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BCC Ruling No. 11-04-1277

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Ruling No. 11-04-1277
Application No. S 2011-03

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 Articles 8.8.1.1. and 8.8.1.2. of Regulation 350/06, as amended, (the Building Code).

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Ronald Waine, Homeowner, for the resolution of a dispute with David Wellman, Chief Building Official, Township of Ramara, to determine whether the proposal to replace an existing Class 5 sewage system, which serves an existing 2 bedroom, 51.5 m², seasonal cottage, with a new Class 5 sewage system, provides sufficiency of compliance with Articles 8.8.1.1. and 8.8.1.2. of Division B of the Building Code at 2622 Lakeshore Drive, Township of Ramara, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Ronald Waine
Homeowner
Markham, ON

RESPONDENT

David Wellman
Chief Building Official
Township of Ramara

PANEL

Judy Beauchamp, Chair
Jim Wilkinson
Eric Gunnell

PLACE

Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF HEARING

March 8, 2011

DATE OF RULING

March 8, 2011

APPEARANCES

Ronald Waine
Homeowner
Markham, ON
The Applicant

David Wellman
Chief Building Official
Township of Ramara
The Respondent

RULING

1. Particulars of Dispute

The Applicant has applied for a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992, to install a Class 5 Sewage System at 2622 Lakeshore Drive, Township of Ramara, Ontario.

The subject building is a one storey, 2 bedroom seasonal cottage with a building area of approximately 51 m² with 7 total fixture units.

The construction in dispute involves the proposal to replace the existing Class 5 sewage system with a new Class 5 sewage system to serve the existing cottage.

Sentence 8.8.1.1.(1) of the Building Code prohibits the installation of a Class 5 sewage system except as permitted in Article 8.8.1.2.  Clauses 8.8.1.2.(1) (b) and (c) of Division B of the Building Code permit a Class 5 sewage system to be installed in the following circumstances: “to remedy an unsafe sewage system where the remediation of the unsafe condition by the installation of a Class 4 sewage system is impracticable” or “to upgrade a sewage system serving an existing building, where upgrading through the use of a Class 4 sewage system is not possible due to lot size, site slope or clearance limitations”.
The dispute therefore, is whether the proposal to install a new Class 5 sewage system provides sufficiency of compliance with the above noted Code requirements.

2. Provisions of the Building Code in Dispute

8.8.1.1.  Prohibited Installation
  1. (1) Except as provided in Article 8.8.1.2., a Class 5 sewage system shall not be installed.
8.8.1.2.  Acceptable Installation
  1. (1) A Class 5 sewage system may be installed in the following circumstances:
    1. (a) where the proposed use of the sewage system is for a temporary operation, excluding seasonal recreational use, not exceeding 12 months in duration,
    2. (b) to remedy an unsafe sewage system where the remediation of the unsafe condition by the installation of a Class 4 sewage system is impracticable,
    3. (c) to upgrade a sewage system serving an existing building, where upgrading through the use of a Class 4 sewage system is not possible due to lot size, site slope or clearance limitations, or
    4. (d) as an interim measure for a lot or parcel of land until municipal sewers are available, provided that the municipality undertakes to ensure the continued operation of an approved hauled sewage system until the municipal sewers are available.

  2. (2) Where a Class 5 sewage system is installed, a written agreement for the disposal of sanitary sewage from the sewage system shall be entered into with a hauled sewage system operator.

3. Applicant’s Position

The Applicant submitted that the dwelling in question is a seasonal cottage that has been served by a Class 5 sewage system for the past 40 years. The Applicant submitted that he wanted to improve the environmental safety of his holding tank by replacing it with a new one. However, prior to application for a sewage system permit, he was informed that a Class 4 sewage system, rather than a holding tank, had to be installed if it fit on the property.

The Applicant reported that once he was advised that a Class 4 system would fit on the property he applied for, and received a sewage system permit to install a Class 4 sewage system.

