After two years of siting work for a future pump station in Comox, the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) is moving forward with the property originally selected on Beech Street and purchased in December 2014.
The site selection process for the future Comox No.2 pump station has been a challenge. A significant investment of time and resources were spent evaluating options and balancing the wastewater treatment needs of the greater Comox Valley community and the environment. Currently raw sewage from the City of Courtenay and Town of Comox is pumped through a large diameter reinforced concrete pipeline buried along Comox Bay and Willemar Bluff to the CVRD’s treatment plant on Brent Road. A section of this pipeline along the bluff poses an environmental risk to the community in that the line and its cover material are being affected by coastal wave action. Over the last decade, temporary measures have been put in place to protect the forcemain, including the installation of gabion baskets (rectangular galvanized wire baskets filled with stones and used as protection against erosive forces of moving water).
“The ongoing environmental risk along Willemar Bluff must be resolved,” said Barbara Price, CVRD’s sewage commission chair. “Even with the protective measures installed in 2005, the risk of rupture of the trunk line, and the resulting impact to marine life, our environment and the businesses that secure a living from these resources is too great to ignore. It’s our responsibility to protect the integrity of the wastewater system and ensure that the environment and overall community are not adversely affected.”
The CVRD will work closely with the Croteau Beach community to address concerns related to onsite well water, noise, odour and aesthetics as part of the planning and design process. During this stage, the CVRD will facilitate dialogue that is solution-focused, addressing concerns and misconceptions about beach access, the estuary, and facility design.
“The end result will be a new state-of-the-art pump station that’s architecturally designed to fit into the neighbourhood with no noticeable odour or noise at the property line,” said Price. “The
approximate size is 1000 square feet, one or one and half stories that, with community input, can be custom-built to resemble a private residence that is fully-landscaped.”
The next step for the CVRD is to host a neighbourhood open house to allow residents an opportunity to view renderings of the new pump station. Residents will be notified about the location, date and time of this open house once it has been confirmed.
For more information on the Comox No.2 pump station including some frequently asked questions, visit www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/comox2pumpstation.