The Comox Valley Regional District was not able to meet filtration requirements for surface water as set out by Island Health — a difficult task without a water treatment filtration plant, the district notes.
As such, the CVRD board has awarded a contract exceeding $383,000 to Opus DaytonKnight Consultants of North Vancouver for a water treatment options study at Comox Lake. A five-year water service financial plan includes an allowance of $500,000 for the study.
“The consultant will determine what the treatment requirements will be for the water system,” said Marc Rutten, senior manager of engineering services.
The answer could be a filtration plant — which would cost tens of millions of dollars — or possibly a combination of things.
A deep water intake is another possibility. Though it can’t meet filtration requirements by itself, an intake would mitigate risks such as fuel spills from boats.
“There’s many other hazards that can be mitigated,” Rutten said. “Any kind of incident at the surface of the lake can be mitigated by drawing the water from depth.”
Area C director Edwin Grieve was the lone board member to oppose the award. Six tenders were received, five of which were evaluated against various criteria.
A $63,000 proposal from Stantec was not evaluated because the time allocated to the study was deemed inadequate to complete the work outlined in a Request for Proposal.
In 2013, Island Health had granted a filtration deferral permit to allow the CVRD to defer the installation of a water treatment plant on an interim basis. But earlier this year it rescinded deferral due to increased source water turbidity in the Puntledge River and Comox Lake.