About the Comox Valley Sewer Service Liquid Waste Management Plan

The Comox Valley Sewer Service treats raw sewage (wastewater) from homes and businesses in Courtenay, Comox and K’ómoks First Nation. More than 14,000 cubic metres of wastewater from these communities flows daily through a pipe located along the Willemar Bluffs. This is an exposed section of beach that is vulnerable to damage by waves, rocks and logs and poses an environmental risk beaches and waters throughout the Comox Estuary, Point Holmes and Goose Spit coastline, as well as Baynes Sound.

Public Consultation Relaunches

The CVRD is now re-starting a community engagement process that was put on hold due to COVID-19 mitigation measures in the spring. It’s time to share your input on a shortlist of options for upgrading the service’s conveyance system, including the pipes and pump stations that move wastewater to the sewage treatment plant.

Costs for implementation of any of these options will be significant for Courtenay and Comox taxpayers - ranging from $160 to $210 per year, per household. All potential routes will pass along Comox (Dyke) Road and through downtown Comox and the Lazo Hill area, which means an added burden of construction impacts for those moving through and living in these areas. Construction is currently estimated to begin in 2022 and last two years.

Responses to the online survey that was live for a few weeks in March have been archived, however costs and construction scenarios have been updated significantly so we are encouraging residents to fill out a new survey.

Click the button below to fill out a survey or register for a webinar or open house.

Get Involved

Next Steps

Input from this public consultation will be compiled into a final report to be shared with the sewage commission in November 2020. The public and technical advisory commmitees have also considered feedback from the public from the four treatment and resource recovery options that were brought to the community for input in 2019. All three recommended options for conveyance, treatment and resource recovery will be considered by the sewage commission at its November meeting. It is likely that an Alternative Approval Process (AAP) will be held early in 2021 to approve borrowing so that work can begin as soon as possible on a new conveyance system. Concurrently, the project team will begin working on a final draft Liquid Waste Management Plan that will be submitted to the Ministry of Environment.

Geotechnical Assessment

Over the summer, the CVRD conducted geotechnical and hydrogeological assessments in the areas of Lazo Road and Comox Hill. The results will provide information about ground conditions and groundwater levels in the area to help analyze if the tunelling options under consideration for the shortlist are viable. The data gathered will determine if ground conditions can support the directional drilling that would be required for construction. This includes ensuring that groundwater levels and groundwater quality would not be negatively impacted. Once data from this work is analyzed, reports will be made available to the public.

Looking for more information? Please read our Info Sheet on Sewer Planning and Groundwater.

Key Milestones

The CVRD has reached several important milestones in the liquid waste management planning process since the kick-off in early summer 2018:

  • June 2018: Public Engagement #1 to help determine community values around managing sewer services in Comox and Courtenay.
  • Oct. 2018: Public and Technical Advisory committee members are selected.
  • Nov. 2018: Public Engagement Session #2 to share and receive feedback on sewer planning goals/objectives drafted by the advisory committees.
  • Jan. 2019: Public Engagement Session #3 to share and receive feedback on the long list of options for conveyance, treatment and resource recovery.
  • Feb. 2019: Sewage Commission adopts the goals and objectives for the long-term plan. See the staff report here.
  • Mar. 2019: Sewage Commission accepts the long list of options for conveyance, treatment and resource recovery. See the staff report here.
  • Apr. 2019 – Dec. 2019: CVRD undertakes extensive technical review and First Nations consultation.  
  • Mar. 2020: Sewage Commission approves the short list of options for the service’s conveyance system and the shortlist goes to the community for their input. See the staff report here
  • Apr. 2020: Engagement process is paused due to COVID-19 response. Public consultation is suspended, with plans to re-launch in the Fall. See the staff report here.
  • Sept. 2020: Public consultation on shortlisted options relaunches. See the news release here.

Additional Background 

Public Advisory Committee

Eight residents have been appointed to the Public Advisory Committee to represent their communities in the development of a Liquid Waste Management Plan for Courtenay and Comox:

  • Sheila Carey (Courtenay)
  • Kevin Niemi (Courtenay)
  • Tamera Servizi (Courtenay)
  • Ray Craig (Comox)
  • Donald Jacquest (Comox)
  • Kevan Van Velzen (Comox)
  • Jenny Steel (Area B)
  • Mary Lang (Area B)

These representatives from Comox, Courtenay and Area B, play an essential role in considering community goals and public opinion/feedback throughout the planning process. The Public Advisory Committee will be meeting regularly throughout the liquid waste management process. Click the menu below to view meeting minutes, presentations and related documents. For more information about the role of the committee, please see the Terms of Reference

What is a Liquid Waste Management Plan?

The liquid waste management plan process is used by local governments in BC to develop strategies for managing sewer services. It includes the collection/review of existing information, development of options for future services, identification of a preferred option, completion of required studies and assessments and development of financial and implementation plans. The plan is ultimately submitted to the provincial government for review and consideration for approval.

Public engagement is key to the planning process. Public input will be collected online and through public events, which will be posted on this page. Residents of Courtenay and Comox are encouraged to weigh in with feedback, to help the CVRD develop a plan that works best for the community.

What is the timeline?

Please visit Connect CVRD to see a detailed outline of the Liquid Waste Management Planning Process.

How can I get involved?

The CVRD team is actively engaging with the public for feedback at key steps in the planning process using tools such as facilitated feedback sessions, open houses and online consultation. Watch this page for details on how you can contribute.

Is this related to the Comox No. 2 Pump Station Project?

In October 2017, the Comox No. 2 Pump Station project, as it was proposed on Beech Street, was put on hold to allow for further review of alternative options. Key feedback from the community was that the Comox No. 2 conversation should be part of a broader planning process that looked at sewer management regionally. The plans for rerouting the at-risk pipe along Balmoral Beach (Willemar Bluffs) will now be a part of this liquid waste management planning process.

Visit background material on the Comox No. 2 Pump Station project.

Looking for more information?

Please click the link below to speak with a member of our project team or a public advisory committee representative.

Contact Us