Protecting our ocean with a new route for sewer pipes
The Comox Valley Sewer Conveyance Project is a $73 million 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 Curtis 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
The Comox Valley Sewer Conveyance Project will be constructed and funded in one phase. It involves a combination of ‘cut and cover’ construction (trenching) and directional drilling (a type of tunneling) at Comox and Lazo Hills.
Construction on this project is expected to begin in Spring 2023. A conceptual route was approved by the Sewage Commission in February 2021. Final route alignment is under review and will be determined when the project scope is finalized in fall/winter 2021. The CVRD remains focused on minimizing costs and impacts on residents and businesses. Discussions are underway with the Town of Comox regarding the final route through the Town and mitigating community impacts. The CVRD is also working with the K’ómoks First Nation to protect archaeologically sensitive areas during construction in an effort to preserve cultural heritage sites, ancestral burial places and artifacts.
Preliminary map of preferred sewer route, which will be finalized during the detailed design phase of the project.
The CVRD will continue dialogue with stakeholders, residents with properties located in potential right-of-ways, and homeowners with wells that should be included in our groundwater monitoring program. As we get nearer to construction, residents and business along all points of the route will be consulted as part of the pre-planning process. This will help us to create a plan for construction that considers everyone impacted by the project.
Visit us at our public engagement portal to sign up to be notified of updates, or to post questions and review new information as it comes 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:
- Summer/Fall 2021: Property owners in Lazo Area where right-of-ways are proposed for tunnelled pipe will be contacted to negotiate agreements. If you are a resident in this area, and have questions, please contact us.
- Fall/Winter 2021: Final project scope will be confirmed by the sewage commission, allowing for the tenders to be developed and contracts awarded.
- Winter 2021/2022: Project scope and wrap-up for the Liquid Waste Management Plan to be presented to the community via public events. Timing/details to come.
- Spring-Fall 2022: Pre-construction public engagement. Timing/details to come.
- Spring 2023: Estimated start of construction.
An Alternate Approval Process for $52-million in borrowing required to construct the new conveyance line was successful, allowing planning work to move forward.
Update on Sewer Conveyance Planning Shared with Lazo Residents
Two online sessions were offered in May 2021, to inform local residents about ongoing sewer planning and to address questions about the tunneling feature of the selected pipe route. Read more
Tunnelling and Groundwater Information Session Held
In March 2021, the CVRD hosted a webinar for residents within the proposed tunneling area in Area B (Lazo area). The online session provided additional information about the groundwater monitoring and assessment work that has been completed to date, and the further planning that will be done before construction starts. Read more
How will this project be funded?
The project is anticipated to cost $73 million with an estimated 80-year service life for the new pipe. The cost per household is estimated at $150/per year for 30 years. Funding will include approximately $21 million from reserves and $52 million in debt to ensure costs are spread out between current and future taxpayers over the 30-year term. Borrowing approval was obtained through an Alternative Approval Process.
When will construction start, and how long will it last?
While planning is still underway, it is currently estimated that construction could start in spring 2023, and last 18 months (to fall, 2024). More information will be available as details of the scope and design are confirmed.
How was the public consulted about the conveyance route?
This decision was based on input from staff, technical experts, public and technical advisors. The Commission also considered input gathered as part of the public consultation on a shortlist of three options completed in fall 2020. Read the report summarizing public feedback on these options.
How can I keep informed about the project?
Visit us at our engagement portal and sign up (top of right-hand column) to be notified of updates or to post questions and review information as it comes available.