The Comox Valley Regional District and Island Health have issued an immediate boil water notice for the Comox Valley water system.
The areas affected by the notice are Courtenay, Comox and the following water service areas: Comox Valley, Arden, Marsden/Camco, Greaves Crescent, and England Road. The notice does not affect residents in Cumberland, Royston or those connected to the Black Creek-Oyster Bay water supply system.
All users of the Comox Valley water system are instructed to boil their drinking water for one minute at a rolling boil.
According to the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD), BC Hydro has shut down the penstock until Jan. 5 to complete improvements to the Puntledge diversion dam fish screens. BC Hydro said the work must be finished this month. The work was originally scheduled in December but was postponed to provide greater flexibility to assist with flood mitigation.
CVRD has been utilizing its backup pump station downstream from the BC Hydro generating station in the Puntledge River where water quality can be poorer during extreme wet weather events. The severe rainfall has caused turbidity levels at the backup pump station to rise above acceptable thresholds, which has led to the boil water notice.
“New UV treatment installed last year, combined with the efforts of staff to manage through these turbulent weather periods has helped us to avoid several potential boil water notices over the past year,” Kris La Rose, manager of Water and Wastewater Services at the CVRD, said in a statement.
“However, this is a situation where conditions at our backup pump station are above acceptable thresholds.”
On Nov. 28, 2018, the federal government and the provincial government committed $62.8 million for a new drinking water the Comox Valley Regional District. The CVRD said once it’s complete, the new system will eliminate turbidity related boil water notices completely.
It will also draw water directly from Comox Lake, upstream of the BC Hydro Penstock, avoiding any potential service disruptions during maintenance of hydro infrastructure, the CVRD said. Construction of the new water treatment plant is scheduled to begin late in 2019 and be fully operational by 2021.
Residents are asked to monitor the current boil water notice at www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/boil.