The trouble that Cumberland is having with its sewage treatment system amplifies the need for a district-wide liquid waste management plan.
Right now, the Comox Valley Regional District is conducting a consultation process toward developing a plan for Courtenay-Comox only.
I think this should be expanded to include all of the Valley.
Then, we could simultaneously deal with the concerns of Union Bay/Royston, Cumberland and Courtenay/Comox.
Then, also, we could look at an idea I proposed to the consultation process, which wasn’t shared at the public meetings.
I suggested that all the sewage from the west side of the Courtenay River (from West Courtenay, Cumberland and Union Bay/Royston) be sent to a brand new, state of the art sewage treatment facility in Union Bay.
There would then be no need to upsize the over-capacity No. 1 pump station or the sewage treatment plant. Because the Jane Place pump station would no longer have to carry West Courtenay sewage, there might be no need for a No. 2 pump station at the other end of Comox.
The money that would be required to make all the proposed changes to the Courtenay/Comox could be allocated to the Union Bay plant. The economy of scale would then make it affordable for Cumberland, Union Bay and Royston residents to hook up to a proper sewage system.
It has been suggested that a solution to the problem of sewage pipes along the estuary can be addressed by sending the sewage from No. 1 pump station overland directly to the sewage treatment plant.
That would mean the sewage from East Courtenay would go to No. 1 pump station and then back to East Courtenay on the way to the plant.
Maybe the East Courtenay sewage can be sent direct to the plant rather than all the long way around.
Then maybe No.1 pump station can be decommissioned and the land on which it is located between Kus-kus-sum and the ecological reserve can also be restored to its natural state.
I believe all of this is worthy of public discussion within the consultation process.