Skip to content
You are here > Home > Your Ministry > Ontario Building Code > Appeals & Approvals > Building Code Commission > Rulings of the Building Code Commission > 2016 > BCC Ruling No. 16-21-1449

Follow us

BCC Ruling No. 16-21-1449

Email this page

 BCC Logo 

Ruling No.: 16-21-1449
Application No.: S 2016-06

 

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 Article 8.2.1.6. and Table 8.2.1.6.A. of Division B of Regulation 332/12, as amended, (the “Building Code”).

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Ryan Thomson, for the resolution of a dispute with Randy Charlton, Chief Building Official, Haldimand County, to determine whether the clearance distance between the proposed deck and the septic tank of an existing sewage system sufficiently complies with Article 8.2.1.6. and Table 8.2.1.6.A. of Division B of the Building Code at 11 Held Crescent, Fisherville, Ontario.

APPLICANT

Ryan Thomson
Owner
Fisherville, Ontario

RESPONDENT

Randy Charlton
Chief Building Official
Haldimand County, Ontario

PANEL

Judy Beauchamp, Chair-Designate

PLACE

City of Toronto, Ontario

DATE OF HEARING

June 21, 2016

DATE OF RULING

June 21, 2016

APPEARANCES

Ryan Thomson
Owner
Fisherville, Ontario
Applicant

Randy Charlton
Chief Building Official
Haldimand County, Ontario
Respondent

RULING

 

1. Particulars of Dispute

The Applicant has applied for a permit under the Building Code Act, 1992, to construct a deck at 11 Held Crescent, Fisherville, Ontario.

The subject building is a single family dwelling that is served by a Class 4 on-site sewage system. The construction in dispute involves the proposal to construct a 4.88 m x 4.88 m deck to be located at the rear of the building.

The dispute centers on the clearance distance between the existing treatment unit (septic tank) and the new proposed deck. The horizontal clearance distance between one of the posts supporting the deck is less than 1.5 m and further the proposed deck, proposed to be constructed 1.75 m above grade (measured from the ground to the top of the deck floor), will cover the existing septic tank. Article 8.2.1.6. of Division B specifies the minimum horizontal clearance distance from a treatment unit for a Class 4 and Class 5 sewage systems to certain environmental features, including structures, such as the proposed deck. Table 8.2.1.6.A. of Division B requires that the minimum 1.5 m horizontal distance between a structure and a treatment unit.

The Commission is being asked to determine whether the proposed deck sufficiently complies with Article 8.2.1.6. and Table 8.2.16.A of the Building Code.

2. Provisions of the Building Code in Dispute

8.2.1.6. Clearances for a Class 4 or 5 Sewage System
  1. (1) (1) Except as provided in Sentences 8.2.1.4.(1) and (2), a treatment unit shall not be located closer than the minimum horizontal distances set out in Table 8.2.1.6.A.

 

Table 8.2.1.6.A.
Minimum Clearances for Treatment Units
Forming Part of Sentence 8.2.1.6.(1)
)

Object

Minimum Clearance, m

Structure

1.5

Well

15

Lake

15

Pond

15

Reservoir

15

River

15

Spring

15

Stream

15

Property Line

3

Column 1

2

  1. (2) Except as provided in Sentences 8.2.1.4.(1) and (2), a distribution pipe shall not be located closer than the minimum horizontal distances set out in Table 8.2.1.6.B. and these distances shall be increased when required by Sentence 8.7.4.2.(11).

3. Applicant’s Position

The Applicant submitted that he applied for a building permit to construct a deck at the rear of his home. The deck is proposed to be 4.88 m x 4.88 m deck and will be constructed on 200 mm x 200 mm posts. The Applicant advised that the building permit was denied because the drawings submitted indicated that one of the posts would be located at a horizontal distance that is less than 1.5 m from the existing septic tank, which does not meet the minimum clearance distance requirements in the Building Code.

During the hearing, the Applicant submitted that he would like to propose a revision to his original design, which would include changing the posts to helical pile caps. The Applicant explained that based on his research, helical pile caps can go down 1.22 m -2.44 m with minimal disturbance of surrounding soils. The Applicant submitted that as one of the nine supporting deck posts is proposed to be located next to the septic tank, this would be a viable alternative to the original posts proposed. In his opinion, the Applicant stated, using helical pile caps for the deck would not disturb the soil surrounding the septic tank and would therefore, have no negative impact.

The Applicant submitted that based on the proposed height of the deck, which is 1.75 m above grade (measured from the ground to the top of the deck floor), the existing septic tank will be provided with sufficient vertical clearance to fully access the septic tank for pumping and/or maintenance purposes without impediment.

