The Sewer System Conveyance Project is estimated to cost $82 million. File photo

The Sewer System Conveyance Project is estimated to cost $82 million. File photo

Comox Valley Sewage Commission considers costly projects

The Comox Valley Sewage Commission endorsed a design-build component of a complex and costly conveyance project to replace the Courtenay Pump Station, and to upgrade Jane Place and K’ómoks First Nation pump stations. A new sanitary sewer forcemain will also be installed.

The project is estimated to cost $82 million.

The CVRD says the project is essential for the future of the sewer system, to protect the environment, and to support institutions and businesses that rely on the service.

At the Feb. 22 meeting, Courtenay director Doug Hillian asked about the rationale for only testing the acoustic leak detection once a year. Kris La Rose, senior manager of water/wastewater services, said there is some “operational complexity” to undertaking the test, considering the shift to gravity flow through the area. The test is also an expensive undertaking.

Commission members directed staff to complete negotiations with the Town of Comox about embedding the final alignment for the project through the town.

•The commission was also updated about plans to extend sewer services to the south of Courtenay.

The district has submitted a federal grant application to help fund the Sewer Extension South Project, which aims to connect Royston and Union Bay to the Comox Valley Sewer Service. Aging or unmaintained septic systems in both communities are creating environmental and health risks in Baynes Sound.

Project costs, including wastewater collection infrastructure to service Royston, Union Bay and Kilmarnock, are estimated at more than $65 million. Costs are “high and above allowable funding limits,” a staff report says. The district hopes to secure about $27 million through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.

“Community interest for this project remains high,” said Marc Rutten, general manager of engineering services. “However, project costs are an important concern for residents. If a grant can be obtained and a successful project implemented, wastewater from the south will be pumped up and treated at the Comox Valley Water Pollution Control Centre.”

The CVRD will continue to update the community over the coming months.

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