• John and Mavis Fast v. Environmental Health Officer

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    Decision Date: April 15, 1996

    Panel: David Perry, Joan Rysavy, Sheila Bull

    Mr. and Mrs. Fast bought property and removed an old house and an existing septic field. Some years later they applied to put in a new septic tank, but permission was refused as the water table at certain times reached the surface. The Fasts appealed.

    The Board noted that one of its members who was hearing the case, Ms. Sheila Bull, was indirectly associated with the issue, as she was the former chair of the Upper Fraser Valley Union Board of Health. However, neither party felt that this created any actual or perceived bias and the Board proceeded to hear the appeal.

    The Board concluded that no one had explained to the Fasts that there must at all times be 4 feet of dry soil between ground level and the water level in order for approval for a septic tank to be given. Although this requirement can be waived, it would not be suitable to do so in this case where a septic tank would almost certainly be subject to periodic flooding, leakage and failure to operate. The appeal was dismissed.