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Rural Comox Valley areas to get sewage infrastructure through provincial funding

The Comox Valley Regional District will build sewage infrastructure in Royston and Union Bay with $30 million from the province.

The announcement Friday comes as the homes and businesses in the communities currently depend on on-site septic systems. The province says many of these are over 25 years old and are at an increased risk of failure.

The wastewater services will include service to the K’ómoks First Nation treaty settlement lands south of Courtenay where further development is planned.

CVRD board chair Jesse Ketler says the new infrastructure will help protect the nearby Baynes Sound from wastewater threats.

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“Three years ago, the sewage commission agreed to receive wastewater from these communities, opening the door for a truly regional approach to wastewater treatment in the Comox Valley,” said Ketler.

“Treating wastewater from these communities at our treatment plant on Brent Road is the best solution for addressing the environmental threat to our waters, which includes the largest producing shellfishery in British Columbia.”

K’ómoks First Nation chief Ken Price adds the funding announcement is a key step forward for the K’ómoks Treaty negotiation.

“The economic development of our Treaty Settlement Lands and resulting benefits for our members hinges on removing key barriers to development, such as bringing water and sewer service to these proposed parcels,” said Price.

“As such, we are pleased with the progress we are making in this regard in partnership with the province and Comox Valley Regional District.”

Wastewater management has been a regular topic for Royston and Union Bay over the years and there has been ongoing work to find a solution since a failed referendum in 2016.

The CVRD says between May and November of this year, they will be looking at a draft addendum for consideration and feedback before the final draft is shared and sent to the province for review. The start of construction is expected for 2026.

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