Maintenance is about to start on two sections of a sewer pipe that run along Balmoral Beach below the Willemar Bluffs. 

The pipe moves raw sewage from homes and businesses in Courtenay, Comox and K’ómoks First Nation, to the treatment plant on Brent Road. 

It’s located on an exposed section of beach that’s vulnerable to damage by waves, rocks and logs, and poses an environmental risk to local beaches and the ocean.

Comox Valley Regional District senior manager of water and wastewater services, Kris La Rose, says work is underway on a Liquid Waste Management Plan that will see this pipe removed from the foreshore by 2023.

“However, additional measures must be taken now to manage the risk of failure until a solution can be implemented,” La Rose added.

Work begins October 21 and will continue through mid-November. 

Due to the location of the pipe some of this work will be completed at night to coincide with low tides. 

People in the area can expect to hear intermittent construction noise throughout the project during nighttime hours.

In order to avoid disturbance to Goose Spit Park and the sensitive areas above the high-tide line, an equipment staging area will be set up at HMCS Quadra to accommodate the machines needed for this work. 

Staging means that all public access areas, including the beach and parking lots in Goose Spit Park, can remain open for the duration of the project. 

Signs will be placed along the beach to alert visitors about the presence of construction vehicles.

According to the district, trucks carrying clean gravel will move along the foreshore and there will be safety mechanisms in place to avoid interaction with beachgoers and sensitive environmental material above the high tide line. 

An environmental monitor will be present during construction and equipment will move along a predetermined access route below the high tide line to minimize disruption. 

Clean gravel will be transported to the two areas along the sewer forcemain at Balmoral Beach, where it will be spread out with an excavator to cover exposed areas. 

The district says any potential impacts to the park during this work will be repaired.

For more about this project click here.