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Upgrades to wastewater infrastructure coming to Comox Valley

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From Infrastructure Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/office-infrastructure/news/2024/03/upgrades-to-wastewater-infrastructure-coming-to-comox-valley.html

Thousands of people living in Comox Valley and the surrounding area will benefit from sewer system upgrades to reduce the risks associated with rising sea levels and climate change, and help ensure the community can continue to count on clean waterways after a combined investment of over $13.3 million from the federal, provincial, and municipal governments.

Announced by Minister Sean Fraser, Minister Bowinn Ma, and Comox Valley Regional District Sewage Commission Director Doug Hillian, these improvements will keep the community safer by supporting the replacement of the current pump station in Courtenay, which is susceptible to coastal and river flooding, and poses an environmental risk to waters throughout the Courtenay River Estuary, Comox Harbour, and surrounding agricultural areas.

The work will also include mechanical and electrical upgrades to two other pump stations currently subject to flood risks, and the replacement and relocation of over 9 km of sewer force main, the pipeline that transfers wastewater from the pump station to the pollution control centre. 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.

Additional work will include beautification of the site through the completion of a mural by a K’ómoks First Nation artist, landscaping, and the construction of buried utilities and linkage to the existing system.

Quotes:

“By treating wastewater properly and reliably, we help keep communities healthy while supporting cleaner ecosystems. We will continue working with our partners across the country to prioritize the health of Canadians and to protect the nation’s waterways.”

The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure, and Communities

“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. 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.”

The Honourable Bowinn Ma, British Columbia Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness

“The federal infrastructure grant represents a crucial investment in our community’s safety and resilience. Upgrading the sewer pump station to withstand seismic activity, as well as sea level rise is imperative for protecting our infrastructure and ensuring the well-being of our residents for years to come.”

Director Doug Hillian, Comox Valley Regional District Sewage Commission Chair

Quick Facts:

  • The federal government is investing $1,346,855 through the Green Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Government of British Columbia is investing $8,455,267, and the Comox Valley Regional District is contributing $3,565,016.
  • This stream helps build greener communities by contributing to climate change preparedness, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and supporting renewable technologies.
  • To date, 101 infrastructure projects under the Green Infrastructure Stream have been announced in British Columbia, with a total federal contribution of more than $472.5 million and a total provincial contribution of over $319.7 million. 
  • Under the Investing in Canada Plan, the federal government is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
  • Infrastructure Canada helps address complex challenges that Canadians face every day—ranging from the rapid growth of our cities, to climate change, to environmental threats to our water and land. 

Associated links:

Investing in Canada: Canada’s Long-Term Infrastructure Plan: https://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/icp-publication-pic-eng.html

Green Infrastructure Stream: https://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/gi-iv-eng.html

Federal infrastructure investments in British Columbia: https://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/prog-proj-bc-eng.html

Strengthened Climate Plan: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/environment/weather/climatechange/climate-plan/climate-plan-overview.html

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