Comox Valley Water System
The Comox Valley Water System serves approximately 45,000 people. Water from Comox Lake is currently drawn from the Puntledge River, and flows through a network of reservoirs, pumping stations and transmission mains or pipes. The CVRD supplies bulk water to distribution systems operated by the City of Courtenay and Town of Comox as well as the Comox Valley Water Local Service Area.
Construction of the Comox Valley Water Treatment Project kicked off in fall 2019 and is well underway. The new system, scheduled for completion in 2021, will comply with the provincial surface water treatment objectives guideline.
The CVRD also operates three other water systems within the Comox Valley.
Sharing Our Water
Water in the Comox Valley Regional District needs to be used efficiently. The water from Comox Lake and the Puntledge River is licensed and used primarily by BC Hydro for electricity generation and by Fisheries and Oceans Canada for hatcheries and other habitat projects. In addition, the water source has numerous important ecological values and uses. The following organizations are key partners in protecting this shared resource:
Comox Valley Water Distribution System Infrastructure
The West Courtenay, Marsden, Comox, Crown Isle and East Courtenay reservoirs are required for fire storage, emergency storage, water pressure and to balance flow throughout the day (including meeting peak hourly demand).
The Ryan and Dingwall pump stations are required to distribute water throughout the supply system when gravity supply is not possible. The Puntledge River pump station is the Comox Valley's backup source during periods when BC Hydro is undertaking maintenance or repairs on the penstock. The East Courtenay pump station and Marsden pump station both pump directly to parts of the distribution system that sit at higher elevations.
The chlorination station on the Puntledge River is required to disinfect the water to safe standards set out in the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines.
Supply, or transmission, watermains are required to distribute large volumes of water throughout the system, for example from the chlorination station to the reservoirs.
The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) merged six of its water distribution services into one greater Comox Valley system. The Comox Valley (function 305), Sandwick (306), Greaves Crescent (309), Arden (311), England Road (314) and Marsden/Camco (317) services were merged as of January 1, 2019 and are now collectively referred to as the Comox Valley Water Local Service Area.
Merging the six former water distribution services into one reduces the financial burden for small service areas in the case of unplanned or emergency repairs, allows for more coordinated and comprehensive planning and decision making for the entire water system and simplifies the billing process, reducing administrative costs.