Sanca Water System

The Sanca Water System is under a
permanent Boil Water Notice


Annual Water System Information

Sanca Park Water System 2017 Annual Water System Information Brochure.

Size and number of connections

The system services 29 active connections.


The system is located in the community of Sanca, approximately half way between Creston and Crawford Bay on the east shore of Kootenay Lake. Sanca is within RDCK Electoral Area A.


The Sanca water system derives source water from Sanca Creek. As with all surface sources, Sanca Creek is susceptible to contamination by environmental influences. The watershed is also known to have persistent slope stability issues and seasonal fluctuations in turbidity. Logging continues to occur in the area, but the supply area is designated as a Community Watershed.

System Description

Insufficient information exists regarding when this system was first developed; however, a large portion of the distribution network was rebuilt in 1980. The system was converted to an RDCK service in 1979.


The Sanca Water Users drinking water is an untreated surface water source.  As such, it is open to contamination by potentially infective doses of disease causing microorganisms at any given instance.  Micro-organisms which cause gastro-enteric diseases in humans such as Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Giardia and Toxoplasmosis are known to be transmitted through drinking water that has been contaminated with the feces of domestic animals and wildlife, including birds and rodents.  Infections in individuals are known to sometimes be asymptomatic, rather than acute.  Such infections are known to sometimes result in long term health impacts on an individuals’ health.  Examples are the inability to digest fat soluble vitamins (Giardiasis);  Guillain-Barre Syndrome (a neurological disorder known to be triggered by Campylobacter Enteritis); and reactive arthritis (Salmonella).

Untreated surface water drinking water is not considered safe to ingest.  A Boil Water Notice is recommended for Users to lower the health risk.  The Boil Water Notice is intended to be a temporary risk mitigation measure, until steps have been taken to ensure the water is safe to drink. 

Boil Water Notice

A boil water notice was issued to the residences of Sanca Water Users water system. This water system is not adequately treating the water distributed to its users.  We recommend boiling the water for a minimum of 1 minute when used for:

  • Drinking
  • Cooking (if not boiled)
  • Brushing teeth
  • Washing dishes
  • Washing fruits & vegetables to be eaten raw
  • Making Ice cubes or juice from concentrate


The system does not have any storage capacity.

Distribution system

The system includes 1.5 kilometres of piping, the majority of which is PVC. The rebuilt portion of the distribution system is nearing half its useful lifespan. The age and condition of the remaining portion of the pipe network is unknown.


The system includes five standpipes but does not satisfy established requirements for fire protection.

Significant issues

The intake for the system uses an infiltration gallery which provides some coarse filtration of the water; however, no fine filtration takes place in the Sanca Park system. Accordingly, the water carries high levels of suspended sediments into the distribution network. The siltation that results may reduce the useful lifespan of certain system components. 

Sand accumulation in the distribution system continues to be a maintenance concern. In the past year larger gravels have been removed from the system indicating that the Sanca Creek infiltration gallery is likely damaged.

A significant proportion of water system infrastructure is situated on privately-owned land in Sanca. The RDCK is working to establish rights-of-way or easements with property owners to ensure that utilities staff are able to legally access all aspects of the system in order to perform maintenance, upgrades, or emergency works.

Plans for future upgrades

In February 2012 the RDCK received an amendment to our operating permit that required us to identify a treatment option to move out of the "High Risk requiring Boil Water Notification" category for the Sanca Park Water Service by March 31, 2014 and to install treatment by March 31, 2015.

Any upgrade to a water service as small as Sanca is financially challenging. We do hope to implement the most economical long-term solution but significant user fee increases can still be expected.

The RDCK hosted an Open House on August 7th, 2013 to consult with residents about the various options available. Please check out the following links for the Open House Presentation [PDF - 1.3 MB] and Follow up [PDF - 558 KB]. The Regional District also sent out a Public Consultation Questionnaire and Background Package [PDF - 1.4 MB] to residents to obtain their input with regard to various options to remove the Boil Water Notice.  The results of the survey [PDF - 1.2 MB] showed that Sanca homeowners were inconclusive on preferred treatment options. 

The Regional District will be proceeding with water quality upgrades that include the following:

  • New Sanca Creek water intakes and sediment basin
  • Media filtration (5 micron nominal)
  • Cartridge filtration (5 micron nominal and 1 micron absolute)
  • Chlorine disinfection 

UV disinfection as an alternative to chlorine disinfection will also be considered during the design but is expected to be much more costly.

The next project steps are as follows:

  1. Commission an engineering consultant in spring 2015 to provide treatment plant design and construction support services
  2. Meet with the Sanca Water Commission to present the project plan
  3. Continue discussions with the new owner of District Lot 913 to secure a Statutory Right of Way for existing water infrastructure and to secure land for a potential water treatment plant
  4. Establish a long term rate plan for Sanca
  5. Borrow money to finance the project
  6. Host an Open House with the community to present the project plan
  7. Proceed with procurement, construction and commissioning in 2016


This system is currently owned and operated by the RDCK. The RDCK receives community-specific advice and policy guidance from the Sanca Park Commission.

The content on this page was last updated April 25 2017 at 12:50 PM