Feds, B.C. government pitch in on $13M upgrades to Comox Valley sewer system

Feds, B.C. government pitch in on $13M upgrades to Comox Valley sewer system

The federal and provincial governments are providing millions of dollars to help provide major upgrades to the wastewater system in the Comox Valley.

On Friday, all three levels of government announced that more than $13.3 million in upgrades would be coming to the region, which is expected to affect thousands of people.

Much of the funding will be used to replace the current pump station in Courtenay, which is vulnerable to both coastal and river flooding, according to the federal government.

If flooding does occur at the pump station, it could cause environmental damage to waters in the Courtenay River Estuary, Comox Harbour and surrounding agricultural areas, according to Infrastructure Canada.

Other upgrades

Meanwhile, the funding will also be used to upgrade mechanical and electrical systems in two other pump stations in the region that are subject to flood risks – and to replace and relocate over nine kilometres of sewer force main, the pipeline that transfers waste water from pump stations to control centres.

“Rerouting the current sewer force main further inland will help ensure it will withstand damage from shoreline erosion, water, rising sea levels, rocks, logs, storms, and earthquakes,” said Infrastructure Canada.

The B.C. government is providing most of the funding for the project at just over $8.4 million. Meanwhile, the Comox Valley Regional District is contributing $3.6 million and the federal government is providing $1.3 million.

In addition to the infrastructure work, the $13.3 million project includes “beautification” elements, like landscaping and a mural painted by a local K’ómoks First Nation artist.

“People may not always think about their local sewer systems, but it’s critical that they are able to withstand the impacts of climate change,” said B.C. Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness Bowinn Ma.

“Together with the federal government and the Comox Valley Regional District, we’re upgrading the wastewater infrastructure people in the Comox Valley and K’ómoks First Nation rely on to ensure waterways remain safe and clean for years to come,” she said.

SEE ALSO: Ottawa and B.C. pitch in on $9M sewer upgrades in Oak Bay

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