Stage 3 Water Restrictions in effect May 28 to June 1 during repairs of BC Hydro Penstock

May 24, 2018

Via the Comox Valley Regional District:

The Comox Valley Water System will move to Stage 3 Water Restrictions for a five day period beginning Monday, May 28. During this time BC Hydro will be draining their Penstock for unplanned repairs and the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) will need to move to its emergency back-up pump station to draw water from the Puntledge River. This equipment does not have the capacity to meet peak demand for water in our community without Stage 3 restrictions.

“BC Hydro’s Penstock supplies water to Comox Valley Residents for domestic use,” explained Water Manager, Mike Herschmiller. “Whenever the Penstock is drained we rely on our emergency standby system, which requires that we implement water restrictions to ensure there is enough water available for domestic needs as well as fire protection.”

The future Comox Valley Water Treatment Project includes planned construction of a lake intake that will access water for domestic use directly from Comox Lake. Moving away from the Penstock intake will ensure that the service and maintenance of BC Hydro infrastructure on the Puntledge River will not affect the CVRD’s ability to draw water for domestic use. 

“We acknowledge that many residents are starting their gardens and this is an inconvenience,” said Herschmiller. “We ask for your patience and understanding around this unplanned event and the need to comply with short term Stage 3 water restrictions.”

BC Hydro will release flows down the Puntledge River this weekend for the Puntledge Paddle Festival which is timed to the high snowmelt period. The need to move to Stage 3 restrictions is not linked to this event.

Stage 3 restrictions apply to the Town of Comox, City of Courtenay, and the Sandwick, Arden, Comox Valley, England Road, Marsden/Camco and Greaves Crescent Water Local Service Areas.

Under these restrictions residents are prohibited to water their lawns or pressure wash driveways and boulevards; fill a swimming pool, hot tub or garden pond; or wash a vehicle or boat.

During Stage 3, a resident may:

1) Water trees, shrubs, flowers, and vegetables on any day between the hours of 6 am and 8 am and 8 pm to 10 pm if watering is done by hand-held container or a hand-held hose equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle.

2) Water newly planted trees, shrubs, flowers and vegetables by hand-held container or a hand-held hose equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle during installation and at any time during the following 24 hours after installation is completed.

3) Use micro-irrigation or drip-irrigation systems to water trees, shrubs, flowers, and vegetables on any day between the hours of 6 am to 8 am and 8 pm to 10 pm.

4) Water all-weather playing fields at any time, but only if failure to do so will result in a permanent loss of plant material.

5) Use water to wash sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, exterior windows, or exterior building surfaces, but ONLY IF NECESSARY for applying a product such as paint, preservative, and stucco, preparing a surface prior to paving or repointing bricks, or if required by law to comply with health or safety regulations.

For more details about Stage 3 water restrictions visit:

The Comox Valley Regional District is a federation of three electoral areas and three municipalities providing sustainable services for residents and visitors to the area. The members of the regional district work collaboratively on services for the benefit of the diverse urban and rural areas of the Comox Valley.