Water Treatment Upgrade Plans Take Important Step Forward
The CV Water System currently draws water from the Puntledge River, which is fed by Comox Lake (image courtesy CVRD).
The Comox Valley Water Committee has made big decisions that set a clear course for construction on a new water treatment system beginning in 2019, with interim measures that will address boil water notices within the next six months. A positive financial plan, including accessing reserves and aggressively pursuing grant funding, is also being pursued.
To take full advantage of the grant opportunities available, timelines for completion of the project have been adjusted to 2021. With the conclusion of a study and assessment phase, the CVRD has an updated cost estimate for the required upgrades. The RD is applying for grant funds to cover as much of the $110.6 million cost as possible.
At their Tuesday meeting, the Committee agreed that an Alternative Approval Process (AAP) will be held in March 2018. It would be used to seek public approval for borrowing up to $29 million to make up roughly one-quarter of the project cost. That loan would be paid back over a maximum of 25 years by Comox Valley Water System users at a cost of approximately $86 per household per year.
“Comox Valley residents deserve a modern treatment system that reliably protects their health and building a new treatment plant will ensure a safe, sustainable source of drinking water for decades to come,” says Chair of the CVRD’s Water Committee, Bob Wells.
“We are very sensitive to concerns about cost and we are aggressively pursuing government grants to cover as much of the project as possible.”
With construction still a few years away, the Committee also approved interim spending of $1 million to install temporary ultraviolet (UV) treatment at the existing chlorination treatment plant this spring.
This added treatment will help address health concerns and greatly reduce the need for turbidity-related boil water notices, dealing with the most immediate impacts on residents and businesses. For more details, visit www.comoxvalleyrd.ca.