Residents of the Croteau Beach-Hawkins Greenway neighbourhood have expressed concern about an impending sewer pump station in Area B of the Comox Valley Regional District.
A study recommends construction of the Comox No. 2 Pump Station on Beech Street, and a new inland forcemain alignment from the station to the water pollution control centre. It would bypass Willemar Bluff near Goose Spit.
The district purchased the property last year. The budget for the project is estimated at $10,700,500. The design is expected to be completed this year and construction next year.
In an online post, residents say they were “blindsided” by the proposal.
“Our intent wasn’t to blindside the community, it was to involve the community,” said Marc Rutten, the CVRD’s manager of engineering services. “Our consultants have advised us on the size of property that we would need. We haven’t designed anything yet, and that’s why we wanted to get the community involved at this point.”
An information letter and package was intended to provide background and answer questions.
“Our intent was to reach out to that community ahead of the rest of the Comox Valley, out of respect,” Rutten said. “We knew this would be difficult…Wherever it goes, a similar reaction will occur.”
Rutten notes the project is constrained by physical factors. The property can’t be too high or too low.
“There’s an optimum elevation. That’s a very important factor, and it eliminates a lot of options right off the bat.”
“On top of that, property has to be of a certain size. Those three technical factors are very important. They have to be met or it won’t work. Those factors eliminate many of the properties that you might otherwise consider.”
The pump station will only provide wastewater service to Comox and Courtenay.
According to the CVRD, technology will eliminate potential odours while the design will ensure noise from the station is contained.
The CVRD hosted a Wednesday (Jan. 7) meeting at the d’Esterre House to address questions about the project. Additional meetings will be held. For more information, visit www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/comox2pumpstation.