Email this pageImplementation of Sewage System Maintenance Inspection Programs - Information Sheet 2012-1
Building And Development Branch, Ministry Of Municipal Affairs And Housing
Which principal authority is responsible for establishing and conducting the mandatory and discretionary sewage system maintenance inspection programs?
Under the Building Code Act, 1992, the authority having jurisdiction for Part 8 of Division B of the Building Code (i.e., responsible for issuing building permits for sewage systems) is responsible for establishing and conducting mandatory and discretionary maintenance inspection programs.
The Building Code Act, 1992 and Building Code (Ontario Regulation 350/06) regulate the construction, operation, and maintenance of treatment systems which are located wholly on the property which they serve (sometimes referred to as “on-site sewage systems”) and have a design sewage capacity of 10,000 litres/day or less. Such systems typically provide treatment for smaller buildings such as houses, cottages and small businesses.
Ontario’s Building Code (Ontario Regulation 350/06) was recently amended to establish and govern mandatory on-site sewage system maintenance inspection programs, to be administered in certain areas by principal authorities. The recent amendments to the Building Code also govern discretionary on-site sewage system maintenance inspection programs established by principal authorities.
Enforcement of the sewage system provisions of the Building Code Act, 1992 (the Act) and Building Code is the responsibility of principal authorities — defined by the Act as a municipality, a prescribed board of health or a conservation authority, depending on the location within Ontario.
In many cases, the local municipality is the principal authority for enforcement of Part 8 of the Building Code. Municipalities may also enter into an agreement with a body such as a board of health, a conservation authority, or an upper-tier municipality, for the enforcement of provisions related to sewage systems (including maintenance inspections). [See Section 6.2 of the Building Code Act, 1992.]
In unorganized territories and some municipalities, authority for enforcement is prescribed in Section 1.7 of Division C of the Building Code and assigned to a Board of Health or Conservation Authority (Building Code Act, 1992, Section 3.1.(1)).
The Act specifies that where a prescribed Board of Health or Conservation Authority is responsible for on-site sewage systems (either through an agreement with the local municipality, or in a prescribed area), that body is responsible for enforcing all of the Act and Building Code provisions related to sewage systems.
Subsections 3.1(5) and 6.2(5) of the Act provide that where a Board of Health or a Conservation Authority has appointed sewage inspectors, the Chief Building Official and building inspectors appointed under section 3 of the Act shall not exercise their powers under the Act with respect to sewage systems.
Therefore, if a Board of Health or Conservation Authority has been prescribed to be responsible for the administration and enforcement of Part 8 of the Building Code, or where a principal authority has entered into an agreement under section 6.2 with a Board of Health or Conservation Authority, building officials appointed under section 3 of the Act do not have the authority to administer or enforce the mandatory and discretionary maintenance inspection programs.
- Section 1.7. (Enforcement of the Provisions of the Act and Building Code Related to Sewage Systems) of Division C of the Building Code
- Section 3.1 (Enforcement, Boards of Health) of the Building Code Act, 1992
- Section 6.2. (Agreement re Sewage Systems) of the Building Code Act, 1992
- Online at www.ontario.ca/buildingcode
DISCLAIMER: This document is provided for convenience only and does not constitute legal advice. It is not intended to replace the Building Code Act, 1992 (the "Act") or the Building Code and reference should always be made to the official version of the legislation. If you require assistance with respect to the interpretation of the legislation and its potential application in specific circumstances, please contact your legal counsel or the principal authority (i.e. municipality, board of health or conservation authority) responsible for enforcement of the particular provisions of the Act and the Code in your area.