Comox Valley Water Treatment Project
A new water treatment plant is under development for the Comox Valley water system. Once complete, Comox Valley residents will have the modern water treatment system they deserve and turbidity related boil water notices will be eliminated. In the interim, installation of interim UV treatment is expected to reduce boil water notices by about 80% as we await construction of the new water treatment plant.
An overview of the CV Water Treatment Project
The Comox Valley Water System provides drinking water to 45,000 residents but doesn’t comply with current provincial guidelines.
Our water system relies solely on chlorination and does not effectively protect against parasites. In addition, elevated turbidity levels can interfere with the chlorination of the water and increase the risk of bacteria and viruses, triggering the need for boil water notices.
The Comox Valley is the only community of its size in BC that does not have a secondary form of treatment. For example, communities such as Nanaimo, Kelowna, Campbell River and Abbotsford all have at least two forms of treatment for their drinking water.
A new system will bring the Comox Valley water system in line with other communities across BC, Canada and the developed world.
The new system will deliver three main benefits:
- It will eliminate the need for turbidity-related boil water notices.
- It will remove the risk of viruses, parasites and bacteria in our drinking water.
- It will provide a secure supply of reliable, high quality drinking water for decades to come.
Construction of the new water treatment plant is scheduled to begin in 2019 and will be fully operational by 2021. To provide interim relief to turbidity-related boil water notices, the CVRD will install UV reactors in the existing treatment plant, adding a second level of treatment and raising the allowable NTU. This is expected to reduce boil water notices by up to 80 per cent. The UV reactors will then be moved to the new facility when constructed.
The project is estimated to cost $110.6 million.
While the CVRD is seeking grants from the federal and provincial governments, there will still be costs for which the CVRD will be responsible.
The Comox Valley Water System currently holds reserves of $26.3 million and the CVRD plans to borrow up to $29 million over a maximum of 25 years to finance its share of the construction costs for the new system.
The cost of borrowing this money will mean an increase in bulk water rates for users of the Comox Valley Water System. It is estimated the new system will cost roughly $86 household/year.
For more information about the Comox Valley Water Treatment Project please see the following documents:
Related Staff Reports
- Comox Valley Water Treatment Project –implementation Decisions (Oct 2017) [PDF]
- Comox Valley Water Treatment Project – Update (Sep 2017) [PDF]
- Comox Lake Water Treatment Options Study (Sep 2016) Staff Report [PDF]
- Comox Valley Water System Bulk Water Rates (Oct 2016) Staff Report [PDF]
- Procurement Options Analysis (Nov 2016) Staff Report [PDF]
- Sharing our Watershed [PDF]
- Conserving our Watershed [PDF]
- Protecting our Watershed [PDF]
- Monitoring Water Quality [PDF]