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?
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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.
Odour Control Upgrades
Following study work, analysis and consultation with the community, the sewage commission has approved $7 million in odour upgrades at the treatment plant, including the covering of bioreactors and treatment of the additional odorous air through a new, larger wet chemical scrubber. Odour dispersion modelling shows these measures will bring odours down to a minimally detectable level for residents living near the treatment plan
Construction is expected to be complete by summer 2021. The sewage commission also directed staff to consider implementing interim measures to minimize facility odours while the system is under construction.
In addition to the upgrades, a two tier odour standard will be implemented that is in line with other jurisdictions in the province including the Capital Regional District and Metro Vancouver. An upper “design” limit will be set at five Odour Units at the treatment plant property line, with a decision to be made on a lower “operational” limit once upgrades are in place and follow-up odour sampling and dispersion modelling is complete.
History of Odour Complaints
A legal settlement in the 1990s led to the implementation of $7 million in improvements at the sewage treatment plant, including covering of odorous tanks, a new wet chemical scrubber and the removal of biosolids to the landfill. However, some odours continued to persist and in 2013 the Sewage Commission directed staff to undertake further study work and recommend additional mitigation measures. In 2018, $2 million was invested to cover the primary clarifier and install an activated carbon polisher at the plant. Following continued complaints from the neighbours, additional modelling and analysis was completed in 2019 which resulted in the decision to invest an additional $7 million into odour upgrades, including the covering of bioreactors and a larger wet chemical scrubber.
New Equalization Basin
In 2019, construction began on a new equalization basin. This basin is required to ensure that 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 into the ocean.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Work on the equalization basin is nearly complete, with commissioning of the new system planned for later this month.
- Crews are wrapping up the final steps of construction, including installation of the slide gate actuators and system testing.
- The basin’s use will be limited primarily to the winter season, and after each use will be cleaned. Because of this, little to no odour impacts are expected.
- 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.
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.
- Staff Report - Comox Valley Water Pollution Control Centre Odour Dispersion Modelling - October 30, 2019
- Appendices to Comox Valley Water Pollution Control Centre Odour Dispersion Modelling Staff Report - October 30, 2019
- Staff Report - Discussion Surrounding Requests and Concerns Made by the Curtis Road Residents Association Delegation - June 6, 2019
- Staff Report- Discussion Surrounding Requests and Concerns Made by the Curtis Road Residents Association Delegation - May 9. 2019
- Staff Report- Comox Valley Sewerage Service Budget for Capital Projects - Sept. 12, 2018
- Staff Report - Timing of Contract Awards for Odour Control- Jan.10, 2018
- Staff Report - Contract Award for CVWPCC Phase 1 Upgrades Engineering Services - Oct. 18, 2017
- Staff Report- Alternate Options for CVWPCC Phase 1 Upgrades - July 5, 2017
- Staff Report- Odour Control Systems Dispersion Modelling and Upgrade Options - Jan. 12, 2017
- Staff Report- Sewerage Service Updated 10 Year Capital Plan- Nov.9, 2016
- Staff Report- CVWPCC Capacity and Effluent Quality Upgrades - Nov.8, 2016
- Staff Report- CVWPPC Odour Control Systems Evaluation - Nov.4, 2015
- Staff Report - CVWPCC Odour Issues- Nov. 12, 2013