Protecting our ocean with a new route for sewer pipes
The Comox Valley Sewer Conveyance Project is a multi-year construction project that will replace the pipes and upgrade the pump stations that move more than 14,000 cubic metres of raw sewage each day to the sewage treatment plant on Brent Road.
This new system will route sewer pipes further inland where they will no longer be vulnerable to damage by waves, rocks and logs. Watch this video to find out more about the project and how it will protect the beaches and waters throughout the Comox Estuary, Point Holmes, Goose Spit coastline, as well as Baynes Sound.
About the Project
This is a significant and complex project that starts at the Courtenay Pump Station and moves through K’ómoks First Nation land, downtown Comox and the Lazo Road area to the Comox Valley Water Pollution Control Centre (Sewage Treatment Plant) on Brent Road. There are construction impacts, traffic impacts and archaeological considerations. The CVRD is working with many jurisdictions and partners to deliver this project smoothly and efficiently and minimize impacts where we can.
Following a successful Alternative Approval Process to approve borrowing, and engagement with key partners and stakeholders, the final project scope was approved by the Sewage Commission on February 22, 2022 for $82 million. Since that time the construction industry has seen supply chain issues, unprecedented increases in fuel and material prices, and general inflation that is resulting in bid price increases locally and across North America. Though the project team and its advisors have been working diligently to reduce project scope and associated costs, a combination of indirect costs, scope increases and construction cost escalation made it necessary for the Sewage Commission to approve a project budget increase to $101 million at its meeting on August 9, 2022.
This increase requires additional funding to come from short-term debt. An Alternate Approval Process (AAP) will be held in spring 2024 to seek consent from electors to borrow the additional $16.7 million approved by the Sewage Commission to fund the project. Long term borrowing would extend the length of debt and reduce annual payment amounts, improving the affordability of this Project. The AAP will be promoted throughout the community, with additional information about the costs for residents.
Due to the extent and anticipated duration of construction for the project will have significant impacts to traffic throughout the course of construction. A comprehensive stakeholder engagement process was completed this summer and included meetings with key stakeholder groups such as emergency services, BC Transit and the School District, presentations to Comox and City of Courtenay Councils and downtown business associations, and engagement through a survey for other private utilities and stakeholders. This input will be used to develop a traffic management strategy which will be presented to the Commission in September and shared with the community.
The CVRD is committed to keeping the community informed about the work and the impacts ahead. Click the button below to visit our engagement portal and find out about upcoming events and updates, post questions and review new information as it becomes available.
Part of a larger plan for sewer services in our community
This conveyance project is the result of the extensive Comox Valley Sewer System Liquid Waste Management Planning process (LWMP) which started in 2018, and was developed over three years with the input of a public and technical advisory committee.
The LWMP identified solutions for conveyance, treatment and resource recovery and included extensive public engagement throughout the process. Input was collected from the community and technical experts and was reported on throughout each stage of the process. Learn more about this plan.
Watch here for updates on next steps for the Sewer Conveyance Project:
- Winter/Spring 2024: In advance of construction, a public information campaign will be launched, including open houses to share anticipated construction and traffic impacts.An Alternative Approval Process for long term borrowing will be held. Watch for more details on how to participate.
- Spring 2024: Estimated start of construction, which is expected to last 18 to24 months. Communication will continue throughout the project including notice of lane closures and traffic impacts. The CVRD will work diligently with its contractor to avoid construction during peak times.