May 16, 2018

A Value Planning Process aimed at finding cost improvements has found the Comox Valley Water Treatment Project’s scope and implementation strategy is sound. The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) will implement several recommended improvements to the project’s scope which will help to make it more cost efficient.

“Not only is this another important milestone towards project completion but having undertaken the value planning exercise makes the water treatment project more appealing to funding agencies” said Director Bob Wells, Chair of the CVRD Water Committee. “We are expecting to receive word regarding the federal and provincial infrastructure grant programs soon. Having confirmed that we have developed a viable project, we can move forward with confidence.”

The CVRD has adopted two significant changes to the project’s scope as a result of the value planning recommendations:

  1. Direct filtration technology has been selected for treatment of the raw water. The CVRD’s engineering team and the value planners agree that direct filtration will be the most cost effective treatment process, and that focusing on a single treatment technology before going to market for design-build proposals will strengthen the review process. This will reduce legal risk and result in a better procurement process for all involved.
  1. The raw water pump station will be shifted closer to Comox Lake and the length of the in-lake pipeline will be significantly reduced, which will also reduce the depth of the intake. Reducing the length of in-lake pipeline from 1,100 m to approximately 160 m provides for less complexity and lower construction costs. Testing has confirmed that the water quality and security of supply at the shallower intake is not compromised.

The Value Planning Process involves bringing together a group of subject matter experts to analyze the project and find “value alternatives” which may improve the project, primarily focused on cost, risk, and schedule. The process is a vital step towards eligibility for large provincial grants.

The estimated savings realized by the implementation of these value alternatives allow the CVRD to increase the contingency on the project from 20 to 25 per cent of the original estimate. Total project costs remain the same (at an estimated $110 million), while allowing for more cost certainty in the event that economic conditions change before the plant is constructed.

Results were presented to the CVRD’s water committee on May 15. Click here to access the Staff Report and Value Propositions Implementation Response Report or find it online at

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.

Media contact:

Charlie Gore
Manager of Capital Projects