Project Watershed addresses sewer issue

Dear editor,

Project Watershed and the Estuary Working Group, with representatives from 10 environmental groups in the Valley plus independent professionals and scientists, are all committed to a healthy, productive K’ómoks Estuary. We are concerned with any proposals to construct new sewage facilities and sewage lines along the K’ómoks Estuary foreshore or across the estuary.

Presently, a trunk sewer line is located within the estuary shoreline area as it crosses the Courtenay River to the Courtenay #1 Pump Station adjacent to the old Fields sawmill site. This line then follows the shore along Dike Road, through K’ómoks First Nation reserve, on past the Comox Marina, across Goose Spit, then north below Willemar Bluffs and on to the Brent Road sewage plant. The current proposal to build a new, very large and very expensive pump station on Beech Road promotes this existing shoreline route. This pumping station would handle wastewater from a new South Courtenay treatment and pumping station.

The existing sewage line from Courtenay #1 Pump Station lies in the intertidal zone in some sections and is susceptible to failure with the increasing onslaught of major storms and related storm surges we are now experiencing. The line below Willemar Bluffs is already under threat and is scheduled to be replaced. The option to construct a new wastewater line from Royston to Comox across the K’ómoks Estuary would add yet another sewer line to the estuary.

The Estuary Working Group and Project Watershed do not support sewer lines and facilities in or around the estuary and urge the Comox Valley Sewage Commission to abandon the intertidal shoreline route and any affiliated sewage facilities that support it. We encourage the Sewage Commission to work towards a long term solution to sewage transport in the Courtenay-Comox complex which would focus on an overland route.

We cannot risk another damaged sewage line such as the one that occurred below the Willemar Bluffs. We would be happy to work with the Commission should they wish to find a sustainable solution to this issue, one that will not have negative impacts on the K’ómoks Estuary.

Don Castleden,

Chair Estuary Working Group; Bill Heidrick vice-chair, Project Watershed and Will Hintz, Professor Biological Sciences University  of Victoria

Published in the Comox Valley Record see http://www.comoxvalleyrecord.com/opinion/letters/375295491.html

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