Comox Lake is the drinking water source for much of the Comox Valley. File photo

Comox Lake is the drinking water source for much of the Comox Valley. File photo

Comox Valley Water Treatment Project celebrates a year of achievements

The Comox Valley Water Treatment Project is marking the end of 2020 with a celebration of successes ranging from the completion of key construction milestones to less visible – but critically important – achievements in safety, employment and environmental protection.

In October 2020, one year after construction began, crews achieved the first milestone with completion of the raw water transmission main (which will move water from the lakeside pump station through approximately 2.7 kilometres of pipe to the treatment plant). In the final two months of 2020, other milestones include:

•Completed tunnelling into Comox Lake;

•Completed construction of Cell 1 of the treated water reservoir at the water treatment plant;

•Completed installation of structural concrete and steel in the water treatment plant.

In total, crews have poured over 8,000 m3 of concrete, installed over 1,300,000 kg of rebar and excavated over 60,000 m3 of material – which is enough to fill 24 Olympic size swimming pools.

“The important work completed to date is a testament to the dedication and hard work of all team members,” said Ken Grant, chair of the Comox Valley Regional District Water Committee. “We’re thankful to the project team, our contractor and its amazing crews for keeping this important project on track through a year full of challenges.”

While completion of these critical components marks significant accomplishments for the year, the project team is also celebrating a number of other achievements that are not as visible:

•Successful COVID-19 Protocols: The site contractor, AECON, locked down the worksite and put in place all safety measures recommended by BC Public Health and Worksafe BC. To date, there have been no recorded cases on site.

•Excellent Worker Safety: Over 300,000 hours worked with no lost time due to injuries.

•Employment Benefits Goals Achieved: A Community Employment Benefits plan is in place to create opportunities for the community and diverse workers. The plan includes targets of 10,000 hours for Indigenous peoples, 15,000 hours for apprentices and 10,000 hours for under-represented populations. These numbers were achieved in October and continue to rise, with the project anticipated to almost double the total hours set by the targets. The Community Employment Benefit hours achieved to date represent approximately 15 per cent of the 300,000 total work hours on the project.

•Volunteer Contributions: The AECON team has contributed volunteer hours to Project Watershed, Broom Busters and United Riders of Cumberland.

“Despite added challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project remains on schedule with expected construction completion in spring 2021, and commissioning of the new system next summer,” said Russell Dyson, Chief Administrative Officer.

Work through 2021 will focus on finishing construction at the water treatment plant on Lake Trail Road, and completing the raw water pump station at Comox Lake.

FMI: comoxvalleyrd.ca/watertreatment.

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