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South Sewer Project

This page was last reviewed on March 9, 2016.

November 2015 Update

At its meeting on November 9, 2015, Cumberland Council decided not to participate in the South Sewer Project. Council gave further direction to restart the Liquid Waste Management Planning process for Cumberland and to re-examine sewage treatment options.

Cumberland’s sewage treatment has issues in relation to elevated levels of phosphorous and excessive wet weather flows, and is out of compliance with regulatory standards.

View background information about the South Sewer Project and the November 9, 2015 Council meeting agenda.


The South Sewer Project would see the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant serving the communities of Cumberland, Royston and Union Bay and a new sewer collection system for Royston and Union Bay under its first phase.

The November 9, 2015 Council meeting agenda will be available on Friday, November 6, 2015

View Quick Facts About the South Sewer Project

Find out estimated costs for commercial, industrial and institutional uses.

South Sewer Project Survey

The survey is now closed. Please attend the November 2, 2015 Village Hall meeting to give you comments to Council.

You can also give your input at the

Village Hall Meeting
November 2, 2015 at 7 pm
Council Chambers at 2675 Dunsmuir Avenue
next to the Fire Hall at First Street

View the Village Hall meeting agenda and the staff report of October 21, 2015.

October 14, 2015 Update

Through the summer of 2015, the Village worked with PPP Canada to identify additional funding for this project. The PPP Canada fund could provide 25% funding towards the project reducing the estimated total estimated cost for a residential unit from $1,530 to $993 per year, which would be an additional $638 in utility fees for a residential unit ($355 is existing sewer system operating and maintenance costs).

In October and early November 2015, Cumberland Council is soliciting feedback from the community and property owners on whether the Village should participate in the South Sewer project in light of the new PPP Canada grant possibility.

View the October 7, 2015 staff report to Council.

May 21, 2015 Update

Council held committee of the whole meeting on May 28, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the next steps for Cumberland in the South Sewer project.

View the staff report for the meeting: Cumberland staff report to Council, May 20, 2015

View background information and other reports:

  1. Cumberland Liquid Waste Management Plan, Public Advisory Committee (PAC) and Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) Terms of Reference
  2. Public Advisory Committee, LWMP preferred option recommendation letter, July 22, 2011
  3. South Sewer Select Committee, Terms of Reference
  4. Comox Valley Regional District, LWMP preferred option letter, April 22, 2015
  5. South Sewer Project, Cost allocation report, May 5, 2015
  6. Proposed South Sewer Project governance bylaws
  7. Village of Cumberland, 2011 LWMP short-list of options – financial analysis, July 20, 2011
  8. Village of Cumberland, South Sewer Project, Grant allocation letter, March 25, 2014

March 23, 2015 Update

View the latest detailed staff report to Council.

The CVRD Committee has tentatively chosen an amended version of discharge “Scenario C: Discharge to Strait of Georgia off Cape Lazo with advanced secondary treatment” as its preferred sewage treatment and disposal solution.

This is not the option that was identified when the Village of Cumberland agreed to participate in the grant application for Gas Tax funding. The option identified at that point in time was “Scenario A: Discharge to Baynes Sound”. Scenario C increases the capital cost estimates of Cumberland’s participation by approximately $5 million, from $10.5 million to $15.5 million.

Please note that these costs are estimates based on preliminary design and other factors that may change.

The estimated annual cost per property based on Scenario C (with advance secondary treatment) is $1800 per year. This amount includes

  • capital costs (funded through debt with annual repayment of principal and interest from each property owner),
  • existing operating and maintenance for the Cumberland system,
  • operating and maintenance for the south sewer system, and
  • additional inflow & infiltration treatment for Cumberland.

It is expected that the CVRD will determine its preferred solution in mid-April 2015. It is expected that Council will determine its next steps in regards to participation in the project shortly thereafter.

Give your feedback to Council in writing by email or to the Village Office.

