Comox Lake is the source of drinking water for people in Courtenay and Comox. File photo.

Comox Lake is the source of drinking water for people in Courtenay and Comox. File photo.

CVRD to host open houses on water treatment project

The Comox Valley Regional District will host two open houses in a few weeks so the public can learn more about its new $110-million water treatment project.

Approved by the CVRD’s water committee in October 2017, the water treatment project aims to overhaul the Comox Valley’s drinking water system for residents in Courtenay, Comox, and surrounding areas. The initiative will include a new deep-water intake at Comox Lake, a raw water pumping station, and a new transmission line, as well as direct filtration and an ultraviolet disinfection plant.

Read More: Comox Valley water treatment project receives green light

The CVRD has said the revamped system is necessary to comply with the provincial government’s new standards for water treatment in B.C. The quality of drinking water in the Comox Valley has been an issue for years, with boil-water-advisories occasionally issued by the regional district when turbidity in Comox Lake is particularly high.

The open houses are open to the public and take place Monday, Jan. 29 and Thursday, Feb. 1 from 5–7 p.m. The first open house will be held at the CVRD’s boardroom on Comox Road, while the second will be at the Comox Golf Club.

According to a CVRD news release, the events will “provide an overview of the project to date, the reasons why a new [water] system is needed, and a summary of the required next steps to secure grant funding and proceed with construction.”

The CVRD is aiming to pay for at least 74 per cent of the water treatment project through provincial and federal grants, as well as from its own reserves. The remaining funds — an estimated $29 million — will have to be borrowed. Last fall, the CVRD approved using the alternative approval process to obtain residents’ consent to borrow the funds.

Courtenay director Bob Wells, who chairs the CVRD’s water committee, says the regional district has a strong plan for moving forward to deliver a more modern drinking water system for roughly 45,000 residents.

“We know community interest in the new water treatment system is very high,” said Wells. “…we look forward to keeping everyone informed as the project moves forward.”