Comox Valley boil water advisory enters fourth week

Upgrading intake system to include filtration would cost up to $70 million

  • Jan. 5, 2015 8:00 p.m.

Scott Stanfield

Record Staff

The boil water advisory that was issued nearly a month ago due to elevated turbidity levels remains in effect for residents connected to the Comox Valley water system.

Turbidity refers to fine suspended particles picked up by water as it passes through streams and rivers in a watershed. Turbidity levels are not dropping as rapidly as usual since a recent storm system hammered the Valley. Elevated levels may interfere with disinfection and reduce the available chlorine residual that inactivates any harmful bacteria.

The advisory was first issued Dec. 11.

Nothing can be done to accelerate the settling process as it is a naturally occurring phenomenon in Comox Lake, from where the drinking water originates. Water passes through an intake at the BC Hydro penstock. It gets chlorinated and enters reservoirs.

“Part of the problem is that we don’t have filtration,” said Dave Leitch, senior manager of water and wastewater services at the regional district. “Island Health has a guideline for turbidity, and we’re exceeding it.”

The district plans to forward recommendations to the CVRD board on options that would include a filtration system and cost, which would likely run in the $50 million to $70 million range.

Nanaimo recently constructed a water treatment plant for about $65 million.

The CVRD is working with Island Health to monitor the situation. Testing of water samples is completed daily.

Users are advised to boil water for one minute at a rolling boil.

More information on boil water advisories is available at The CVRD’s Facebook and Twitter pages are updated at least once a day with the latest information on the advisory. Visit and


Just Posted

Foul play not suspected in man’s death in Chemainus

Long attempt made to revive unidentified person on the dock

Sisters swimming to protect B.C. coastal ecosystems

Jennifer and Alyssa Madill are preparing to swim from Denman Island to Hornby Island

Comox Valley Nature hosts Rosewell Creek walk

Sunday morning walk part of CV Nature’s montly series

Youth lead Millard Creek fisheries tour

Join the Youth and Ecological Restoration (YER) youth-led fisheries tour at 3300… Continue reading

NIC’s new Aboriginal Leadership certificate starts this fall

Seats are open for the September start of NIC’s new Aboriginal Leadership… Continue reading

Social media, digital photography allow millennials to flock to birdwatching

More young people are flocking to birdwatching than ever, aided by social media, digital photography

Spokane man enlists 500,000+ box fans to blow wildfire smoke back to B.C.

Spokane man Caleb Moon says he’s had enough with smoky skies from B.C.’s forest fires blanketing his city

Forest fuel work needed to slow wildfires, B.C. premier says

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan joins John Horgan for tour

Liberals unveil poverty plan with lofty goals, but no new spending

Government’s goal is to lift 2.1 million people out of poverty by 2030

PHOTOS: Prickly porcupine rescued after hitchhiking down Coquihalla Highway

BC Conservation Officer Service members were able to grab the porcupine and move it to safety

New trial ordered for James Oler in B.C. child bride case

Appeals court dismissed Emily Blackmore’s appeal of guilty verdict

Convicted murderer still missing after escaping B.C. prison 2 weeks ago

Mission RCMP are continuing to search for escaped inmate John Norman MacKenzie

Smoky skies trap B.C. man inside for days

Air quality warning issued for Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley

Surf’s up in California, where it’s now the official sport

Grab a board, catch a wave and find yourself, ‘sittin’ on top of the world’

Most Read