• Christine and Dan Webb; Waco and Kim Wallace; Alex and Clover Quesnel; Gordon and Carol Webb; Kevin King v. Environmental Health Officer

    Decision Date:
    File Numbers:
    Decision Numbers:
    2002-HEA-030 2002-HEA-031 2003-HEA-032
    Third Party:
    No. 3 V.C. Ventures Ltd., Third Party


    Decision Date: February 12, 2003

    Panel: Alan Andison, Fred Henton, David Ormerod

    Keywords: Health Act – ss. 8(4), 25; Sewage Disposal Regulation– ss. 1, definition of “high water mark”, 3(1), 3(3)(a), 3.2, 3.3, 6(b), 7(1)(b), Schedule 1- ss. 1, 3, Schedule 3- ss. 11, 12, 14; On-site Sewage Disposal Policy; sewage disposal permit; package treatment plant; setback; shoreline; soil conditions; system maintenance; source of domestic water; notice; costs.

    Christine and Dan Webb, Waco and Kim Wallace, Alex and Clover Quesnel, Gordon and Carol Webb, and Kevin King (the “Appellants”) filed a joint appeal against the decision of the Environmental Health Officer (“EHO”) to issue 3 sewage disposal permits for 3 lots in Saanich, owned by No. 3 V.C. Ventures Ltd.

    In determining whether the proposed disposal system complies with the standards in the Regulation and will protect public health, the Board considered sub-issues respecting setback between an absorption field and a high water mark, required soil conditions, the adequacy of the site investigation, setback between an absorption field and a source of domestic water, and the potential health and environmental risks of both a breakout of effluent and inadequate system maintenance.  The Board found that the systems complied with the 100-foot setback requirement between the absorption field and the high water mark of the shoreline of Durrell Creek  The Board also found that the site investigation procedures for the absorption field were performed to the satisfaction of the EHO, who had sufficient information about the site to determine whether the installation and use of the systems would comply with the Regulation and protect public health.  The soil conditions on the lots, combined with the addition of a minimum of 18 inches of C33 sand to the absorption area, were sufficient to protect public health.  The Board found that a decommissioned well, located within the standby area adjacent to the absorption field, was properly capped and sealed, the requirement for a 100-foot setback between an absorption field and a source of domestic water had been met.  Furthermore, the Board was satisfied that the setback between the absorption field and any potential downslope breakout points would be sufficient to protect public health and the environment.  However, to ensure adequate system maintenance, the Board ordered the EHO to amend the permit to require the Permit Holder to register a covenant on each of the Lots, thereby making future owners of the Lots responsible for regular system inspections and maintenance.

    In addition, the Board found that the Permit Holder had provided no explanation for its failure to post the permits, as required by the Regulation, and that this may have prejudiced the appeal rights of persons who may be affected by the permits.  However, the Board noted that the system was already installed, had been approved by the EHO, and would protect public health.  Therefore, the Board requested that the Appellants and Permit Holder make submissions on whether the Permit Holder should be ordered to pay the appeal costs of the Appellants.

    The Board confirmed the decision to issue the permits, subject to the amendment of the permits.  The appeals were allowed in part.