South Slocan Water System

System Description and Governance

In order to address significant and persistent issues with historic water quality and quantity, the system recently underwent significant upgrades.

For more information on the South Slocan system, view the presentation provided at a Community Open House.

This system is currently owned and operated by the Regional District.

The Regional District historically received community specific advice and guidance from the South Slocan Commission of Management. Governance changes are being implemented starting in 2022, including establishment of an overall Water Services Committee to represent all water systems and removal of water from the South Slocan Commission of Management's responsibility. The Regional District hopes to establish a Water Service Community Advisory Committee in South Slocan to provide continued community representation.

Annual Drinking Water Information

Size and Number of Connections

The system services 50 active connections.


The system is located in the community of South Slocan Village approximately 30 km southwest of Nelson and is within RDCK Electoral Area H.  The Dam Restaurant is across Highway 3A and is supplied water from this water system.


The South Slocan system currently draws water from Watt's Brook and Smokey Creek.


The treatment plant was commissioned in July, 2010. Treatment includes sand filters and nominal  cartridge filters for turbidity reduction, absolute cartridge filters for physical removal of some microbiological components, ultraviolet light disinfection/inactivation, and chlorine disinfection.


The system includes a 273,000 litre steel reservoir that holds raw water, and a 300,300 litre steel reservoir that holds treated water. 

Distribution System

The system includes cast iron, HDPE, poly and PVC piping. The cast iron pipe was installed in 1954 and has had relatively little failures. Some sections of the distribution system were replaced in 1992 and 2003. New piping was also installed as part of the 2010 upgrades. Small diameter PVC pipe with glued joints has been subject to a number of breaks in the past few years.


Existing fire-fighting infrastructure includes five hydrants and two standpipes. The flow and storage capacity of the system is inadequate to provide reliable fire suppression. However, the Fire Underwriters Survey reviewed the system in 2014 and is now recognized as having a dwelling protection grade based on available fire flows from one hydrant located near the old school house. Please contact your insurance provider for additional information.

Significant Issues

A dam safety review was completed for the Smokey Creek Dam resulting in the rick classification being lowered from high to moderate due to the location of the highway below the dam. A moderate classification requires regular safety inspections.

Water supply is switched seasonally between Watt's Brook and Smokey Creek. Watt’s Brook is typically less turbid than Smokey Creek resulting in lower treatment costs but provides limited supply particularly during dry weather. Supply is switched to Smokey Creek during higher summer demand. 

Disposable cartridge filter consumption has been high in recent years, resulting in significantly increased treatment costs. The increase in filter consumption is believed to be the result of a slight turbidity increase after reconstruction of the Wattʼs Brooks intakes and an increase in system consumption or leakage. More recently, Watt’s Brook turbidity has been returning to normal historic levels and filter consumption has been reducing. 2022 water demand is lower than recent years but still much higher than historic. The increase in water consumption might be contributed to both warm weather demand and an increase in system leakage.

South Slocan has been facing significant rate increases in recent years that can be attributed to financing to fund the 2016 upper pressure zone upgrades, increased filter consumption, an increase in distribution system and treatment plant repairs, and a need to increase low water system reserves. Water system reserves are used to finance water system replacements and in particular are needed for any grant match funding.

Plans for Future Upgrades

The South Slocan water system is aging, but there is inadequate funds in reserves to start an upgrade program with the exception of a small valve replacement project planned in the next few years.

The Regional District has applied for and was unsuccessful in getting any recent senior government grants for water distribution system replacements but will continue to apply on grant opportunities that have a chance of success.

Asset Management Planning

An Asset Management Plan is complete and updated annually.  The Asset Management Plan identifies required asset replacements over a 25 year and 100 year period and identifies annual contributions to water system reserves required to fund the replacements.

The content on this page was last updated May 1 2024 at 9:11 AM