Public outcry forces postponement of pump station

Area B residents raise a stink over plans

  • Jan. 8, 2015 5:00 p.m.

Scott Stanfield

Record Staff

The Comox No. 2 Pump Station has been put on hold for four months until there’s a “proper and complete public process,” Area B director Rod Nichol said following a Wednesday information session at the d’Esterre House in Comox.

“I couldn’t be happier. It was a win.”

Nichol was among about 50 attendees at the meeting which was “a little heated at times.”

The CVRD has purchased property at Beech Street in Area B where it intends to construct the facility. The budget for the project is estimated at $10,700,500.

Marc Rutten, the CVRD’s manager of engineering services, heard concerns about noise, smell, and form and character of the building. One of the biggest issues is impact on local hydrology.

“They all depend on ground water for their drinking water,” Rutten said. “There’s still additional work the regional district has to do. However, we will ensure through study work that we’re not impacting the ground water. That work is outstanding, but the design will consider ground water.”

The project includes a new inland forcemain alignment from the station to the water pollution control centre.

“We’re trying to bypass the section of piping that goes along Willemar Bluff,” Rutten said, noting the section is subject to wave erosion. “Eventually they will break that pipe…We just can’t compete with the ocean. It’s not something that’s imminent but it’s a known risk. That’s why the pump station is required…The community, they understand that very well.”

Nevertheless, Croteau Beach-Hawkins Greenway residents say they were not properly consulted before the property was purchased.

“Everything has to be out in the open and disclosed,” Nichol said. “The whole process has opened up again. We have to start at the beginning, find the proper site. The time is right to get the public together and figure out a proper plan.”

For more information, visit www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/comox2pumpstation.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com