• John Berger v. Environmental Health Officer

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    Decision Date: July 31, 2002

    Panel: Alan Andison

    Keywords: Sewage Disposal Regulation – ss. 1 definition of “health hazard”, 3(1), 6(a), 7(1)(a), Schedule 2 – ss. 1, 17, 18(a), 18(c); setback; perimeter drain; seasonal water table; breakout; conventional septic tank system

    John Berger appealed the decision of the Environmental Health Officer to reject the his application for a repair to a sewage disposal system on the his property.

    The Board found that a garage had been built within 7 ft. of the disposal field, despite the 10 ft. setback requirement found in the Sewage Disposal Regulation. Therefore, the Board found that the proposed sewage disposal system did not comply with the mandatory requirements of sections 17 and 18(a) of Schedule 2 of the Sewage Disposal Regulation.

    The Board also found that water levels in the disposal field had been observed at levels that were above the depth of a perimeter drain that had been installed to intercept water draining from adjacent properties. The Board found that the perimeter drain was a potential breakout point and posed a risk to public health.

    The Board further found that the Appellant’s property suffers from a high seasonal water table. The Board found that, in this case, the high water table may result in untreated effluent being directly discharged into the water table. The Board found that this poses an unacceptable risk to public health.

    Finally, the Board found that the failure of the distribution box to evenly distribute effluent to the 4 disposal lines had shortened the life of the absorption field. The Board was not satisfied that the proposed repairs to the distribution box and clogged lines would protect public health.

    Therefore, the Board found that the existing sewage disposal system, when repaired according to the Appellant’s proposal, may constitute a health hazard.

    The appeal was dismissed.