‘Filtration exclusion’ could mean large saving for Comox Valley taxpayers

Dear editor,

The announcement that the CVRD has received “filtration exclusion” requires far more fanfare and celebration.

Dear editor,

The announcement that VIHA has allowed the CVRD “filtration exclusion” requires far more fanfare and celebration than it is currently being given.

CVRD staff from the Property Services and Water Services branches are to be commended for their diligence and effort in accomplishing this.

The deferral of a filtration plant, estimated at $32 million, is a huge boon to all users of the Comox Lake water system, and was a major goal identified in the 2011 Regional Water Supply Strategy.

If the political will can now be generated to further protect and control the watershed, and pursue the deep-water intake project, this cost could be completely eliminated. In other words, with some careful planning we can avoid spending $32 million or more on a filtration plant for our water system — forever.

Of course, this may mean boating and recreation restrictions on Comox Lake, but would you rather risk the quality of the water we drink every day and the cost to build and operate an otherwise-unnecessary filtration plant?

The announcement that the Province has rejected a request the increase in the water license for this system should not have come as a surprise to anyone. To quote from the Regional Water Supply Strategy of April 2011 (section 3.1.4 – page 26):

“However, the Province has indicated quite strongly, as further evidenced by recent water license increases in other BC jurisdictions, that any increase to the licensed amount for the CVRD would require significant demand measures be put in place, such as water meters. Most recently, the Village of Cumberland had their water license increased, however it was contingent on the installation of universal water meters. Funding for the water meters in Cumberland was partially by Provincial Grant monies and partially by the Villages Development Cost Charge fund.”

At the end of the day, universal water metering will be required for all users of the Comox Lake Water system — which includes Courtenay, Comox and some portions of the electoral areas. It is high time to get on with this project and allow the operators of the water system to properly manage it.

Furthermore, leak detection without universal metering is like throwing darts blindfolded and standing on your head. To properly manage and maintain the water system, reduce leaks and reduce consumption, meters for all users combined with appropriate pricing is an absolute necessity.

Finally, the Regional Water Supply Strategy identified that between $146.6 and $211.2 million will have to be invested in our potable water infrastructure over the next 50 years.

These cost estimates all considered water use based on universal metering. If metering is not implemented, and water use continues at current rates, these costs can be expected to increase between 20 and 30 per cent.

Unfortunately, upon completion of the Regional Water Supply Strategy (with an estimated cost of close to $1 million in consulting fees) the political will did not exist to adopt any of the recommendations — even the basic strategic framework.

Regardless, CVRD staff have continued to pursue the goals of the strategy, and their recent success with achieving filtration exclusion should serve as further confirmation that the Strategy represents the right direction to move in.

Hopefully the CVRD board can now move to adopt all of the recommendations of the strategy, and ensure appropriate planning and development of our potable water supply continues.

Andrew Gower, P.Eng., PE

Editor’s note: Andrew Gower is a partner and Courtenay branch manager with Wedler Engineering LLP.

 

Just Posted

Outdoor classroom coming to Huband Park Elementary

The project has been a collaboration of various community groups, says PAC member

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

Campbell River schools, First Nations preserve traditional tongue

Project uses new technology to promote language to kids

Public to have say about pot

Senate passes Cannabis Act

A talent in the making

Pats consider 16-year-old a leader

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

Trudeau says he can’t imagine Trump damaging U.S. by imposing auto tariffs

New tariffs on Canadian autos entering the U.S. would amount to a self-inflicted wound on the U.S. economy

Black Press Career Fair today in Nanaimo

Dozens of recruiters will be on hand at the Military Camp, located at 709 Nanaimo Lakes Road

B.C. inmate gets 2 years in prison for assault on guard

Union rep said inmate sucker punched correctional officer, continued assault after officer fell

Temperature records broken across B.C., again

The first heat wave of the season went out with a bang across the province

Canada’s first national accessibility law tabled in Ottawa

The introduction of the Accessible Canada Act marked a key step towards greater inclusion

Police chief calls for mass casualty plan in Saskatchewan after Broncos crash

Former Saskatoon police chief Clive Weighill said the office was tasked with creating such a plan 13 years ago but none exists

U.S. schools mum on ties to doc in sex abuse inquiry

A now-dead doctor accused of sexual misconduct acted as a team physician at other universities

Phillies fan injured by flying hot dog

Allegedly the team’s mascot, the Phillie Phanatic, rolled out his hot dog launcher

Most Read