Originally published by the Comox Valley Record on Nov. 6, 2017 10:30 a.m.

Measures will provide a secure supply of reliable, high-quality drinking water for decades to come

The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) is planning to construct a new water treatment system to deliver Comox Valley residents the modern system they deserve. The new system will eliminate the need for turbidity-related boil water notices, remove the risk of viruses, parasites and bacteria in our drinking water, and provide a secure supply of reliable, high-quality drinking water for decades to come.

Construction of the new water treatment system begins in 2019. A strong financial plan, including accessing reserves and aggressively pursuing grant funding, is in place to ensure minimal financial impact on water system users.

“Comox Valley residents deserve a modern treatment system that reliably protects their health and building a new treatment plant will ensure a safe, sustainable source of drinking water for decades to come,” said Bob Wells, Chair of the CVRD’s Water Committee. “We are very sensitive to concerns about cost and we are aggressively pursuing government grants to cover as much of the project as possible.”

Costs and Borrowing

The project is estimated to cost $110.6 million. The CVRD plans to borrow up to $29 million to finance the remaining share of the construction costs. The loan would be paid back over a maximum of 25 years by Comox Valley Water System users at a cost of approximately $86 per household per year.

The consent of Comox Valley residents is required to move forward with borrowing the funds. The CVRD will use the Alternative Approval Process (AAP) in March 2018 to seek consent, a common tool for local governments to use for required infrastructure projects.

Timing and Interim Improvements

To take full advantage of grant opportunities, timelines for completion of the project have been adjusted to 2021. With construction of the treatment plant, deep-water intake, pump station and water pipelines still a few years away, temporary ultraviolet (UV) treatment will be installed at the existing chlorination treatment plant in spring 2018. This added treatment will address health concerns and drastically reduce the need for turbidity-related boil water notices, minimizing the most disruptive impacts on residents and businesses.

To learn more about the current challenges and plans to improve the water treatment system, three short videos have been created to summarize the project and why it is needed.

For more information about the Comox Valley Water Treatment Project visit: comoxvalleyrd.ca/watertreatment

The Comox Valley Record