History

Scott Point Waterworks District is an improvement district organized under the Local Government Act and is responsible for providing potable water services to lots encompassed by Plan 16652 and Plan 17161, Lot 1, North Saltspring Island.

Scott Point was named in 1905 by Capt John Perry of HMS Egeria after W.E. Scott of the Provincial Horticulture Board (later Deputy Minister of Agriculture) and who had established the orchard called Fruitvale on Ganges Harbour. It is likely that Mr. Scott and his brothers owned the land on Scott Point as well.

By the mid-1960s most of Scott Point was owned by Scott Point Marina Ltd which was established in the late 1950s by Peter Frattinger as a marina, local pool and social location. He sold the marina and property to Hart Bradley in 1962, who in turn developed the land after the establishment of the Long Harbour ferry terminal in 1963. In 1964 Scott Point Marina Ltd applied to the Public Utilities Commission for approval to establish a waterworks and distribution system, and which was approved in March 1965. Construction of the water main and erection of the original reservoir occurred in 1965 (the tank was a 1911 vintage tank brought over from Dominion Astrophysical Observatory in Saanich dropped in the water and towed by pleasure yacht).

The District received its Letters Patent in 1967 and held its first meeting of residents in 1969. That year the District also assumed ownership and operation of the water system from Hart Bradley and Scott Point Marina Ltd. At that time the system consisted of Well #1 drilled to a depth of about 180 ft., the second-hand 20,000 gal. water reservoir, the 4 in. water main, hydrants and service connections to those few properties which had connections.

The original Well #1 (originally known as Old Salty) was brackish and had high chloride levels possibly indicating seawater intrusion from a connection between the fractures in the native sandstone bedrock and the ocean. Operations and leaks leading to over pumping had further decreased water quality.

While most of the lots were sold in the mid-1960s, it was during the 1970’s that most houses were built and the number of residents increased. A series of wells were drilled on Scott Point and along Long Harbour Drive looking for a new source with better quality water. Due to low productivity or quality issues, none proved satisfactory to meet the needs of the District.

After an extensive search involving the Ministry of Environment, Welbury Well #3 was drilled in 1982 and the water main was extended through the BC Ferry parking lot and along Long Harbour Road. This well proved to provide reasonable quantity of good quality water, although with limited production during drought periods. And to deal with increasing brackishness, in 1984 a reverse osmosis treatment plant was added to Well #1.

In 1992, RVYC Well #4 was drilled to 230 ft into a granite rock layer and proved to be prolific in terms of all-season flow, but had issues with iron, manganese and hardness. A treatment plant that included a sand filter, water softening and Pyrolux was installed.

In 2002, the old reverse osmosis plant at Well #1 was replaced with one that provided better treatment efficiency and better controls. As well a pre-treatment greensand filter, paper filtration and UV were installed.

In 2012, the 100 yr old water tank was replaced with a new 71,000 US gallon tank which meets seismic requirements and provides adequate fire-fighting water supply. A modern 6″ hydrant was installed at Well #1 to allow Salt Spring Fire Rescue to use it for the Tanker Shuttle Service.

In 2016, the last undeveloped lot on Scott Point had a house constructed on it and the District was fully built out with connections to all lots.

In 2019, work was completed to improve treatment efficiency at Well 4 and reduce the formation of disinfectant by-products. The changes included equipment and control upgrades at Well 4 and Well 1, and a 2 inch pipeline between Well #4 and Well #1 to allow Well #4 to be treated through the reverse osmosis plant. A supervisory system was added to track equipment faults and to alarm the operator of trouble conditions.