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BCC Ruling No. 98-06-611

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

AND IN THE MATTER OF Articles 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. Richard Gaukel, Vice President, BFC Utilities, 3660 Midland Avenue, Toronto (Scarborough), Ontario vs Mr. E.Y. Uzumeri, Chief Building Official, City of Toronto (North York), to determine whether piping used in the water main or service installation provides sufficiency of compliance with Articles and of the Ontario Building Code at Seneca College of Applied Arts or Technology, 1750 Finch Avenue East, Toronto (North York), Ontario.


Mr. Richard Gaukel, Vice President
BFC Utilities
Toronto (Scarborough), Ontario


Mr. E.Y. Uzumeri
Chief Building Official
City of Toronto (North York), Ontario


Mr. Roy Philippe (Chair)
Mr. Michael Steele
Mr. Ross Thomson


Toronto, Ontario


February 12, 1998


February 12, 1998


Mr. Richard Gaukel
BFC Utilities
Toronto (Scarborough), On
The Applicant

Mr. Mario Milantoni
Supervisor Buildings
City of Toronto (North York), On
For the Respondent


  1. The Applicant

Mr. Richard Gaukel, Vice President, Support Services, BFC Utilities, Toronto (Scarborough), Ontario has been issued an order under the Building Code Act, 1992 to comply regarding the removal of approximately 700 metres of 200 mm polyethylene pipe used as a water main at the Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology, 1750 Finch Avenue East, Toronto (North York), Ontario.

  1. Description of Construction

The Applicant proposed to install 1,535 metres of PVC pipe to serve as the replacement water main supplying fire hydrants and multiple buildings at the Newham Campus at Seneca College in North York. Prior to installation, discussions occurred between the Applicant and the municipality regarding the possibility of using the subject polyethylene pipe instead. At that point, it was revealed that the parties had differing views about whether the polyethylene pipe complied with the appropriate OBC standards. After 700 metres of PVC pipe had been laid, the Applicant proposed to use polyethylene pipe for the remainder of the installation. On December 10, 1997, the municipality issued an order to comply with Part 7 of the Ontario Building Code. On January 9, 1998, the Applicant had the subject pipe tested for hydrostatic pressure and leakage to demonstrate its compliance. The test results did not resolve the issue. In the meantime, work continued at the site and the Applicant made an application to the BCC.

  1. Dispute

The issue at dispute between the Applicant and Respondent is whether the subject pipe meets the standards cited in the Ontario Building Code or meets an acceptable alternate test standard as equivalent. Sentence requires that water pipes be certified to CAN/CSA-B137.1 and that they have a rated working pressure of 1034 kPa (150 psi). A product which does not meet the test standards under Article but which has met other standards can be considered if those alternate tests are shown to be comparable to those described in the OBC. Without demonstrating compliance with the standards set out in the Code or comparable ones, the pipe may have to be replaced.

  1. Provisions of the Ontario Building Code

Article Alternate Test Standards

The results of tests based on standards other than as described in this Code may be used if the alternate standard provides pipe having comparable performance.

Sentence Polyethylene Water Pipe and Fittings

(1) Polyethylene water pipe and fittings shall be certified to CAN/CSA-B137.1, "Polyethylene Pipe, Tubing and Fittings for Cold Water Pressure Services", Series 160, and shall have a rated working pressure of 1034 kPa (150 psi) or more.

  1. Applicant's Position

The Applicant submitted that their pipe cannot meet CSA B137.1 since that standard covers only pipes up to 150 mm (6 in) in diameter whereas the subject pipe has a diameter of 200 mm (8 in). Since there is no CSA standard to cover the size range supplied on this project, it is their belief that, under Article, other comparable standards may be used. In terms of other standards, they claim that the pipe is certified under the National Sanitation Foundation 61 standard and meets the American Water Works Association C906 standard for potable water use. The Applicant also notes that the manufacturer is ISO 9001 approved.

The applicant further argues that there is a considerable amount of this product installed in water applications throughout the province. Polyethylene, they note, has an excellent record in water applications, with many years of proven performance.

  1. Chief Building Official's Position

The Respondent submitted that the installed polyethylene pipe at the Seneca College site does not meet the CSA B137.1 standard. They note that the Series 160, under that standard, is required to have a rated working pressure of 1034 kPa (150 psi). The Respondent argues that the installed pipe has a rated working pressure of only 100 psi. As a result, they believe that the subject pipe does not meet standards set out in the Code, nor does it meet equivalent tests of other standards and testing agencies.

  1. Commission Ruling

It is the decision of the Building Code Commission that the 8" P.E. piping used in the water main provides sufficiency of compliance with Article of the Building Code.

  1. Reasons

i) The 700 linear m of piping has been tested to 150 psi in accordance with the Tender Documents.

ii) The product diameter exceeds the maximum size specified for HDPE pipe under C.S.A.B 137.1 (up to 6" in diameter), but is approved the A.W.W.A. C 906 standard for this use.

iii) The working pressure for the system is approximately 70 psi and the product can accommodate the 50% increase for repetitive surges.

iv) The product has been used in other applications without negative impact.

Dated at Toronto this 12th day in the month of February in the year 1998 for application number 1998-05

Mr. Roy Philippe, Chair

Mr. Michael Steele

Mr. Ross Thomson