The Comox Valley Water Pollution Control Centre opened in 1984 and is one of the regional district’s most critical pieces of infrastructure. It provides wastewater treatment for residents of Courtenay and Comox and for wastewater collected from (septic) systems in the surrounding areas. To keep the centre working well, minimize its impacts on the neighbourhood and prepare it for the growth to come, upgrades are underway.

Do you live near the treatment plant?

Visit our notification page to register for text and/or voicemail notifications about planned maintenance that could result in noise or odour impacts, as well as unplanned operational issues that are longer than 1 day in duration.

Odour Complaints

Do you have a complaint about odours or noise at the Comox Valley Wastewater Pollution Control Centre? To have your complaint logged as part of our tracking system please click the button below to fill out our online form. 

Report a Complaint

New Equalization Basin

In 2019, a new equalization basin will be constructed on the site. This basin is required to ensure that the treatment and discharge systems work properly during the highest inflows of any given year. During the few days a year when inflows are at their highest (winter storms coinciding with high tides), this basin will hold excess wastewater so that all inflow is treated properly before being discharged.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Work on the equalization basin is nearing completion - crews have completed the excavation and the liner is in place.
  • Crews are now working to finish electrical and mechanical work
  • The project is on track to be completed by December, in time for winter storm season
  • The basin’s use will be limited to primarily winter season, and after each use will be cleaned. Because of this, we expect little to no odour impacts.
  • For more information read our FAQ

Updates: Watch this page for construction updates and check out our newsletter below for more info about the upgrades.

Odour Control Upgrades

The Comox Valley Water Pollution Control Centre (the sewage treatment plant) was commissioned in 1984 and shortly afterwards, the Regional District began to receive odour complaints related to plant operation. These complaints tended to be from residents along Curtis Road where odours are more frequent, especially in evenings in the late summer or early fall when certain weather conditions (off-shore wind) prevail. The Regional District worked hard to reduce odours and improve the situation, however the odours persisted and in 1985 the Curtis Road residents committee filed legal action against the CVRD. 

The CVRD negotiated an out-of-court settlement with the Curtis Road residents committee which required that the Regional District pay compensation to residents, relocate the compost facility to a remote off-site location and install additional odour treatment at the plant to capture and treat the most odourous gases from the processing equipment. This work took considerable time to investigate and implement, but by 1997 a new wet chemical scrubber system ($2 million) had been installed at the facility and by 2002 a new biosolids composting facility ($5 million) had been constructed at the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre (the landfill). After these improvements were implemented odour complaints subsided for a number of years.

As population in the Comox Valley increased, so did wastewater flows to the treatment plant and complaints from the community about odours became more frequent. In 2016, the CVRD undertook an odour study at the plant to determine the largest contributors to odours and how they disperse into the nearby community. This report informed recommendations to make improvements at the sewage treatment plant that would reduce odours. These were implemented in 2018 and include:

  • Retrofitting the existing scrubber to increase its efficiency.
  • Covering the primary clarifiers to contain and treat air before it is discharged to the environment.
  • Adding a dual bed activated carbon (AC) polisher to further treat air and reduce odours before discharge to the environment.

New covers for the primary clarifyers help to trap odour.

Questions?

If you have a question about the Comox Valley Water Pollution Control Centre please contact us by email or phone our engineering services department at 250-334-6000.