Cumberland opts out of South Sewer Project

Project team assessing implications of Village's decision

  • Nov. 16, 2015 1:00 p.m.

Scott Stanfield

Record staff

Cumberland council has opted out of the multi-million dollar South Sewer Project, but the regional district nevertheless plans to forge ahead with its proposed community wastewater system for Royston and Union Bay. The aim is to address the impact of failing septic systems.

The project team is assessing the implications of Cumberland’s decision.

“Cost is a key focus and we’ve heard clearly from Area A residents that this will be critical to their continued support,” said Kris La Rose, manager of liquid waste planning. “(But) We remain committed to the project and moving forward with our First Nations partners to find a solution for the residents. We will continue to build on the extensive work and engagement already undertaken to move this project forward in a timely manner that can meet grant timelines.”

At its Nov. 9 meeting, council directed staff to restart the Liquid Waste Management Planning (LWMP) process and to re-examine sewage treatment options. The Village’s sewage treatment has issues with elevated levels of phosphorous and excessive wet weather flows, and is out of compliance with regulatory standards.

Council has said it does not support the treated effluent disposal location at Georgia Strait off Cape Lazo, which would yield a project cost of about $56 million. Cumberland would prefer discharging to Baynes Sound at an estimated cost of $49.5 million.

Federal grants will cover $17 million of the cost. Funds need to be spent by September, 2018. La Rose said staff will develop a revised project scope that reflects the reduced inflow resulting from Cumberland’s decision.

“This revised scope will consider changes to cost estimates while keeping as close as possible to the plans created to date — which are the basis of the UBCM Strategic Priorities grant and the selection of a preferred outfall location by the south region LWMP.”

For more info, email southsewer@comoxvalleyrd.ca, call 250-871-6100 or drop by the project office at 3843 Livingstone Rd. on Thursdays from 1-4 p.m. Visit comoxvalleyrd.ca/southregionlwmp for updates, including details about an upcoming open house.