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Rural water rates going up to replace aging pipes and pumps

Water rates need to increase by up to 25% per year in some places to replace aging pipes in communities around the Comox Valley.

That’s according to the Comox Valley Regional District, which is holding open houses this week to explain why the increase is needed every year for at least the next 15 years.

Kris LaRose with the district says there are a lot of aging pipes and pumps that need to be replaced.

“There’s a significant investment needed to replace those water mains in the coming years,” he says in a video prepared for the regional district (below) to explain the upgrade projects. “Upgrades are scheduled to begin next year, and will continue to gain momentum for the next 15 years before slowing down again.”

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Union Bay water users are looking at an annual increase of around $70 starting next year. In Royston, residents will see their water fees increase by $72 next year, than up to $90 annually in coming years. Comox Valley water users are facing a $65 increase next year, and $50 annually afterwards.

The Black Creek and Oyster Bay water system is unique, with reservoirs and groundwater wells built into the system. Area residents can expect a $48 increase next year, then escalating increases annually after that.

An open house was held Thursday for Union Bay. There’s one Monday night for Royston, and Wednesday for the Comox Valley outskirts. Black Creek and Oyster Bay will have an open house Thursday.

Water fees open houses

  • Royston WLSA: November 27, 2023 from 5-7 pm at Fallen Alders Community Hall (3595 Royston Road)
  • Comox Valley WLSA: November 28, 2023 from 5-7 pm at CVRD Civic Room (770 Harmston Avenue)
  • Black Creek-Oyster Bay WLSA: November 30, 2023 from 5-7 pm at Oyster River Fire Hall (2241 Catherwood Road, Black Creek)

 

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