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BCC Ruling No: 12-02-1306

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Ruling No.: 12-02-1306
Application No.: S-2011-42

 

BUILDING CODE COMMISSION

IN THE MATTER OF Subsection 24(1) of the Building Code Act, S.O. 1992, c. 23, as amended.

AND IN THE MATTER OF Section 8.6., Sentence 11.3.1.2.(1) and Part 11 of Division B of Regulation 350/06, as amended, (the “Building Code”).

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Karen Ross for the resolution of a dispute with Phill Lambert, Chief Building Official to determine whether the repair of the septic tank piping and distribution piping of an existing Class 4 sewage system, which serves an existing two bedroom, one storey home, provides sufficiency of compliance with Section 8.6., Sentence 11.3.1.2.(1) and Part 11 of Division B of the Building Code at 678 Frontenac Road, Fort Erie, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Karen Ross
Homeowner
Fort Erie, Ontario

RESPONDENT 

Phill Lambert
Chief Building Official
Niagara Region, Public Works Department
Thorold, Ontario

PANEL

Tony Chow, Chair
Jim Wilkinson
Eric Gunnell

PLACE

City of Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF HEARING

January 19, 2012

DATE OF RULING

January 19, 2012

APPEARANCES

Tony Nielsen
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Agent for the Applicant

Phill Lambert
Chief Building Official
Niagara Region, Public Works Department
Thorold, Ontario
The Respondent

 

RULING

 

1. Particulars of Dispute

The Applicant has received an order to comply under the Building Code Act, 1992, to address certain alleged Building Code contraventions in relation to the Class 4 sewage system that serves the property located at 678 Frontenac Road, Fort Erie, Ontario.

The subject building is a one storey, two bedroom residential dwelling that is served by a Class 4 sewage system. The Class 4 sewage system consists of a septic tank and an in ground, fill based, gravity fed absorption trench (leaching bed). Based on Table 8.2.1.3.A. of the Building Code, the total daily design flow rate for this residential property is 1 100 litres per day. The water supply for the property comes from a private well.

The construction in dispute relates to the Class 4 sewage system that serves the subject property. The subject property was served by a Class 4 sewage system that was constructed in 1950. The Applicant undertook work to “repair” the existing Class 4 sewage system and then received the order to comply seeking an application for a building permit for the work being performed on the sewage system.

The dispute between the parties relates firstly to the scope of work being undertaken and whether it constitutes a repair or a complete replacement. The secondary issue relates to whether the construction undertaken is subject to the requirements under Part 8 of the Building Code or whether the requirements of Part 11 of the Building Code can be considered.

2. Provisions of the Building Code in Dispute

8.6. Class 4 Sewage Systems

See Ontario’s 2006 Building Code

11.3.1.2.(1) New Building Systems and Extension of Existing Building Systems

(1) Except as provided in Article 11.3.3.1. and Section 11.5., the design and construction of a new building system or the extension of an existing building system, shall comply with all other Parts.
Part 11 Renovation
See Ontario’s 2006 Building Code

3. Applicant’s Position

The Agent for the Applicant informed the Commission that the owner of the property began what was considered to be a repair to an existing sewage system. He stated that the repair consisted of replacing the pipe from the septic tank, the header and three rows of pipe. He advised that the old pipes and bed were replaced with new pipe which was covered with paper, sand and top soil.

The Agent noted that the Order to Comply that was issued stated that a sewage system was installed without a building permit and he conceded that the work had been undertaken without a building permit. He stressed that a new sewage system was not installed rather it was a repair to the existing sewage system that was undertaken.

The Agent maintained that complying with the requirements of Part 8 of the Building Code is not possible as the clearance distances cannot be achieved. He asserted that, as there was an existing sewage system that was repaired by the replacement of some of the components, Part 11 of the Building Code is applicable. He noted that Part 11 seems to allow existing clearance distances to be deemed acceptable.

In response to questions, the Agent stated that to the best of his knowledge there had not been any evidence of a break out in the bed. He confirmed that the repair consisted of replacing the pipe coming out of the septic taken, installing a new header and the replacement of pipes in the bed. He answered that the pipes were replaced in the same location as the existing pipes.

In summary, the Agent reiterated that the work undertaken was not a replacement of the sewage system rather it was done as a repair to an existing sewage system. He summarized that the repair resulted in an improvement on the existing sewage system and that the sewage system is now working effectively. Therefore, he believes that sufficiency of compliance has been achieved.

4. Respondent’s Position

The Respondent stated that the owner of the property had replaced an existing legal non-conforming leaching bed system with a new non-conforming leaching bed system without applying for a building permit to undertake the work.

The Respondent indicated that this was not a simple repair of a small section of leaching bed distribution pipe. He described the work as an entire replacement of the previously existing legal non-conforming distribution pipe with a new leaching bed consisting of a new header and three rows of distribution piping. Each distribution pipe was 15 m in length resulting in a total bed area of 45 m2. He suggested that this replacement is considered a new building system or at the very least the extension of an existing system and therefore it would need to comply with the requirements of Part 8 of the Building Code.

The Respondent indicated that the new leaching bed system does not meet the clearance distances outlined in Article 8.2.1.6. of the Building Code. Specifically, the minimum clearance from the distribution piping to a structure and from the distribution piping to a well has not been achieved. He also noted that the minimum distance from the bottom of the trench to bedrock has not been met. The Respondent further noted that in his opinion there is sufficient land available on this property to allow for the installation of a Class 4 sewage system that complies with the requirements of Part 8 of the Building Code.

The Respondent concluded that Part 11 of the Building Code is not applicable to the work that has been undertaken. He reiterated that, in his opinion, the work undertaken is more than a repair and therefore the clearance distances outlined in Part 8 of the Building Code need to be met.

5. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the repair of the septic tank piping and distribution piping of an existing Class 4 Sewage System, which serves an existing two bedroom, one storey home, does not provide sufficiency of compliance with Section 8.6., Sentence 11.3.1.2.(1) and Part 11 of Division B of the Building Code at 678 Frontenac Rd., Fort Erie, Ontario.

6. Reasons

  1. Part 11 of the Building Code regulates the applicability of the other Parts of the Building Code when buildings are undergoing renovation, material alteration or repair. Part 11 provides that where an existing building is extended, the extended portion of the building shall comply with all other Parts of the Building Code, including Part 8.
    The Commission heard that the repair to the existing Class 4 sewage system included an extension of the system and therefore, in the opinion of the Commission, the vertical separation requirements, as detailed in Clause 8.7.3.2. (1)(e), must be complied with in this case.
  2. Part 11 of the Building Code would permit existing horizontal clearance distances to be acceptable; however, the Commission heard that the existing leaching bed was extended by virtue of installing additional pipes which resulted in the horizontal clearance distances being further reduced. Consequently, the minimum horizontal clearance distances outlined in Part 8 of the Building Code are applicable.

 

Dated at the City of Toronto this 19th day in the month of January in the year 2012 for application number S 2011-42.

Tony Chow, Chair

Jim Wilkinson

Eric Gunnell