Cumberland is in the midst of a large project to upgrade its wastewater treatment lagoon. Image, Clear Facts — Wastewater Treatment & Environment video

Cumberland is in the midst of a large project to upgrade its wastewater treatment lagoon. Image, Clear Facts — Wastewater Treatment & Environment video

Cumberland plays catch-up with wastewater project

Coordinator expects work to be done on time despite COVID-19 delays

The Village of Cumberland still expects to finish its multi-phase wastewater treatment upgrade on time, despite some delays.

At the most recent council meeting, liquid waste management planning project coordinator Paul Nash updated council members on recent schedule setbacks because of COVID-19.

“We are getting some movement,” he said at the outset of his presentation. “The project’s now fully funded and we’re ready to move forward.

The project is broken into the initial phase in which the Village will upgrade the actual lagoon, followed by a biochar remediation or “reed bed” component.

“It’s not a regulatory requirement,” Nash said. “It’s a case of going above and beyond.”

Finally, there will be a phase to complete watershed restoration.

“We want to get moving on the whole project,” he said, adding, “This has been a strange year for getting going on projects.”

RELATED STORY: Cumberland wastewater procurement process should come in 2020

RELATED STORY: Cumberland fined for wastewater non-compliance issues

The initial plan was to provide some time between the first phase and the subsequent ones, though Nash indicated this is not likely now due to delays in starting the first phase. Getting the lagoon work done as soon as possible is still the biggest driver for the project, as his report notes the Village needs to achieve provincial regulatory compliance to avoid further warnings or fines. Financially though, the biggest factor is the deadline for the Green Municipal Fund in September 2022. The report indicates the Village should be able to complete the works within the next two years.

One of the changes for the project, and one which council questioned, was a switch from a design-build procurement model to a construction management approach. Nash explained this would include hiring a design engineer, construction manager and project manager. It is expected the Village will procure each phase as separate contracts but likely have the project manager and design engineer work throughout for coordination and integration purposes. He also said the construction management model is better for retrofit projects such as the lagoon upgrade.

For the $9.7-million project, most of the funds are coming from federal and provincial sources. Of the $2.2 million municipal portion, the money will be borrowed rather than coming from reserve funds. The final timeline for federal and provincial funding is March 2024, and Nash told council the Village should meet this.

“I’m still pretty confident we can get it all done,” he said.

In light of the delays related to the pandemic, Coun. Vickey Brown asked about contingencies for the project.

Nash responded they have factored in 20 per cent contingencies for all costs from the start of the process. The real challenge at this point is time.

“We’ve hardly spent any money to date,” he said. “The real issue is we just need to get going.”

While there has been no public engagement for the project this year, the Village expects to hold sessions once the project team is hired, likely in the first half of 2021. There are also plans to seek input for the wetlands restoration work following some environmental studies and other planning.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Cumberlandinfrastructure

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

Cumberland is hoping for its lab at the Cumberland Health Centre to re-open. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland hopeful for lab re-opening

“People in Cumberland are getting a little bit left behind with the loss of that lab.”

Ramona Johnson at the I-Hos Gallery. Photo by Ali Roddam/Black Press
Community rallying to support I-Hos Gallery manager

Ramona Johnson has recently been diagnosed with cancer for the second time

Brian Chow, a medical first responder for the Comox Valley division of St. John Ambulance for over six years, is one of the volunteers giving time at the COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Comox. Photo supplied
Medical first responders volunteer at Comox vaccine clinic

St. John Ambulance Medical First Responder (MFR) volunteers are providing support and… Continue reading

A West Vancouver developer has applied to the City of Courtenay to construct a 39-unit strata development at 2650 Copperfield Rd. Scott Stanfield photo
Courtenay council gives second reading to contentious development proposal

At the May 3 meeting, Courtenay council approved second reading for a… Continue reading

Jay Valeri and Lyndsey Bell own Bigfoot Donuts in downtown Courtenay. File photo
Courtenay donut shop wins Small Business BC Award

Bigfoot Donuts has won the Premier’s People’s Choice category of the Small… Continue reading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

Jay Valeri and Lyndsey Bell own Bigfoot Donuts in downtown Courtenay. File photo
Courtenay donut shop wins Small Business BC Award

Bigfoot Donuts has won the Premier’s People’s Choice category of the Small… Continue reading

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Most Read