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. 

Comox Valley Water Treatment Project

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

Reservoirs

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).

Pump Stations

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.

Chlorination Facility 

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 Watermains

Supply, or transmission, watermains are required to distribute large volumes of water throughout the system, for example from the chlorination station to the reservoirs.

Comox Valley Water Local Service Area

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.

Parcel Tax and Reserve Funds

Beginning in 2019, a $60 annual parcel tax will be collected in most areas to provide funds for replacing capital assets and funding system upgrades associated with the greater Comox Valley water distribution system. This will replace the frontage tax previously charged in the Comox Valley and Marsden/Camco local water service areas.

Each of the six former service areas had different amounts in their individual reserve funds. In order to ensure each area is contributing to the new reserve fund in an equitable way, some areas will be levied an equalization parcel tax. The amount will vary depending on the reserve fund in each original service area.

The equalization parcel tax will be charged until December 31, 2023, except in Sandwick service, where it will be charged until December 31, 2028.

Arden Road

The properties that were formerly in the Arden water local service area had previously contributed to its reserve fund to a sufficient level and no annual parcel tax is required until 2027.

Comox Valley

All properties that were already in the Comox Valley water local service area will be assessed the annual $60 parcel tax. This will replace the frontage tax previously charged in the Comox Valley local water service area.

No equalization parcel tax will be collected. A 5.25% Province of BC collection fee will be added to the annual parcel tax.

England Road

All properties that were formerly in the England Road water local service area will be assessed the $60 parcel tax and an equalization parcel tax. The equalization parcel tax for England Road properties is $88, which will be collected from each parcel until 2023.

The total annual parcel tax amount for properties formerly in the England Road service area will be $148, plus a 5.25% Province of BC collection fee.

Additionally, those applicable property owners in the England Road service will continue to pay $489 annually for the original debt, which will be retired in 2020.

Greaves Crescent

All properties that were formerly in the Greaves Crescent water distribution service will be assessed the $60 parcel tax and an equalization parcel tax. The equalization parcel tax for Greaves Crescent properties is $13, which will be collected from each parcel until 2023.

The total annual parcel tax amount for properties formerly in the Greaves Crescent service area will be $73, plus a 5.25% Province of BC collection fee.

Marsden/Camco

The properties that were formerly in the Marsden/Camco water local service area had previously contributed to its reserve fund to sufficient a level and no annual parcel tax is required until 2024.

Sandwick

All properties that were formerly in the Sandwick water local service area will be assessed the $60 parcel tax and an equalization parcel tax. The equalization parcel tax for Sandwick properties is $197, which will be collected from each parcel until 2028.

The total annual parcel tax amount for properties formerly in the Sandwick service area will be $257, plus a 5.25% Province of BC collection fee.