The CVRD’s wastewater treatment facility is located in Area B. File photo.

Let’s talk poop: CVRD seeking public input on future of sewer services

The RD is looking for six Courtenay, Comox and Area B residents to join new oversight committee

If you’re interested in talking about poop and live in Courtenay, Comox, or Area B, the Comox Valley Regional District wants to hear from you.

The CVRD is forming two temporary oversight committees as part of its Liquid Waste Management Plan (LWMP). The committees will be formed this summer and start meeting in September, with the goal of providing recommendations to the regional district during the LWMP process.

The LWMP aims to develop a plan for the future of wastewater services and infrastructure in Courtenay and Comox.

The CVRD’s senior manager of water and wastewater services Kris Larose said the creation of the committees stems from the Comox No. 2 Pump Station project, which the regional district shelved in 2017.

Read More: CVRD shelves controversial sewer project

Read More: Costs balloon for controversial Comox Valley pump station

“At the end of the day, results indicated there was probably a more cost-effective solution out there, and we did some thinking about how best to identify that solution,” he said.

“Long story short, we decided the LWMP process was the right way to go — largely because of the significant embedded consultation piece to it.”

The two committees will report to the CVRD’s sewage advisory committee, which is one level below the RD’s sewage commission.

Read More: How will the CVRD address the Comox Valley’s sewage issues?

One of the new committees will be called the Technical Advisory Committee. It will include representatives from local governments and agencies, as well as reps from First Nation groups and senior government ministries.

The other will be called the Public Advisory Committee (PAC). It will be composed of members from local groups such as the Comox Valley Conservation Society, the BC Shellfish Growers’ Association, and Underwater Harvesters, as well as political reps from Comox, Courtenay and Area B.

Read More: Area B residents rally against pump station

The PAC will also include six citizen representatives — two from Comox, two from Courtenay, and two from Area B, as those are the regions served by the CVRD’s wastewater service.

Residents can volunteer for the PAC themselves or nominate someone else.

“We’ll be selecting those based on geographic area,” said Larose. “No two will be from the same area. We’re trying to provide as much representation from the public as possible.”

Comox coun. Barbara Price, who chairs the CVRD’s sewage commission, said she’s happy to see the committees created.

“There’s a lot of money involved [in sewage], so we want to get it right and… get the best solution for our needs now and development needs for the future,” she said.

Read More: Expensive infrastructure upgrades reflect Comox Valley growing pains

Price expects plenty of public interest in sitting on the PAC, considering the Valley’s sewage issues in the past — including the controversial Comox No. 2 Pump Station.

“It’s all buried in the ground and you flush your toilet and it’s gone, but it’s a very important part of our life,” she said. “Water, sewage, and how we deal with it is a mark of the standard of our community.”

Two public workshops on the CVRD’s sewage system will be held June 18 (lower Native Sons Hall) and June 19 (Comox Golf Club) from 5–7 p.m.

For more information on the committees and how to apply, visit comoxvalleyrd.ca/lwmp

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