The Applicant submitted that the septic tank is new and the caps to the tank and pump chamber are air tight and sealed. In response to questions, the Applicant indicated that there would be no environmental impact to the subject property or surrounding properties as a result of the construction of the deck.

In summary, the Applicant submitted that it was his opinion that, since the construction of the deck would not have any negative impacts on the use and/or maintenance of the septic tank therefore, provides sufficiency of compliance with the Building Code has been achieved.

4. Respondent’s Position

The Respondent submitted that on December 3, 2015, a building permit application and drawings were submitted to the County proposing the construction of a 4.88 m x 4.88 m deck to be attached to the rear of a single family dwelling. He stated that a review of the drawings indicated that the deck would completely cover the existing septic tank and would be located 1.75 m above grade (measured from the ground to the top of the deck floor). Further, he explained that one of the nine 200 mm x 200 mm supporting deck posts appeared to be located next to the septic tank providing a near zero horizontal clearance.

The Respondent advised that, on December 11, 2015, the County notified the Applicant that the permit was being denied as it had been determined that the proposed deck would be too close to the septic tank. The Respondent submitted that as per Sentence 8.2.1.6.(1) Clearances for a Class 4 or 5 Sewage System, “…a treatment unit shall not be located closer than the minimum horizontal distances as set out in Table 8.2.1.6.A.”. The Respondent continued, stating that Table 8.2.1.6.A specifies that a minimum 1.5 m horizontal clearance distance from a treatment unit to a structure would be required. The Respondent maintained that it appeared that the clearance distance provided would be almost zero from the deck post to the septic tank, and therefore, compliance with the Building Code is not achieved.

In response to questions, the Respondent agreed with the Applicant’s statement that there would not be any environmental impacts to the subject property or surrounding property as a result of the construction of the deck.

Agreeing with the Applicant, the Respondent submitted that he also believed that the lids on the septic tank and pump chamber were considered to be air tight.

In response to questions, the Respondent submitted that the proposed construction of the deck would not impede or interfere with the operation and/or maintenance of the septic tank.

The Respondent submitted that no alternative proposals had been received by the County or discussed prior to the hearing and that any alternatives presented by the Applicant at this hearing were new and therefore, had not been considered. Only the original design was considered and the clearance distance from the deck post structure to the septic tank being much less than 1.5 m does not comply with the Building Code.

5. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the clearance distance between the proposed deck and the septic tank of an existing sewage system provides sufficiency of compliance with Article 8.2.1.6. and Table 8.2.1.6.A. of Division B of the Building Code at 11 Held Crescent, Fisherville, Ontario on condition that:

  1. The area under the proposed deck is not enclosed, and
  2. A minimum of 100 mm clearance is maintained between the deck posts and the septic tank.

6. Reasons

  1. Article 8.2.1.6. and Table 8.2.1.6.A of Division B of the Building Code set out the minimum clearance distance from a treatment unit to an object.

    Supplementary Standard SA-1 of Volume 2 of the Building Code provides the objectives and functional statements that are associated with Article 8.2.1.6.

    Tables 2.2.1.1. and 3.2.1.1. of Division A of the Building Code set out those objectives and functional statements.

    The objective and functional statements associated with Sentence 8.2.1.6.(1) are as follows:
    • OE An objective of the Code is to limit the probability that, as a result of the design or construction or operation of a building, the natural environment will be exposed to an unacceptable risk of degradation.
    • F110 To control the release of contaminants into soil, groundwater, surface water and air.

    The Commission heard the parties agree that there is no environmental impact to the subject property or surrounding property as a result of the construction of the deck.

    OH2.1 An objective of the Code is to limit the probability that, as a result of the design or construction of a building, a person in the building will be exposed to an unacceptable risk of illness due to unsanitary conditions caused by exposure to human or domestic waste.

    OH5 An objective of the Code is to limit the probability that, as a result of the design or construction of a building, the public will be exposed to an unacceptable risk of illness due to the release of hazardous substances from the building.

    The Commission heard the parties agree that the lids on the septic tank and pump chamber are considered to be air tight.

    F112 to provide adequate treatment of sanitary sewage and effluent.

    The Commission heard the parties agree that the proposed construction of the deck will not impede or interfere with the operation and/or maintenance of the septic tank.

    The Commission heard that more than 1.5 m of vertical distance from the septic tank will be provided to facilitate access and maintenance.

    Therefore, it is the Commission’s opinion that based on the conditions above and the testimony and evidence provided by the parties, sufficiency of compliance with Article 8.2.1.6. and Table 8.2.1.6.A. is achieved.

Dated at the City of Toronto this 21st day in the month of June in the year 2016 for application number S 2016-06.

Judy Beauchamp, Chair-Designate