Comox Valley water filtration postponed

The Vancouver Island Health Authority has approved the regional district's application for filtration deferral for Comox Valley water.

The Vancouver Island Health Authority has approved the regional district’s application for filtration deferral for the Comox Valley water system — which buys some time to meet VIHA’s 4321 drinking water criteria.

“I feel like we’re moving in the right direction,” senior manager of engineering services Marc Rutten said at last week’s water committee meeting.

The application was based on water-quality testing results and ongoing watershed protection planning for Comox Lake, which supplies Courtenay, Comox and local water service areas in the district.

The deferral provision in the VIHA policy enables the system to operate without a filtration plant, provided certain requirements can be met, such as source water criteria for turbidity and E. coli.

Constructing a filtration plant would cost about $32 million. A deep-water intake, along with an ultraviolet (UV) light-disinfection plant, would run about $25 million.

While filtration deferral is “good news,” Courtenay director Jon Ambler questions if the $25 million would be wasted if the district ends up going to filtration.

Along with producing top-quality water, Rutten said the intake would also mitigate risks such as fuel spills from boats.

“That infrastructure will never be wasted,” he said.

VIHA’s drinking water treatment policy is aimed at ensuring consistent minimum standards for surface water supply systems on the Island. One of the main criteria is a maximum of 1-nephalometric turbidity unit (NTU) in finished water.

Results from two years of testing indicate the CVRD has achieved less than one NTU, Rutten said.

“But that risk is always there,” he added.

The next steps are to issue a Request for Proposal to complete a feasibility/siting study for the addition of UV light disinfection and a deep-water intake, and to develop the project scope.

An additional RFP will be issued for the next phase of watershed protection planning.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Just Posted

Comox Valley golfers prepare for another 55+ Games

Competition, camaraderie name of the game

Comox Valley firefighters assist with wildfire effort

Four Courtenay firefighters are in Fort St. James helping with the fight… Continue reading

Woman rescued from Stotan Falls calling for safety measures

3L Developments did not comment on immediate plans to add safety precautions

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

More than 22,000 blood donors needed

Canadian Blood Services is urging Canadians to help meet patients’ needs this… Continue reading

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

UPDATED: Vancouver Island community under evacuation alert due to wildfire

BC Wildfire Service says steep terrain near Zeballos poses challenge as “out of control” wildfire approaches homes

Most Read