CVRD Receives Grant Funding to Move Water Project Forward

On November 28, 2018, the Government of Canada and Province of BC committed $62.8 million in federal-provincial funding for a new drinking water treatment system in the Comox Valley Regional District.

The project involves developing a new water treatment system to serve communities in the CVRD, including new intake infrastructure, pumping stations and pipelines, force mains, transmission mains and a filtration facility.

Once complete, the new system will eliminate turbidity related boil water notices and provide clean safe drinking water to 45,000 residents connected to the system including the City of Courtenay, the Town of Comox and the K’òmoks  First Nation.

In the interim, installation of temporary UV treatment  is expected to reduce boil water notices by about 80 per cent as we await construction of the new water treatment plant.

Please read the press release for more information about the funding announcement or view this short video for an overview. 

Project Background

The Comox Valley Water System provides drinking water to 45,000 residents but doesn’t comply with current provincial guidelines.

Our water system relies solely on chlorination and does not effectively protect against parasites. In addition, elevated turbidity levels can interfere with the chlorination of the water and increase the risk of bacteria and viruses, triggering the need for boil water notices.

A new water system will bring the Comox Valley water system in line with other communities across BC, Canada and the developed world.

The new water system will deliver three main benefits:

1. It will eliminate the need for turbidity-related boil water notices.

2. It will remove the risk of viruses, parasites and bacteria in our drinking water.

3. It will provide a secure supply of reliable, high quality drinking water for decades to come.

Read more about why a new water treatment plant is needed.

Project Timelines

Construction of the new water treatment plant is scheduled to begin late in 2019 and will be fully operational by 2021. 

To provide interim relief to turbidity-related boil water notices, the CVRD has installed UV reactors in the existing treatment plant, adding a second level of water treatment and raising the allowable NTU. This is expected to reduce boil water notices by up to 80 per cent. The UV reactors will then be moved to the new facility when constructed.

Project Funding

The Comox Valley Water Treatment Project is estimated to cost $110.6 million. 

While the project will receive federal and provincial grant funding under the Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) - Enviornmental Quality (EQ), there will still be costs for which the CVRD will be responsible. 

The Comox Valley Water System currently holds reserves of $26.3 million and the CVRD plans to borrow up to $29 million over a maximum of 25 years to finance its share of the construction costs for the new water treatment system.

The cost of borrowing this money will mean an increase in bulk water rates for users of the Comox Valley Water System. It is estimated the new system will cost roughly $86 household/year.

For more information about how we will fund our Water Treatment Project please see our cost breakdown.

Water Agreement Signed with K’ómoks First Nation

The K’ómoks First Nation and Comox Valley Regional District signed a Mutual Benefit Agreement on September 28, 2018 confirming cooperation and collaboration in the management of water resources in the region.

In the signing of this agreement, KFN has stated its support of the Comox Valley Water Treatment Project and the CVRD’s water license application.  

For more information about this agreement please see our news announcement.