• Jack and Barbara Ackerman; Art and Louise Laviolette v. Environmental Health Officer

    Decision Date:
    File Numbers:
    Decision Numbers:
    99-HEA-24 99-HEA-25
    Third Party:
    Walco Enterprises Ltd., Permit Holder


    Decision Date: November 18, 1999

    Panel: Toby Vigod

    Keywords: Sewage Disposal Regulation – ss. 3, 6, Schedule 3 – ss. 5, 11, 12, 14; sewage disposal system; permit; absorption field; groundwater; domestic wells; surface water; public health.

    These were appeals of the August 19, 1999 decision of the Environmental Health Officer (“the EHO”) to issue a permit for a sewage disposal system for a 19-lot mobile home subdivision near Errington, B.C. The Appellants appealed on the grounds that they were concerned that effluent from the sewage disposal system would have an adverse impact on the quality of water in local wells and surface waters. In particular, they were concerned that this was to be the second such development on the same property, effectively doubling the volume of domestic sewage effluent that could be discharged on the property. The Appellants sought an order rescinding the permit.

    The Panel accepted the evidence of the EHO that the planned absorption field sites were at a distance greater than the required 30.5 metres from the nearest source of domestic water and also farther than the required 30 metres from the natural water course running through the property.  The Panel also accepted the EHO’s submission that the system design and the soil conditions at the proposed absorption field sites were more than adequate to treat the volume of effluent authorized by the permit. The Panel found further, based on the evidence before it, that the aquifer that provided water to domestic wells in the area was 80 feet below the surface and that it was confined by layers of material with low permeability.

    The Panel therefore found that the system authorized by the permit would not have an adverse impact on water quality in groundwater wells or surface waters in the area, and that the decision of the EHO was reasonable. The appeals were dismissed.