Stage 3 Water Restrictions Take Effect September 3

August 22, 2019

Update September 19, 2019: Stage 3 Water Restrictions Lifted Early for the Comox Valley Water System

Via the Comox Valley Regional District

The Comox Valley Water System will move to Stage 3 water restrictions beginning September 3 through to September 27, 2019. During this time BC Hydro will be draining their Penstock for planned maintenance repairs, and the CVRD must move to its emergency back-up pump station to draw water from the Puntledge River.

“Stage 3 water restrictions are required as our back-up system isn’t able to handle peak demands for water,” said Marc Rutten, General Manager of Engineering Services Branch. “When BC Hydro drains the Penstock we depend on the community adhering to a higher stage of water restriction to ensure there’s enough water for indoor and firefighting use."

During Stage 3 water restrictions, residential lawn and garden watering with a sprinkler is not permitted at any time. Residents are also prohibited from pressure washing driveways and boulevards; filling a swimming pool, hot tub or garden pond; or washing a vehicle or boat other than in a commercial car wash or car dealership.

A person may:

  • Water trees, shrubs, flowers, and vegetables on any day between the hours of 6 am to 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

“We know this is a long period of time to adhere to Stage 3 and we ask for the community’s patience, understanding and compliance to ensure our back-up system is able to keep up with demand during this time,” said Rutten. “Once the new lake intake and treatment infrastructure is complete in the summer of 2021, these BC Hydro driven watering restrictions will be a thing of the past.”

For more details about permitted and prohibited activities under Stage 3 visit

Stage 3 restrictions apply to the Town of Comox, City of Courtenay, and the former Sandwick, Arden, England Road, Marsden/Camco, Greaves Crescent service areas, which are now part of the Comox Valley Water Distribution Service. For more information about the merger of these water local service areas, visit

The future Comox Valley Water Treatment Project will include a new lake intake that will access water directly from Comox Lake. Moving away from the Penstock intake will ensure that, once the new CVRD infrastructure is complete, 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. With funding secure, land acquisitions complete and a contractor in place, detailed planning and design is now underway for the Water Treatment Project with construction beginning in fall 2019.

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.