The Comox Valley Regional District, the Village of Cumberland, and TimberWest
have agreed to work collaboratively on an options analysis study in response to receiving a hazard
abatement or prevention order from Island Health’s medical health officer regarding the erosion
along the banks of Perseverance Creek – which may have been a contributing factor to the boil
water advisories issued last winter.

On December 11, 2014, a boil water advisory was issued for the Comox Valley water system due to
high turbidity. The turbidity took a significant time to clear in Comox Lake which extended the
length of the advisory to 47 days.

A contributing factor to the cause and duration may have been
the erosion along a gorge feeding Perseverance Creek – a stream that runs into Comox Lake. In
places, the gorge has 30 metre high cliffs along one side of the river bank.

In the summer the stream completely dried out and then when heavy rainfall followed, the water flow undercut the cliff, causing soil, silt and clay to fall into the stream and then settle into Comox Lake creating higher than normal turbidity – impacting the drinking water of over 41,000 people.

“Cumberland is committed to working with the Comox Valley Regional District and TimberWest to
find ways to reduce the amount of sediment entering Perseverance Creek and the Comox Valley
water system to help ensure that the residents of Courtenay, Comox and the regional district have
safe, high quality drinking water,” said Leslie Baird, mayor of the Village of Cumberland.

“As the property owner around the Perseverance spillway, TimberWest looks forward to working
closely with the Village of Cumberland and the CVRD to fully understand how the specific drinking
water quality concerns with Perseverance Creek can be remedied,” said Domenico Iannidinardo,
Vice-President, Sustainability & Chief Forester TimberWest Forest Corp. “There is no higher
priority in watershed management than maintenance of water quality and we hope to see the best
option implemented as soon as possible.”

“We are pleased that all parties working collaboratively on this study, which benefits the CVRD as it
is one of several priority items for the CVRD’s water committee. The CVRD has had several
meetings with regional and provincial stakeholders and participated in several tours of the affected
area to get a better idea of the scope of this problem,” said Bob Wells, CVRD’s water committee
chair. “We are also moving forward with the engineering study for water treatment options to
comply with Island Health’s drinking water treatment policy – another critical step in determining
needs related to long-term capital works.”

The option analysis study obtained through an independent engineering firm must be completed by
September 16, 2015. To review the hazard abatement or prevention orders, visit
www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/preventionorder.

(Contributed)