Comox Lake is the drinking water source for residents of Courtenay and Comox. Photo by Scott Strasser.

Comox Valley Regional District determines cost improvements for water treatment project

The CVRD says the $110-million project is on track following a successful Value Planning Process

  • May. 16, 2018 12:50 p.m.

The Comox Valley Regional District’s $110-million water treatment project has reached its next steps, with the completion of a Value Planning Process aimed at finding cost improvements.

The Value Planning Process (VPP) found the project’s scope and implementation strategy are sound. The CVRD will implement recommended improvements to the project’s scope to help make it more cost-efficient.

Results of the VPP were presented to the CVRD’s water committee on May 15.

Read More: CVRD approves $110-million water treatment project

“Not only is this another important milestone towards project completion but [undertaking] the value planning exercise makes the water treatment project more appealing to funding agencies,” said Courtenay director and water committee chair Bob Wells.

Read More: CVRD water treatment project passes alternative approval process

The regional district has adopted two significant changes to the project’s scope as a result of the VPP.

Direct filtration technology has been selected for treatment of the raw water. The CVRD’s engineering team and the value planners agree that this will be the most cost-effective treatment process and that focusing on a single treatment technology before going to market for design-build proposals will strengthen the review process. This will reduce legal risk and result in a better procurement process for all involved.

Read More: Regional district installs UV water treatment disinfection at Comox Lake

The VPP also found that the raw water pump station will be shifted closer to Comox Lake and the length of the in-lake pipeline will be significantly reduced, which will also reduce the depth of the intake. Reducing the length of an in-lake pipeline from 1,100 metres to approximately 160 metres provides for less complexity and lower construction costs.

Testing has also confirmed that the water quality and security of supply at the shallower intake is not compromised.

Estimated savings realized by implementing these value alternatives allow the CVRD to increase the contingency on the project from 20 to 25 per cent of the original estimate. Total project costs remain the same — an estimated $110 million — but increased contingency allows for more cost certainty in the event that economic conditions change before the plant is constructed.


The Comox Valley Water Treatment Project (CVWTP) is a large-scale capital project that will rehaul the Valley’s drinking water system for over 45,000 residents in Courtenay, Comox, and surrounding areas.

The project includes the installation of an intake in Comox Lake, a raw water pump station, a new water treatment plant, a water pipeline and a connector to the existing system.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2019, depending on grant allocations from the provincial and federal governments. The CVRD hopes to complete the project in 2020-21.

“We are expecting to receive word regarding the federal and provincial infrastructure grant programs soon,” said Wells. “Having confirmed that we have developed a viable project, we can move forward with confidence.”

—Submitted by the CVRD, edited by the Comox Valley Record

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