Email this pageQualifications for Maintenance Inspections of Sewage Systems - Information Sheet 2012-2
Building And Development Branch, Ministry Of Municipal Affairs And Housing
What are the required Building Code qualifications for inspectors who conduct maintenance inspections of on-site sewage systems?
Answer:Building inspectors who are qualified under the requirements of section 3.1 of Division C of the Building Code and who are employed by the principal authority which has jurisdiction over Part 8 (Sewage Systems) of the Building Code, may:
- carry out sewage system maintenance inspections;
- sign inspection reports;
- issue orders (including unsafe orders and emergency orders to remediate dangerous situations); and,
- enter property to conduct an inspection.
The Building Code authorizes inspectors who are not fully qualified under the Building Code (such as intern inspectors) to undertake inspections of on-site sewage systems under mandatory and discretionary on-site sewage system maintenance inspection programs. However, these inspectors must be supervised by a Chief Building Official or qualified inspector and may not issue orders.
Principal authorities may also decide to accept from the property owner an inspection certificate prepared by a prescribed person, in place of an inspection by the principal authority.
The Building Code (Ontario Regulation 350/06) was recently amended by Ontario Regulation 315/10. This regulation establishes and governs mandatory sewage system maintenance inspection programs. These programs must be administered in certain areas by principal authorities — defined by the Act as a municipality, a board of health, or a conservation authority, depending on the location in Ontario.
The amendments to the Building Code also govern discretionary sewage system maintenance inspection programs established by principal authorities. The regulation provides that inspections shall apply to all on-site sewage systems in the area affected by the discretionary program, and that inspectors have the authority to inspect all systems affected.
The Building Code Act, 1992 provides certain authorities to principal authorities, including:
- Authorities to issue building permits for sewage systems at the time of construction, alteration and repair.
- Authorities to collect permit fees, conduct inspections, and order tests.
Principal authorities also have the option of accepting certificates of inspection from the property owner. The certificate must be:
- in the form approved by the Minister
- be signed by a person listed in Sentence 22.214.171.124.(3) of Division C of the Building Code; and,
- confirm that the person who signs the certificate has inspected the system and is satisfied on reasonable grounds that the system complies with the standards prescribed in the Code.
A person cannot sign the certificate if the person would be in a conflict of interest as described in Sentence 126.96.36.199.(5).
The authority for inspectors to conduct maintenance inspections of on-site sewage systems is provided by s.15.10.1. of the Building Code Act, 1992.
- Section 1.10. (Sewage System Maintenance Inspection Programs) of Division C of the Building Code
- Section 3.1.4. (Inspectors) of Division C of the Building Code
- Online at www.ontario.ca/buildingcode
DISCLAIMER: This document has been prepared to help individuals understand some of their obligations under the Building Code Act, 1992 (the "Act") and Building Code. It is provided for convenience only and does not constitute legal advice. It is not intended to replace the Act or the 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. While this document will also be available to Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing staff designated to enforce the Act and the Code in relation to qualifications, it does not affect their enforcement discretion in any way.