Burton Water System

The Burton Water System is under a
long term Water Quality Advisory


Annual Drinking Water Information

Size and number of connections

The system services 56 active connections.


The system is located in the community of Burton, west of Nakusp on Highway 6, within RDCK Electoral Area K. Burton is on the east side of Lower Arrow Lake. The system does not serve the Cariboo Creek Estates area of Burton.


The Burton water system derives source water from two wells located off McCormick Road west of Hwy 6. Both of these wells are 35 metres deep and were drilled in 1998.

System Description

The system was constructed in 1966 as part of a compensation program associated with the construction of the Keenlyside Dam. It includes a SCADA system, which allows for remote system operation and monitoring.


No treatment of the source water is provided. Potential chlorinatioin disinfection was discussed at a community meeting in 2017 and the community was not in favour of chlorine disinfection. As part of system maintenance, the water system implements scheduled short term chlorination in the spring and fall to help clean the distribution system. 


The system includes a 102,000 litre insulated bolted steel storage tank.

Distribution system

The system includes 5,024 metres of PVC, steel, and asbestos-concrete mainlines, as well as 1,290 metres of copper service connection lines. A 2005 report estimated that the asbestos-cement pipe network will remain viable until at least 2033.


Due to the limited capacity of the system's storage tank, no capacity for rural fire-fighting services is provided.

Significant issues

The Burton Water System has had occasional re-occurring bacteriological water quality concerns since the Regional District acquired the system in 2011. The source of the bacteria is still unconfirmed.

Some potential sources of contamination include the water storage reservoir, cross-connection within the distribution system or groundwater.

Water storage reservoirs have air ventilation. The Regional District has had past concerns about potential contamination through the vent screens and has had past concerns about fresh water turn over in the reservoir. We have made improvement to water turn over and the reservoir vents are now double screened.

Potential backflow from cross-connections between the water system and contaminated sources can be a concern on private properties; however, all water services in Burton have a backflow preventer that was installed at property line in 2011.

The wells that were installed in 1998 would not meet the 150 m surface water setback requirement identified in the Guidance Document for Determining Ground Water at Risk of Containing Pathogens (GARP), Ministry of Health, 2015. The wells would meet the 30 m septic system setback requirement identified in section 8 of the Provincial Health Hazard Regulation, but it is possible that the wells do not meet the GARP guideline identified 300 m setback from “a source of probable enteric viral contamination without a barrier to viral transport”. If GARP guidelines requirements are not met and there is a history of pathogen contamination, the well water should be treated.

The Regional District was advised by Interior Health to provide a GARP assessment report for the two wells. The report was delivered to the Environmental Health Officer in January of 2020. The GARP assessment report can be found HERE

Burton Water System is currently under a long term Water Quality Advisory. In August 2017, the Regional District implemented a Water Quality Action Plan for the system. 

Plans for future upgrades

The Burton Water system benefited from a number of upgrades prior to being converted to an RDCK service. Distribution system upgrades are planned for 2022 and 2023. 

Asset Management Planning

An Asset Management Plan (AMP) is complete and being updated annually.  The 2018 AMP summary report can be viewed HERE

The RDCK has received grant funding under the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), Municipal Asset Management Program (MAMP) in 2018 to develop a Risk & Criticality Assessment model for the water system's distribution network.  This Risk & Criticality Assessment model is now a component of the AMP and is included when RDCK management considers asset replacement dates or the prioritization of upgrade work on the highest risk/highest need.


In January 2011, ownership and operation of the Burton water system transferred to the RDCK. This system was historically owned and operated by the Burton Water Corporation, a subsidiary company of BC Hydro.

The content on this page was last updated April 26 2022 at 1:21 PM