Subsequent to the issuance of the permit, the Applicant reported that he was advised by the septic system suppliers of the following issues, which posed great concern to him:

  • Installation of the new Class 4 sewage system would cause significant root damage to the only substantial tree on the property, endangering the survival of this tree along with causing potential root damage to the neighbour’s tree.
  • A sand bed would need to be installed under the driveway to gain the required coverage, thus impacting its reasonable use as a driveway. There is no other location on the property for a driveway.
  • Based on the high underground water level, the proposed 3 m x 1.2 m (10’x4’) filter media bed for the subject septic system will appear as a 0.6 m (2’) high hump above the normal grade level, therefore providing a negative visual distraction.

As a result of the above concerns, the Applicant submitted that he had consequently applied for an amendment to his permit requesting instead, to replace the existing holding tank with a new holding tank.

In response to questions, the Applicant confirmed that the mantle of the proposed filter bed for the Class 4 sewage system was to be located under the driveway of the property and further, that there was no other location to relocate the driveway.

The Applicant requested the Commission to consider that the cottage had been served by the same holding tank for over 40 years and that for environmental and safety reasons it needed to be replaced. The Applicant surmised that replacing the old holding tank with a new holding tank would be healthy and safer and therefore, should provide sufficiency of compliance.

4. Respondent’s Position

The Respondent submitted that the Applicant’s request to amend his permit was denied because the proposal to replace the old holding tank with a new holding tank was in contravention of Article 8.8.1.1. of the Building Code.

The Respondent explained that Article 8.8.1.1. of the Code prohibits the installation of a Class 5 sewage system except for the exceptional circumstances outlined in Article 8.8.1.2., which would permit the construction of a holding tank. The Respondent argued that the Applicant’s situation does not fall under any one of the exceptional circumstances outlined in Article 8.8.1.2. of the Code and therefore, does not comply with the Code’s requirements.

The Respondent also submitted that the Applicant had submitted conflicting and inconsistent information when applying for his permit for a Class 4 sewage system and later when applying for the amendment in order to install a Class 5 sewage system. The Respondent maintained that there had been a discrepancy with respect to the total fixture units in the dwelling, along with the stated floor area, which affects the total daily design sewage flow calculations. The Respondent submitted that based on the current calculations the proposed 9000 L tank would be undersized.

The Respondent maintained that as a Class 4 sewage system could be installed within the boundaries of the subject property, the Applicant’s proposal to install a Class 5 sewage system was not in compliance with the Code.

5. Commission Ruling

It is the Decision of the Building Code Commission that the proposal to replace an existing Class 5 sewage system, which serves an existing 2 bedroom, 51.5 m², seasonal cottage, with a new Class 5 sewage system provides sufficiency of compliance with Articles 8.8.1.1 and 8.8.1.2. of Division B of the Building Code at 2622 Lakeshore Drive, Township of Ramara, Ontario.

6. Reasons


  1. Sentence 8.8.1.1.(1) of the Building Code prohibits the installation of a Class 5 sewage system except as permitted in Article 8.8.1.2.  Clauses 8.8.1.2.(1) (b) and (c) of Division B of the Building Code permit a Class 5 sewage system to be installed in the following circumstances: “to remedy an unsafe sewage system where the remediation of the unsafe condition by the installation of a Class 4 sewage system is impracticable” or “to upgrade a sewage system serving an existing building, where upgrading through the use of a Class 4 sewage system is not possible due to lot size, site slope or clearance limitations”.

    Based on the evidence and testimony provided, the Commission was not convinced that a Class 4, Code compliant sewage system could be constructed on the subject property.

  2. The Commission heard that the existing building has been served by a Class 5 sewage system for approximately 40 years. It is the Commission’s opinion, that in this case, the proposal to install a new Class 5 sewage system to upgrade the old Class 5 sewage system provides sufficiency of compliance with the Code.

Dated at Toronto this 8th day in the month of March in the year 2011 for application number
S 2011-03.

Judy Beauchamp, Vice Chair
Jim Wilkinson
Eric Gunnell