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BCC Ruling No. 98-12-617

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IN THE MATTER OF Subsection 24 (1) of the Building Code Act, 1992.

AND IN THE MATTER OF Sentences,,, and of Regulation 61, as amended by O. Reg. 400/91, 158/93, 160/93, 383/94, 20/95 and 395/96 (the "Ontario Building Code").

AND IN THE MATTER OF an application by Mr. Thomas Phillips, Owner, Part Lot 18, Concession 1, Carden Township, Victoria County, Ontario for the resolution of a dispute with Mr. Paul McCubbing, Chief Building Official, Township of Carden, Ontario to determine whether the existing sewage tank, drain pipe, "Standard" toilet and lack of inspection prior to use comply with Ontario Water Resources Act provisions 5.6.5., 4.8.1.(1), 2.1.5.(2) and 1.8.1.(2) respectively at Part Lot 18, Concession 1, Carden Township, Victoria County, Ontario.


Mr. Thomas Phillips, Owner
Part Lot 18, Concession 1
Carden Township, Ontario


Mr. Paul McCubbing
Chief Building Official
Township of Carden


Mr. Roy Philippe (Chair)
Mr. Rick Florio
Mr. Ross Thomson


Toronto, Ontario


March 12, 1998


March 12, 1998


Mr. Thomas Phillips
Carden Township, Ontario
The Applicant

Mr. Paul McCubbing
Chief Building Official
Township of Carden
The Respondent


  1. The Applicant

Mr. Thomas Phillips, Owner, Part Lot 18, Concession 1, has been issued an order to comply under the Building Code Act, 1992 to bring a concrete sewage tank, a 50 mm (2 in) drainpipe, an antique toilet, in conformity with the appropriate provisions of the Ontario Water Resources Act, and to allow a municipal inspection prior to further use of this water supply system for the subject farm building at Part Lot 18, Concession 1, Carden Township, Ontario.

  1. Description of Construction

The Applicant property contains several buildings, including a two storey, 40 by 80 ft Quonset hut structure that has a building area of 3,200 ft2. This building is divided into two portions, with the front half containing a 1,280 ft2 second storey. The lower floor contains laundry, kitchen and washroom facilities. The upper level is used as an open storage area. The rear portion of the Quonset hut is used as a garage. The structure is constructed of combustible construction on the interior with a noncombustible exterior shell. It is classified as a Farm Building under the OBC.

There are numerous areas of the as built construction in dispute. The first deals with the sewage tank which is located approximately 4 feet outside of the building and within several feet of the septic system. This system consists of a raised septic tank, as well as a septic bed, and thus relies upon the sewage tank to function. The sewage tank is presently vented through the main stack of the building, which is located 3 feet inside the structure.

Issue two is the slope of the drainage pipe that runs from the plumbing fixtures in the Quonset hut 34 feet under the floor to the sewage tank on the other side of the structure. The pipe only has a fall of 2 3/8 in. And is supported on wooden cross braces beneath the floor.

The third issue is the lack of certification markings on the installed old-style water closet.

The fourth issue was the lack of a municipal inspection prior to the usage of the plumbing system in the Quonset hut.

  1. Dispute

The issues at dispute between the Applicant and Respondent is whether the as built and installed venting of the sewage tank, slope of the drainage pipe, old-style toilet without certification labels, and usage of the plumbing system in the Quonset hut at the subject property comply with provisions 5.6.5., 4.8.1.(1), 2.1.5.(2) and 1.8.1.(2) of the Ontario WaterResources Act. Unless the Applicant is able to demonstrate compliance with the OWRA provisions, these aspects of the building must be brought into compliance.

The first three issues relate to technical provisions of the OWRA that were incorporated into the OBC in 1993. The last issue, however, is of an administrative and enforcement nature and thus is not covered by the mandate of the Building Code Commission.

  1. Provisions of the Ontario Building Code

Article 5.6.5. of Regulation 815 states

Where the diameter of an inlet pipe to a sewage tank is,

(a)five inches or larger, the diameter of the vent pipe from the tank shall be at least four inches; and

(b)less than five inches, the diameter of the vent pipe from the tank shall be the greater of,

i)1 1/4 inches, or

ii)one trade size smaller than the inlet pipe.

Sentence 4.8.1.(1)Every fixture drain and every drainage pipe of three inch size or less shall have a minimum grade of 1/4 in. per foot in the direction of flow.

Sentence 2.1.5.(2) The lack of certification markings on a product or plumbing component shall be regarded as evidence that no certification exits.

Sentence 1.8.1.(2) No plumbing that has been constructed, repaired, renewed or altered shall be put into use until it is inspected and found to be in compliance with this Code.

  1. Applicant's Position

Regarding the first issue the Applicant submitted that since the sewage tank is not in or under his Quonset hut building then Article 5.6.5. of the OWRA does not apply since that Article regulates sewage tanks that are located in or under any building. The Applicant added that this issue is still not covered by the current OBC.

On the issue of the slope of the drainage pipe, the Applicant referenced Sentence 4.8.1.(3) of the OWRA where it allows a slope lesser than 1/4 inch per foot if the lesser grade can be demonstrated to provide a gravity flow rate of at least two feet per second. The Applicantthen produced a calculation known as the manning formula that demonstrated that the subject drainage pipe would produce an adequate flow rate. While he admitted that the as built pipe, with its lesser slope, would not have the same scouring effect as a 1/4 over one foot grade, the subject pipe has functioned effectively for over six years. Anticipating that problems may occur as a result of the too gradual slope, the Applicant installed a cleanout to facilitate the amelioration of any problems if they were to occur.

The Applicant submitted on the issue of the water closet that it was manufactured by "Standard". Unfortunately, since the toilet is old his search to identify the serial number with American Standard was not successful. However, the Applicant added that the water closet has worked without problems for over six years. Lastly, he made known his willingness to temporarily remove some existing flooring to allow for inspection to demonstrate that the existing internal trap, required water seal and flow characteristics are compatible with its use and that the supply fittings meet the CSA standards.

  1. Chief Building Official's Position

On the first issue the Respondent submitted that the stack vent for the sewage tank does not meet the appropriate requirements.

Regarding the second, they argued that the slope of the drainage pipe was far from adequate. They noted that the fall should be approximately 8 1/2 inches, not the 2 3/4 provided. He believed that the slope should be increased.

The Respondent noted that the verification of the toilet was impossible because the fixture had no certification markings. Without these he was not able to assess many of the other working components of the subject water closet. In his view, a new toilet with clear certification markings should be installed.

  1. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission

i)that the sewage tank in question is not regulated by the Building Code provided it is vented independently of the vent stack servicing the other appliances in the Building.


ii)that the toilet provides sufficiency of compliance with requirements for C.S.A. certification under O.W.R.A. 4.8.1.(1).


iii)that the 2" drain pipe provides sufficiency of compliance with the requirements for total fall as per O.W.R.A. 4.8.1.(1) provided evidence of compliance is provided through calculations using the Manning formula for this application.

  1. Reasons

i)The sewage tank that is vented independent of the plumbing system is considered part of the septic system and not subject to the Building Code.

ii)The toilet being used was manufactured prior to the requirement for certification by C.S.A.

iii)Evidence by the Applicant stated that the toilet has been in use for approximately 6 - 7 years and is functioning satisfactory.

iv)There is an exception to the fall requirement for drain lines.

Dated at Toronto this 12th day in the month of March in the year 1998 for application number 1997-81.

Mr. Roy Philippe, Chair

Mr. Rick Florio

Mr. Ross Thomson