approval of Comox Valley Sewer Service LWMP.
The CVRD has reached several important milestones in the liquid waste management planning process since the kick-off in early summer 2018:
- June 2018: Community workshop to help determine community values around managing sewer services in Comox and Courtenay.
- Oct. 2018: Public and Technical Advisory committee members are selected.
- Nov. 2018: Community workshop to share and receive feedback on sewer planning goals/objectives drafted by the advisory committees.
- Jan. 2019: Community information session to share and receive feedback on the long list of options for conveyance, treatment and resource recovery.
- Feb. 2019: Sewage Commission adopts the goals and objectives for the long-term plan. See the staff report here.
- Mar. 2019: Sewage Commission accepts the long list of options for conveyance, treatment and resource recovery. See the staff report here.
- Apr. 2019 – Dec. 2019: CVRD undertakes extensive technical review and First Nations consultation.
- Mar. 2020: Sewage Commission approves the short list of options for the service’s conveyance system and the shortlist goes to the community for their input. See the staff report here.
- Apr. 2020: Engagement process is paused due to COVID-19 response. Public consultation is suspended, with plans to re-launch in the Fall. See the staff report here.
- Sept. 2020: Public consultation on shortlisted options relaunches. See the news release here.
- Sept. 30, Oct. 1, 7 and 8: Webinar and in-person open houses to provide more information about the options under consideration.
- Nov. 5, 2020: Groundwater Webinar to answer questions from Lazo Area residents about how groundwater will be protected during the installation and operation of a new conveyance system.
- Dec.8, 2020: Sewage Commission approves the preferred treatment and resource recovery option. For more information read the staff report.
- Feb.18, 2021: The CVRD and K’ómoks First Nation announced a sewer agreement that provides support for moving the Liquid Waste Management Plan forward. Read the agreement here.
- Feb.24, 2021: Sewage Commission approves the preferred option for conveyance. See the staff report here.
- Mar.9, 2021: The Sewage Commission introduces a loan authorization bylaw for the sewer system conveyance project and approves the proposed alternative approval process logistics. See the staff report here or click here for more details about the AAP process.
- Apr.13, 2021: The Sewage Commission approves the implementation strategy for the conveyance project, including the procurement model. Read the full staff report here.
- July 8, 2021: Borrowing is approved for the conveyance project through the Alternative Approval Process.
Eight members of the community served on the Public Advisory Committee throughout the LWMP process. These representatives from Comox, Courtenay and Area B, played an essential role in considering community goals and public opinion/feedback throughout the planning process. The committee met regularly and meeting minutes are below. For more information about the role of the committee, please see the committee's Terms of Reference.
- November 13, 2018 LWMP Joint TACPAC Meeting No. 1 - Agenda
- November 13, 2018 LWMP Joint TACPAC Meeting No. 1 - Minutes
- November 23, 2018 LWMP Joint TACPAC Meeting No. 2 - Agenda
- November 23, 2018 LWMP Joint TACPAC Meeting No. 2 - Minutes
- December 11, 2018 LWMP Joint TACPAC Meeting No. 3 - Agenda
- December 11, 2018 LWMP Joint TACPAC Meeting No. 3 - Minutes
- January 24, 2019 LWMP Joint TACPAC Meeting No. 4 - Agenda
- January 24, 2019 LWMP Joint TACPAC Meeting No. 4 - Minutes
- February 8, 2019 LWMP Joint TACPAC Meeting No. 5 - Agenda
- February 8, 2019 LWMP Joint TACPAC Meeting No. 5 - Minutes
- March 22, 2019 LWMP Joint TACPAC Meeting No. 6 - Agenda
- March 22, 2019 LWMP Joint TACPAC Meeting No. 6 - Minutes
- September 30, 2019 LWMP Joint TACPAC Meeting No. 7 - Agenda
- September 30, 2019 LWMP Joint TACPAC Meeting No. 7 - Minutes
- December 5, 2019 LWMP Joint TACPAC Meeting No. 8 - Agenda
- December 5, 2019 LMWP Joint TACPAC Meeting No. 8 - Minutes
- March 4, 2020 LWMP Joint TACPAC Meeting No. 9 - Agenda
- March 4, 2020 LWMP Joint TACPAC Meeting No. 9 - Minutes
- September 28, 2020 LWMP Joint TACPAC Meeting No. 10 - Agenda
- September 28, 2020 LWMP Joint TACPAC Meeting No. 10 - Minutes
- October 20, 2020 LWMP TAC Meeting No. 10.A - Agenda
- October 20, 2020 LWMP TAC Meeting No. 10.A - Minutes