January 2015 Update

The Comox Valley Regional District has released the estimated costs for the four sewer treatment options for the South Sewer Project.

The four options for discharge of treated waste and total project estimated costs are:

Project Costs Scenario A –Baynes Sound Scenario B –Sandy Island Scenario C –Cape Lazo Scenario D –Ground
Total phase one project costs $49.5 M $58.5 M $56 M $57.5 M
GSPF grant (all partners) $15M $15M $15M $15M
CWF grant (CVRD only) $2M $2M $2M $2M
Total Cumberland project costs with grant $10.5 M $16 M $14.5 M $15.5 M
Total Electoral Area ‘A’ project costs with grant $22M $25.5 M $24.5 M $25 M

Preliminary costs for the Village of Cumberland:

Cumberland Resident Costs – 1334 properties Scenario A –Baynes Sound Scenario B –Sandy Island Scenario C –Cape Lazo Scenario D –Ground
Capital cost per property $8,000 $12,000 $10,900 $11,500
Annual debt repayment per property** $700 $1,040 $950 $1,000
Annual existing operating and maintenance costs per property $350 $350 $350 $350
Annual South Sewer operating and maintenance costs per property $350 $390 $390 $350

View the January 12, 2015 staff report to Cumberland Council and the CVRD news release for more detailed information.

The Comox Valley Regional District is expected to determine its preferred discharge option through an evaluation and community feedback by March 2015. After that decision is made, Cumberland Council will determine whether or not Cumberland will participate in the project.

Cumberland’s Participation

On April 23, 2012 Cumberland Council adopted a motion that any participation in the south regional sewage treatment system is conditional upon the finalized and approved LWMP Stage 2 Supplemental Report supporting the selection of the south regional sewage treatment system as Cumberland’s preferred long range strategy for sewage treatment and disposal, and is further conditional upon addressing financing and governance issues to the satisfaction of Cumberland.

In April 2013, Council appointed Mayor Baird and Councillor Kishi to sit on the South Sewer Select Committee. This Committee will provide advice to the Village of Cumberland, the CVRD Electoral Services Committee, and the K’omoks First Nation on matters relating to the governance, financial, technical, environmental and societal conditions relating to the south sewer project. Meeting schedules and minutes are available at the CVRD website.

Frequently Asked Questions – 2013

Q. Why is the south sewer project necessary?

A. Cumberland’s treated lagoon effluent does not meet provincial standards, and this, combined with failing septic systems in Royston and Union Bay, is having a lasting negative impact on the receiving waters of Baynes Sound. So funding is required for a new, sustainable, state of the art waste water treatment plant and collection system to treat, reclaim and reuse waste water for these areas.

Q. Why was K’ómoks First Nation a partner with the Village of Cumberland and CVRD in the federal funding application?

A. The K’ómoks First Nation (KFN) has extensive aquaculture interests in Baynes Sound and is a land owner in the south sewer service area. The partnership with KFN, and with the Comox Valley Regional District, aims to solve the negative environmental impacts in Baynes Sound and help enable KFN’s long-term land use planning and economic development goals.

Q. How much funding did the Village of Cumberland and Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) receive as a grant for the south sewer project?

A. The Village of Cumberland and CVRD received a $15 million grant from the federal Gas Tax Fund. The CVRD has committed an additional $2 million from its annual Gas Tax fund allocation.

Q. Will residents be taxed to pay for the project?

A. The money borrowed through the Municipal Finance Authority will need to be repaid. As more information becomes available in regards to the proposed project the Village of Cumberland will pass on that information to local residents.

Q. How much will residents have to pay for this sewer system?

A. The Village will provide more information to local residents once the overall project scope is determined. Even with grant funding, property owners would have responsibility for some cost of the sewer system.

For more information on this project, see the CVRD South Sewer Project webpage.

View Cumberland’s Sanitary Sewer Master Plan, Stage 2 of Cumberland’s Liquid Waste Management Plan.

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