• Gina and Armin Maerkl v. Environmental Health Officer

    Decision Date:
    File Numbers:
    Decision Numbers:
    Third Party:
    C. Derek Hood, Permit Holder


    Decision Date: October 16, 2001

    Panel: Alan Andison

    Keywords: Health Act – ss. 25; Sewage Disposal Regulation – ss. 3, 6(b), 7(1)(b), Schedule 3, ss. 11, 12, 14(d)(e); definitions of “high water mark”, “stream”; nontidal water body; percolation rate; water table; slope; power outage

    The Appellants appealed the decision of the Respondent Environmental Health Officer to issue a sewage disposal permit to the Permit Holder for construction of a conventional package treatment plant system for a single-family residence on Denman Island.

    The Board first considered whether the gully on the lot was a nontidal water body. The Board found that it was not for several reasons. There was no evidence of a high water mark in the gully as indicated by the edge of a stream or watercourse. There was no evidence that the gully had in recent history been a watercourse, and there was no evidence of erosion along the inner walls or the floor of the gully to show that water regularly passes through it.

    The Board next considered whether the Permit complied with the provisions of the Sewage Disposal Regulation and the guidelines in the On-Site Sewage Disposal Policy respecting percolation rate, setback from a high water mark, setbacks to breakout, slope, and depth to the groundwater table. The Board found that the Permit complied with the Regulation and Policy with regards to all of these factors.

    Lastly, the Board considered whether the Permit otherwise protected public health. It found that the service contract was adequate to protect the public health in the event of a failure of the system, that a back up generator would be installed to ensure that the system would continue to function during a power outage, and that there was no evidence that the proposed system would create a risk of contamination to the shellfish population.

    Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.