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

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 plant.

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.

June 2020 Update:
  • Construction of the odour upgrades is expected to begin in September/October 2020 and be complete for summer 2021.
  • In March 2020, the sewage commission approved an updated approach for these upgrades that will see the existing scrubber (which filters captured air before release to remove odour) twinned, rather than replaced. Analysis has indicated this will provide better odour performance.
  • Due to COVID-19, the CVRD has postponed the open house this spring, and will consider rescheduling as/when public health directives allow. The project is progressing on schedule at this time, however it may be impacted by COVID-19. We will provide an update to the community this fall.

New Equalization Basin

Construction on this important piece of protective infrastructure is now complete. The basin will 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.

For more information read our FAQ

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.

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.